CLEVELAND — The three Cleveland women who on Monday were finally freed from ten years of brutal captivity—during which they were confined to their kidnapper’s home and subjected to abuse and rape—have once again found themselves imprisoned, this time by the combined forces of the national media.
Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight—who were all in their teens or early twenties when they went missing—were initially thrilled at having finally regained their freedom after a decade of imprisonment at the hands of 52-year-old Ariel Castro. But soon after their release, as the media descended upon the once-forgotten city of Cleveland to hound the women for interviews, camp outside their homes, and broadcast their every movement to millions of Americans, the women discovered that their freedom was not as absolute as they’d expected.
“When I fled [Castro’s home], I breathed fresh air for the first time in years,” said Amanda Berry, standing before a crowd of camera crews stationed outside her parents’ home. “It had a sweet and invigorating aroma—it smelled of a new life, one without chains. But it turned out to be a sick, sick tease.” As the cameras looked on, Berry continued, “Man, you guys really can’t take a hint, can you?”
Some members of the media are apparently taking the siege even further. On Wednesday, police arrested four CBS and CNN producers who were allegedly plotting to re-kidnap the women in hopes of “keeping the story as spicy as possible.”
Michele Knight, who has been holed up in a family member’s basement since soon after her escape, spoke to Newslo in a phone call, and said that she feels “just as trapped” as she did before. Ms. Knight says she has been unable to leave the basement for fear of what awaits her outside. “I’m worried that Nancy Grace might be out there,” she said. “And I’d rather go back to [Castro’s] basement than face that horrible creature.”