Castro Purposely Left Door Unlocked: Lawyer

Joked with victims about them writing memoirs

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted May 6, 2014 1:46 PM CDT

(Newser) – Ariel Castro told Amanda Berry he knew her freedom was coming. Months before the escape a year ago today, Castro began leaving the door unlocked, he told his lawyer. "He intentionally became much more negligent in the house about locking the door and keeping (his victims) inside," Craig Weintraub, who represented Castro before the latter's death, tells WKYC. Castro was focused on the welfare of his daughter with Berry. "It wasn't going well any longer. His daughter was at an age that she should not be in the house anymore. She needed to be in school and be in a normal environment, and she needed friends."

Castro "didn't have the courage to go to the police department and surrender," Weintraub says. "The only way (to get them out was) if he was negligent and allowed them to leave the house … while he was gone a few hours." Weintraub also describes the disturbing atmosphere inside the house, where Castro celebrated holidays with the victims "like it was a normal family." Castro even joked with Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight about books they would write about the captivity afterward. Castro also had some odd habits in prison, including preferring to be naked when talking to Weintraub, the lawyer says. Click for more from the interview, or read Knight's story of her capture.

Ariel Castro, right, speaks during the sentencing phase as defense attorney Craig Weintraub watches Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, in Cleveland. Castro was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years.   (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
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