Suicide, Accident, or Murder

The investigative report on the death of Ohio kidnapper and rapist, Ariel Castro was released last week which caused speculation and some anger.

Ariel Castro, who was sentenced to life in prison after kidnapping and raping three young women, was found hanging by a sheet in his cell with his pants and underwear down at his ankles. The guards were placed on leave after the incident when it was revealed prison guards falsified logs documenting their observation of Castro, and no checks were done on eight different occasions during the afternoon and evening before he died.


The new report of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections also suggests the death may have been an accident. The report states that Castro may have been engaging in auto-erotic asphyxiation and the death may have been suicide.

The coroner stands by her initial ruling of suicide, stating she found no signs of sexual stimulation and is upset with the new report. But with the conflicting findings, a third option has popped up in the media. One that is intriguing to crime writers like me.


Since Castro was found hanging in such a strange manner, congruent to auto-erotic asphyxiation, but not sexually stimulated, could the scene have been staged? There are reports that a bible and photos of his family were also found near his body. Could someone have gained access to Castro, with or without the help of the guards, and murdered Castro as a message to other sexual predators? It is not a secret that sexual predators are at the lowest point in the totem in prison and often targets from other inmates. Did someone in the prison take it upon himself to exact the ultimate justice to Ariel Castro?

The probability is low, but would make a great ending to a crime novel.

Image credit: NY Daily News