US & Canada

Late Ohio captor Ariel Castro's prison logs falsified

Ariel Castro in the courtroom in Cleveland. Photo: August 2013
Image caption Ariel Castro left no suicide note

US prison guards faked logs about their monitoring of Ohio kidnapper Ariel Castro in the hours before he killed himself last month, officials say.

A state inquiry has found video footage indicating that two guards failed to make checks at least eight times on the day he was found hanged in his cell.

It also asks authorities to consider whether he died of auto-erotic asphyxiation.

Castro, 53, was jailed for life for abducting three women over a decade.

He had raped them repeatedly at his home in Cleveland.

Family pictures

The Ohio Department for Rehabilitation and Correction published its findings on Thursday.

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Media captionAriel Castro at his sentencing: "I'm not a monster, I'm a normal person, I am just sick, I have an addiction"

The report said that prison guards had failed to check Castro at least eight times between 15:03 and 20:15 local time on 3 September. He was found hanged in his cell in Orient, Ohio, at 21:18.

The document said that "post log books were falsified" and that "there was no satisfactory verification process in place".

It was also revealed that Castro "was found in his cell with a Bible open to John Chapters 2 and 3".

"Additionally, he had pictures of his family out and arranged in a poster-board fashion. His pants and underwear were pulled down to his ankles."

The convict left no suicide note.

The report said Castro's intentions were unclear, however the facts had been "relayed to the Ohio State Highway Patrol for consideration of the possibility of auto-erotic asphyxiation".

Depression claim

Image caption The trial court saw one of the rooms where the captives were held

Castro was supposed to have been checked by guards in his isolation cell in Orient, Ohio every 30 minutes.

He was taken off suicide watch in June after authorities determined he was not at risk of taking his own life.

They also denied Castro permission to receive independent mental counselling, even though he had previously contemplated suicide and was likely to suffer depression after his sentence, his lawyer Craig Weintraub told reporters last month.

The former school bus driver abducted Michelle Knight, 32, Amanda Berry, 27, and Gina DeJesus, 23, from the Cleveland streets between 2002-04.

The three women escaped from Castro's home on 6 May.

He was sentenced on 1 August to life imprisonment without parole plus 1,000 years.

In an interview soon after his conviction, Castro's lawyers said that he fit the profile of someone with a sociopathic disorder.