Did Ariel Castro Die From Auto-Erotic Asphyxiation? New Evidence Suggests He May Have.

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 10 2013 11:46 AM

Ariel Castro's Death Might Not Have Been a Suicide After All

175273297
Ariel Castro pleads to Judge Michael Russo during his sentencing on August 1, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio.

File photo by Angelo Merendino/Getty Images

Convicted kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro was found hanging in his cell early last month, only weeks after being sentenced to life in prison (plus an additional 1,000 years). Given he was in protective custody and alone at the time, local officials and and nearly everyone else leaped to the seemingly obvious conclusion that Castro's death was almost certainly suicide. Turns out, however, there's some evidence to suggest that may not have been the case. The Associated Press with the details:

Ariel Castro may have died from auto-erotic asphyxiation, not suicide, and two prison guards falsified logs documenting their observation of him in the hours before he died, the state said Thursday.
Castro's pants and underwear were pulled down to his ankles when he was found, leading the state to forward those facts to the state highway patrol to consider the possibility of auto-erotic asphyxiation, according to the report from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. The report suggests — but does not conclude — that Castro may have died as the result of auto-erotic asphyxiation, whereby individuals achieve sexual satisfaction by briefly choking themselves into unconsciousness.
Advertisement

Supporting the idea that Castro's death was accidental was the lack of a suicide note, along with a comprehensive mental health evaluation that found "no evidence of serious mental illness or indications for suicide precautions were present.". Read the full AP story here. Slate's Crime blog will have more on the development shortly. (In the meantime, you can check out this 2009 Slate Explainer on auto-erotic asphyxiation, which includes this PSA gem: "There is no doctor-approved way to strangle yourself while having sex or while masturbating.)

***Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***

 

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM Planned Parenthood Is About to Make It a Lot Easier to Get Birth Control
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 5:03 PM White House Chief Information Officer Will Run U.S. Ebola Response
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.