Michelle Knight had already suffered a traumatic blow before she went missing in 2002. The young mother of 21, had lost her two year old son to the court system, shortly before she disappeared. Her mother’s boyfriend had abused the young child and Knight’s son was taken away. Distraught and wandering around her Cleveland, Ohio neighborhood, she found herself kidnapped at the hands of Ariel Castro. The 11 years of captivity gave plenty for Michelle Knight to write about. She is a survivor, a victim and also a messenger with a positive outlook. Knight has signed a book deal with Weinstein Books and will share her story of horror and hope.
Knight was the oldest of three young women that were held captive in the Cleveland home for 11 years. Authorities thought she had run away due to the loss of her son and did not pursue a search for her. Amanda Berry was 17 and Gina DeJesus was 14 when they were kidnapped by Castro. The younger girls were put on missing persons alerts, but the years went by without any leads. The kidnappings occurred separately but all around the same few months.
Knight took on the mother role of the three and somehow remained the positive influence of hope throughout the years of the ordeal. The physical, mental and emotional abuse became a regular routine with acts of violence, rape and torture. In her televised interview with Dr. Phil McGraw, Knight reported being tied up with an orange extension cord, having her mouth duct-taped and being shackled with chains around her neck and waist. The chains did not allow her to lie down, as she drifted to sleep from exhaustion. Knight was even the one to deliver Berry’s baby, fathered by Castro.
Knight, along with Berry and DeJesus, endured the torturous horrors of the sex-crazed maniac, day after day for over a decade. The young girls were miraculously rescued this past May. Their captor was taken into custody and sentenced to life plus 1000 years. He committed suicide in his jail cell by auto-erotic asphyxiation in September. The house of horrors was demolished as Knight was present to pass out balloons in celebration.
The spunky, high-spirited survivor is amazing in her will to go on and to encourage other victims of crime with her story. Knight relied on her God given strength and clung to her faith of hope during those long, dark days. Her unique desire for a new beginning is encouraging and uplifting. She is not feeling sorry for herself. She has accepted what has happened and plans to help others through her experience. Knight has been very open to interviews, while Berry and DeJesus have remained more secluded.
Her book may serve as good therapy, even as difficult as it is to relive those horrendous moments. Knight is an inspiration of survival and is well deserving of positive attention. Those years will never be recovered as she picks up her life where it left off, hoping to find her son once again. He may have been adopted years ago and gaining the information to find him will be difficult, as Knight will occupy her time with writing, healing and helping others. The horrors gave way to hope, which Knight continues to demonstrate. Her book is due to be released next spring.
By: Roanne H.FitzGibbon