Ariel Castro's "House of Horrors" Is Being Demolished

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Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 7 2013 11:04 AM

Ariel Castro's "House of Horrors" Is Being Demolished

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A view outside the house where Ariel Castro allegedly held captive Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight on May 9, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio

Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

The rundown Cleveland house on Seymour Avenue where Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were raped and held captive for a decade is finally being demolished. On Wednesday morning, the house was torn down as part of a deal that narrowly spared the kidnapper, Ariel Castro, from a possible death sentence. Instead, Castro was sentenced last week to life in prison plus an additional 1,000 years, after being indicted in May to 977 criminal counts, including kidnapping, rape, and attempted murder.

It's not difficult to understand the rationale behind demolishing the house where three women were imprisoned and repeatedly raped. Here's USA Today:

Joseph Frolik with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office said officials decided to tear down the house because "we didn't want some kind of gruesome, macabre shrine, if you will, that would get gawkers and curiosity seekers." Prosecutor Tim McGinty "wanted the property to come down and to come down quickly," Frolik said.
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Two local companies are performing the demolition at no cost, and they say the house will be completely torn down by the end of the week. Meanwhile, county officials are trying to get the deeds to two homes adjacent to Castro's —in hopes of using the space for a landscaping or community betterment project.

Jennifer Lai is an associate editor at Slate.

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