Ariel Castro considered killing himself, giving money to victims

Ariel Castro, believed to have kidnapped three women and abusing them in captivity for ten years in Cleveland, appeared in court for the first time Thursday morning. The appearance lasted 10 minutes, at which Castro reportedly kept his head lowered, did not speak to the judge, and spoke only softly to his lawyer. A bond was set at $8 million dollars—his arraignment will be set within 30 days.

Even as Castro appeared in court for the first time new details about his horrific crime continue to unfold. Late last night an NBC affiliate released details of a police report, including a horrifying account of Michelle Knight being forced under threat of death to deliver Amanda Berry’s baby—conceived in captivity—in a plastic pool. Michelle Knight was also subject to five forced abortions in captivity through starvation and beating until she miscarried.

Gawker points out last night police discovered a confession note in Castro’s home that he wrote in 2004 in which he expresses remorse—though says his victims are being held against their will because they made the “mistake” of getting into a car with a stranger. In the note Castro also considers committing suicide and giving his life savings to his victims. Scott Taylor of Action 19 news tweeted excerpts:

Of course, he didn’t kill himself and went on tormenting his captives for years.

Wall Street Journal notes “Mr. Castro’s public defender, Kathleen S. DeMetz, argued that Mr. Castro had extensive ties to the community, living 39 years in Cleveland without a criminal conviction for a felony or serious misdemeanor.”

A common theme after heinous crimes like this and the Boston bombings is that those who knew the perpetrators are always in shock, and insist that they just seemed like “normal guys” who would never seem capable of such a thing. Mr. Castro, 52, is an unemployed school bus driver who played in several bands around Cleveland.