The Abduction Spectacle: Cleveland, Monsters and Heroes

Jun 6, 2013 - by Binoy Kampmark - 1 Comment

Ariel Castro

Update: Ariel Castro was sentenced to life plus 1,000 years by Judge Michael Russo on August 1, 2013. To avoid facing the death penaly, Castro pled guilty to 937 counts, including murder and kidnapping. On September 3, 2013, Castro was found dead in his cell, hanging from a sheet. Attempts to revive him failed. Franklin County Coroner Jan Gorniak said that an autopsy had determined the death a suicide. His body was discovered about 9:20 p.m. in his cell at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio, near Columbus. He was being held there temporarily in protective custody, but was not placed on suicide watch.

The field of abduction provides a fascinating if complex area of study.  The individual who seeks to kidnap and then enslave the subject in question is treated as a creature lacking human traits.  It is not merely anti-human but non-human, a figure of fantasy, who conceals his quarry.  With frequency, the term “monster” is used.  It took a matter of hours for the term “monster” to be employed in the context of Ariel Castro.

by Binoy Kampmark

Absentees occupy a distinct part of human consciousness.  They are suspended, either alive or dead, often both.  They might appear at any given moment, or they might never do so.  There is contingency about their existence, qualified, uncertain, and tortured.  

For three missing women in Cleveland – Amanda Berry, 27; Georgina ‘Gina’ DeJesus, 23; and Michelle Knight, 32 – not to mention a 6-year-old daughter born to Berry – hope had been suspended.  They were never struck off the “missing list” – faith prevailed that they were still alive.

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