The Other McCain

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Cleveland ‘House of Horror’ Neighbors Called 911; Police ‘Didn’t Take It Seriously’

Posted on | May 7, 2013 | 15 Comments

Cleveland kidnap suspects Ariel Castro, 52, Onil Castro, 50, and Pedro Castro, 54

The first reports about the rescue of three Cleveland kidnap victims suggested that nobody in the West Side neighborhood ever saw anything out of the ordinary at 2207 Seymour Avenue.

The disturbing news from USA Today:

Elsie Cintron, who lives three houses away, said her daughter once saw a naked woman crawling on her hands and knees in the backyard several years ago and called police. “But they didn’t take it seriously,” she said.
Another neighbor, Israel Lugo, said he heard pounding on some of the doors of Castro’s house, which had plastic bags on the windows, in November 2011. Lugo said officers knocked on the front door, but no one answered. “They walked to the side of the house and then left,” he said.
Neighbors also said they would sometimes see Ariel Castro walking a little girl to a neighborhood playground. And Cintron said she once saw a little girl looking out of the house’s attic window.
Israel Lugo said he, his family and neighbors called police three times between 2011 and 2012 after seeing disturbing things at the home of Ariel Castro. Lugo lives two houses down from Castro and grew suspicious after neighbors reported seeing naked women on leashes crawling on all fours behind Castro’s house.
Lugo said about two years ago his sister told him she heard a woman pounding on a window at Castro’s home as if she needed help. When his sister looked up, she saw a woman and a baby standing in a window half covered with a wooden plank. His sister told him and Lugo called the police.

So there were reasons to be suspicious and neighbors did complain to police as early as 2011, but for some reason these reports didn’t lead to serious investigation . . . why? Maybe because it’s a low-income neighborhood where police get all kinds of calls, and “somebody pounding on doors” doesn’t necessarily sound like anything really serious. But it turned out to be very, very serious:

Horrifying details emerged Tuesday of the abuse suffered by three women who were kidnapped and held captive for a decade in a Cleveland home where the victims — two of them taken when they were still teenagers — were rescued yesterday from their captors. Cleveland NBC affiliate WKYC-TV reported that Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were repeatedly raped, became pregnant and lost their babies as a result of the abuse. A 6-year-old girl, believed to be Berry’s daughter, survived the gruesome ordeal and was rescued along with the women.

Cleveland kidnap victims Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus

One awful aspect of a case like this: The victims were identified — and two were the subject of substantial publicity — when they first disappeared, and now that they have been found alive, the details of their ordeal will necessarily become public, in ways that victims of sexual assault are seldom identified. It can’t be helped, but at least these women survived. It’s quite possible we may learn that there were other victims who did not survive, and then maybe liberals will start telling us about the “rights” of these criminals.





15 Responses to “Cleveland ‘House of Horror’ Neighbors Called 911; Police ‘Didn’t Take It Seriously’”

  1. OwainPenllyn
    May 7th, 2013 @ 8:42 pm

    RT @smitty_one_each: TOM Cleveland ‘House of Horror’ Neighbors Called 911; Police ‘Didn’t Take It Seriously’ #TCOT

  2. instapundit
    May 7th, 2013 @ 8:43 pm

    RT @smitty_one_each: TOM Cleveland ‘House of Horror’ Neighbors Called 911; Police ‘Didn’t Take It Seriously’ #TCOT

  3. Jude505
    May 7th, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

    RT @smitty_one_each: TOM Cleveland ‘House of Horror’ Neighbors Called 911; Police ‘Didn’t Take It Seriously’ #TCOT

  4. Quartermaster
    May 7th, 2013 @ 9:02 pm

    Typical for big city cops. IF something doesn’t jump right out, they write it off. So much for following every lead, and checking every tip. Junk like this is why I don’t trust cops as far as I can spit.

  5. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    May 7th, 2013 @ 9:16 pm

    Sort of like Benghazi, only not as bad.

  6. notTH3J35T3R
    May 7th, 2013 @ 9:32 pm

    #gosnell #benghazi #namethatparty
    (1) Why all the national attention being paid to a “local crime issue”?
    (2) “What difference does it make”?
    (3) Wonder what the three brothers’s political party affiliation and union membership is irrelevant

  7. LT_Misc_Inter
    May 7th, 2013 @ 9:56 pm

    @smitty_one_each Do not forget #Gosnell’s House of Horrors’

  8. t-dahlgren
    May 7th, 2013 @ 10:10 pm

    These women didn’t just survive, out of all this horror one of them brought life. That photo of her, with her arm around the child, is something I find both incredible – in the most literal sense -, and likewise as inspiring a portrait of humanity as I can recall.

  9. WJJ Hoge
    May 7th, 2013 @ 10:12 pm

    When seconds count, the police are only years away.

  10. K-Bob
    May 7th, 2013 @ 11:57 pm

    ASCII-ish version of the top picture:

    (_!_) (_!_) (_!_)

  11. Finrod Felagund
    May 8th, 2013 @ 12:57 am

    The only consolation is that these lowest-of-the-low are highly likely to find out what it’s like on the other side of their behavior when they’re in prison.

  12. ChandlersGhost
    May 8th, 2013 @ 1:25 am

    “They were unfairly targeted because they were Latino.” – Future Think Progress writer.
    My girlfriend’s grandmother put it perfectly – “They should hang them by their…Well, not their toes.”

  13. Mick Baker
    May 8th, 2013 @ 4:34 am

    I’ve developed an iPhone and Android app that sends your location to loved ones via text and email at a push of a button.

    It’s called iNeedHelp and more information can be found at

    Apple App Store:

    Android via Google Play:

    It might help prevent the next missing person.

  14. Why Were Neighbors’ Reports Ignored In The Case Of The Missing Cleveland Women? | The Lonely Conservative
    May 8th, 2013 @ 9:13 am

    […] Could the horror these women endured have ended a year and a half sooner if someone took these complaints seriously? I guess we’ll never know. But why wouldn’t the police have shown more interest in these reports? […]

  15. Hope and Chains: #WarOnWomen Kidnapper Is Cuyahoga County Democrat : The Other McCain
    May 9th, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

    […] Cleveland ‘House of Horror’ Neighbors Called 911; Police ‘Didn’t Take It Seriously’ […]