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PUBLISHED: 14:38 EST, 7 May 2013 | UPDATED: 16:55 EST, 7 May 2013

Ariel Castro padlocked the doors leading to his basement, his attic and his garage and never allowed his family inside, his son has exclusively revealed to MailOnline.

Chilling photographs from 2001 show a grinning Castro, who is accused of holding three women captive for a decade, standing in front of a locked door – behind which unimaginable horrors may have been unfolding in the basement.

By that point, one of his alleged victims, Michele Knight, had already been missing for a year.

In an interview with MailOnline, his son Anthony Castro, 31, has spoken of his shock at his father’s alleged crimes and revealed how Ariel Castro asked him just weeks ago whether he believed the kidnapping of Amanda Berry – one of his victims – would ever be solved.

‘If it’s true that he took her captive and forced her into having sex with him and having his child and keeping her hidden and keeping them from sunlight, he really took those girls’ lives,’ he said.

Signs: In a photograph taken in 2001, suspect Ariel Castro stands with a former girlfriend in front of a padlocked door, which led to the basement, at his home on Seymore Avenue, Cleveland

‘He doesn’t deserve to have his own life anymore. He deserves to be behind bars for the rest of her life. I’m just thankful they’re alive.’

Among his infrequent contact with his father, who separated from his mother in the 1990s, one recent conversation particularly stands out in Anthony’s mind.

In mid-April, he says, his father asked him whether he thought police would ever find Amanda Berry, who escaped the Cleveland home on Monday afternoon.

Chains, tape and other devices of bondage found in house of ‘abductor’ where missing women were kept in the attic and basement
Pictured: The three brothers ‘who kidnapped three girls and kept them captive for 10 years’ as it emerges the victims ‘gave birth to at least FIVE babies in the home’
Son of Ohio ‘abductor’ reveals he interviewed MOTHER of missing girl when he wrote article about her disappearance for local newspaper
Daughter of ‘abductor’ Ariel Castro was last person to see victim Gina DeJesus before she went missing a decade ago
When Anthony said he thought Berry was likely dead because she had been missing so long, Ariel responded: ‘Really? You think so?’

At that time, according to police, Berry was locked in the basement of his father’s home.

‘The house was always locked,’ remembered Anthony, who appeared visibly tired but reacted with poise throughout the interview. ‘There were places we could never go. There were locks on the basement. Locks on the attic. Locks on the garage.’

Ariel Castro, 52, was arrested with his two brothers, 54-year-old Pedro and 50-year-old Onil after Berry, now 26, dramatically escaped from the house on Monday, a decade after she vanished.




Berry was rescued from the home, along with 23-year-old Gina DeJesus, who disappeared in April 2004 at age 14, and 32-year-old Michele Knight, who vanished in 2000 when she was 20.

The women and a six-year-old girl who was born to Berry while she was in captivity were whisked away to hospital. They have now been released and are in a safe location, authorities said.

Details have started to emerge of the horrors they experienced in the house, with authorities reportedly discovering chains and tape to restrain the girls inside the home.

Police sources also told NewsChannel5 that there were multiple pregnancies among the three women but that they suffered miscarriages after they were beaten or because they were so malnourished.

The Castros’ close links to the long-running investigation have also emerged. Pedro Castro told a TV crew last July that a police forensic excavation being conducted in the neighborhood for Berry’s body was ‘a waste of time’.

Shock: Anthony Castro has said he is horrified at news his father, Ariel Castro, allegedly kidnapped three girls and held them captive at his home for a decade. Anthony’s uncles have also been arrestedMissed: Anthony said his mother moved them from Castro’s home following years of abuse

Speaking to MailOnline on Tuesday, Anthony Castro, a banker who lives in Columbus, Ohio, depicted his father as a violent, controlling man who nearly beat his mother to death in 1993 while she was recovering from brain surgery.

‘Abused’: Anthony said his father beat his mother, Nilda Figueroa, who passed away last year

Speaking to MailOnline from his apartment, which is dotted with numerous family pictures, Anthony said his father was secretive and barred him from entering certain rooms when he wasn’t around.

Anthony said he last visited his father’s home two weeks ago, though he was not invited inside. He said he never suspected that his father could be keeping three women captive in the basement.

‘The only thing I can express is a tremendous level of shock,’ he said. ‘To those girls, it’s beyond comprehension what happened to them. It’s just a nightmare. I just feel so horrible for them. Unspeakably horrible.’

Ariel’s ex-wife Grimilda ‘Nilda’ Figueroa – Anthony’s mother – moved Mr Castro and his three sisters out of Ariel’s house in 1996 after years of violent abuse.

Anthony said he now speaks with his father just a few times a year – and seldom visits his house.

‘I haven’t been at that house for longer than 20 minutes for longer than I can remember,’ he said. ‘And we’re talking since high school. Late 90s.’

Anthony said neither he nor his three sisters have had much of a relationship with Ariel Castro.

‘Having that relationship with my dad all these years when we lived in a house where there was domestic violence and I was beaten as well… we never were really close because of that and it was also something we never really talked about,’ he said.

Painful memories: Anthony, pictured looking through old family photos, said he rarely spoke to his father

Hurt: Anthony has spoken with family members and they all believe his father is capable of the crimes

‘It’s astonishing to even think about that I was so close to that. That I was physically at the house two weeks ago while that was going on, it’s a lot to grasp.’

Anthony said he has spoken with several members of his family since his father and uncles were arrested. After getting over the initial shock of the horrendous allegations, they all have accepted that Ariel was likely capable of holding the three women against their will

‘They’re all furious. They’re livid,’ he said.

Anthony said he has no idea what role his uncles could have played in the ordeal. However, he says he doesn’t yet believe that the three women were kept at Ariel’s house for the entire 10 years.

He speculated that his uncle Onil, who also owns his house and lives alone, might have been involved in keeping the women in captivity.

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