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Michelle Knight became the first of three women held captive by Ariel Castro in his Cleveland home to speak out at length about her horrifying ordeal.
In an exclusive taped interview on Tuesday’s Dr. Phil, Knight revealed disturbing details about how Castro treated her and lured her into the home where she spent 11 years.
Knight returned to the site where she was abducted, telling Dr. Phil that she was checking on a custody issue with her son when Castro overheard her saying she was lost and needed directions. He said he knew where she was going, so she got in his car, she explained.
He then drove her to his house, claiming he needed to check on his dog, and then told her to go upstairs to get a puppy she could take home to her son.
Once she got upstairs, he tied her to a clothesline, with an extension cord, “like a fish,” she said, tracing a “U” with her finger.
He also threw money at her, she said, claiming he was obsessed with prostitutes and thought she was a 13-year-old prostitute.
Knight said she cried and begged him to let her return to her son. Castro then told her he’d let her go by Christmas.
Knight spent her time in Castro’s house either chained to a pole in a dark basement or chained to a bed upstairs.
She was repeatedly raped, revealing that Castro would hold a pipe over her head, threatening that if she screamed, he’d ram it down her throat and kill her. She also explained that he would watch a TV show about sexual fetishes and wanted to perform those on her, including choking her.
There were times when she thought she would die, Knight acknowledged, but she tried to remain strong for her son, she said.
“That would be the easy way out,” Knight said of dying in captivity. “I want my son to know me as a victor, not a victim.” She said she’d often imagine her son telling her to stay alive.
Knight also said she cried daily and Castro would yell at her for crying. When she asked him why he was being mean to her, he’d say, “because I hate you.” She also explained that he’d emphasize that she wasn’t spending the holidays with her son, saying the kid is better off without her.
She was given very little in the way of clothing and blankets, freezing in the winter with just a sheet for warmth. When she told him she was cold, she claims he would say, “You don’t need clothes to be warm. You’re only here for one thing and that’s it.”
Knight also recalled Castro hitting her in the stomach with a barbell to force her to miscarry after he got her pregnant. But once the baby was gone, he’d blame her, saying that she killed his kid.
Despite the fact that she was impregnated by a monster, Knight said she felt bad for the child when she miscarried.
She also revealed that she once tried to escape after finding a needle and using it to try to undo her chains. She was almost free when Castro returned to the house. She tried to tie herself up again, but he discovered that she’d tried to escape and punished her.
Castro repeatedly told Knight that he had other girls and wanted to get more, with Knight talking about her interactions with the second kidnapping victim, Amanda Berry, at the end of her interview.
Knight said she tried to reassure Berry, telling her, “One day we’ll get home, we just have to wait it out.”
She also talked about her life before she was abducted, which she called “a tragedy,” noting that she “wished [her] mother was not [her] mother.”
The second part of Knight’s interview with Dr. Phil airs Wednesday.
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