UPDATE: Urban Parks Dedicated to Cleveland Kidnap Victim

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

UPDATE 8/11/2014 3:50 PM

CLEVELAND (AP) - Two lots where abandoned homes once sat in Cleveland are turned into urban parks dedicated to one of the women held captive in the neighborhood for a decade.

The parks are near the home of kidnap victim Gina DeJesus on the west side of Cleveland. Planners say turning the areas into parks will help DeJesus and her family heal from the emotional wounds caused by her long captivity.

Neighbors are happy because they say the abandoned homes attracted crime. All the resources to build the parks were donated. The dedication was Sunday.

DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight escaped from Ariel Castro's home in May 2103. Castro pleaded guilty last August and committed suicide in prison.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE 12/16/2013 3:05 PM

NEW YORK (AP) - Two of the three Ohio women held captive for years in a Cleveland house have a book deal.

Viking announced Monday that it has acquired the planned book by Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus. The book is currently untitled and is scheduled to come out in 2015.

Berry and DeJesus are working with Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporters Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan. Negotiations were handled by Washington attorney Robert Barnett, whose clients have ranged from President Barack Obama to Amanda Knox.

Berry, DeJesus and Michelle Knight were rescued in May and their kidnapper, Ariel Castro, was arrested and eventually sentenced to life in prison. He was found hanged in his cell in September.

Knight is working on her own memoir, which Weinstein Books plans to publish next spring.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A proposal offering cash reparations and other benefits to three women abducted and imprisoned in a Cleveland man's home clears a divided Ohio House committee with several changes.

The measure would provide the women with annual cash relief payments for each of the years they were restrained, minus other victim assistance awards for which they're eligible.

The bill's initial offer of tuition, fees and living expenses at an Ohio public college would now be administered through Cleveland State University.

Rather than making lifetime federal government medical assistance available to the women, the amended bill gives the governor the power to annually review and pay eligible expenses.

Ariel Castro pleaded guilty to kidnapping the women, then repeatedly raping and beating them. He was found hanged in prison last month.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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