TORTURED and raped for 10 years by twisted Ariel Castro, Amanda Berry has finally found peace now that the beast has hanged himself, her father told The ENQUIRER in an exclusive interview.
And she’s especially comforted to know that her daughter Jocelyn will never have to face the fiend who fathered her again.
“Amanda is relieved that the monster is dead,” Amanda’s dad Johnny Berry told The ENQUIRER. “She’s been living in constant fear that Jocelyn may someday have to see Castro, and she didn’t want that ever to happen. The only regret I have is that I wanted to kill that bastard myself. But I’m glad he’s dead. I hope he died real slow.”
Amanda and her fellow victims, Gina De- Jesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, survived imprisonment, repeated rapes, beatings and starvation as they lived chained up like animals in Castro’s house of horrors.
Justice was served on Aug. 1 when Castro was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years, but the perverted 52-year-old brute took the easy way out by hanging himself in his cell at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio.
His Sept. 3 suicide sparked contempt from Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty, who said: “These degenerate monsters are cowards. This man couldn’t take, for even a month, a small portion of what he had dished out for more than a decade.”
The courageous women who survived years of torment at Castro’s brutal hands were captured by him, one at a time, and held in his rundown house at 2207 Seymour Avenue in Cleveland.
They were gagged, beaten, forced to wear dog collars, raped and starved, with no chance of escape until Castro, a school bus driver and part-time musician, failed to secure the fortified front door of his home on May 6. That allowed Berry and her 6-year-old daughter to escape with the help of neighbors. Cops then rescued Gina and Michelle.
Ironically, Castro copped a plea to escape the executioner’s needle. But facing an inescapable eternity in prison, he turned to the noose.
“When I first heard, I thought that maybe he got killed,” Amanda’s ailing 53-year-old dad told The ENQUIRER from his Elizabethton, Tenn., home. “Animals like him get taken out all the time in the prison system.”
But Castro did get a last word in. On Sept. 6, authorities released an interrogation tape of Castro’s conversation with investigators. In it he revealed that he called Amanda’s mom and said: “I have (your) daughter and she’s my wife now.”
Meanwhile, Johnny says that his brave daughter is doing fine.
“Amanda is a strong kid,” said Johnny. “She still lives with (her sister) Beth and Beth’s husband, who’s a chef, in Cleveland.
“She is the best mom to Jocelyn. She has always home-schooled Jocelyn and is going to keep doing that for another year or two. Then she wants to go back to school herself and get back to her life.”