Sources: 2 Cleveland Victims Have Injuries 'Like POWs'

More details of women's horrific ordeal emerge

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted May 15, 2013 3:02 AM CDT | Updated May 15, 2013 7:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – Two of the women held in captivity for a decade at the home of Ariel Castro suffered severe malnourishment and have injuries from which it will take them a long time to recover, sources close to the investigation tell Reuters. Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight appear to have been treated more sadistically than Amanda Berry, and both emerged from the house extremely thin with cropped hair, the sources say. "There is a reason why you have only seen a picture of Amanda," one source says.

The two women have injuries including joint and muscle damage caused from being held in "stress positions " in the basement of the Cleveland home, restrained with dog leashes, chains, and duct tape, the sources say. "It was like they were POWs," one source says. "They had bed sores from being left in positions for extended lengths of time." One source says Castro used food as another way to torture his victims. "He would bring food to one or two of the girls and [make] the others watch as they or he would eat in front of them," the source says, adding that Knight and DeJesus would sneak food to each other. Despite the horrific treatment, the freed women are now "thriving and enjoying their freedom," a Cleveland city council member says. Castro's lawyers, however, maintain that he's no "monster"; click for more.

The women were held captive in this Cleveland home.
The women were held captive in this Cleveland home.   (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
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