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Cleveland kidnap suspect wrote of contemplating suicide, his own sexual abuse

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - The man accused of imprisoning three women for a decade in his Cleveland home wrote a lengthy manifesto in which he contemplated suicide, referred to his own sexual abuse, and expressed a desire for the three women to inherit his wealth, a city councilman said on Friday.

Ariel Castro, 52, has been charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape, and he could face more charges related to the women that might make him eligible for the death penalty.

Michelle Knight disappeared in 2002 at age 20. Amanda Berry disappeared in April 2003, a day before her 17th birthday, and Gina DeJesus disappeared in April 2004, when she was 14. They were rescued on Monday.

Investigators combing through Castro's two-story home in west Cleveland found the manifesto, which had been written in 2004, said City Councilman Brian Cummins.

Cummins said he had been briefed on the note's contents by someone who had read it.

The note would have been written some two years before Castro impregnated Amanda Berry, now 27, who has a 6-year-old daughter. The Ohio attorney general confirmed on Friday that Castro was the father of Berry's child, but said Castro's DNA had failed to match DNA linked to any other crimes in Ohio.

"He alluded to his own sexual abuse. We don't know when but presumably it was when he was young," Cummins said. "And if he was to carry out his suicide, he wanted to split the money from his house between the three women.

"He also said that it was the victims' fault that they were able to be abducted in the manner that they had, deflecting the blame away from himself," Cummins said.

Castro lured the women into his car by offering them a ride home and instead took them to his house, according to a police report. The women told police they were chained in the basement for some time and Castro kept them locked in the house where he sexually abused them.

Police said Michelle Knight told them that she had been impregnated five times but Castro starved and beat her until she miscarried. This could constitute murder under Ohio law and give prosecutors an avenue to pursue the death penalty.

Knight, now 32, was released from a Cleveland hospital on Friday. The other kidnap victims are with family.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Greg McCune, Toni Reinhold)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130512/cleveland-kidnap-suspect-wrote-contemplating-suicide-his-own-se