Ariel Castro”s crimes study

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25 December 2021

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Ariel Castro, a resident of Cleveland, Ohio committed a sequence of kidnappings between 2002-2004. He kept three ladies in captivity until they managed to be freed in 2013, roughly 11 years after that they had been kidnapped. In this paper, we shall be covering how the offender, Ariel Castro, suits into the “Life Course Theory” and “Social Disorganization Theory of Crime”, which intend to hunt an understanding or the emergence of legal habits. The “Life Course Theory” focuses on how delinquent behaviors either persist or desist all through one’s life and how life occasions might encourage shifts in conduct while the “Social Disorganization Theory”, focuses on investigating how neighborhood environments contribute to criminal behavior.

Apart from that, we may also look at Amanda Berry, Castro’s second kidnapping victim, who was kidnapped after leaving her shift at a neighborhood Burger King the day earlier than her seventeenth birthday. It shall be discussed how Berry suits into Hans von Hentig’s “Female and Young Typology of Victims” and Mendelsohn’s “Innocent Victim” class.

The “Female” typology states that women are in danger as they are bodily weaker compared to men while the “Young” typology proposes that youth are seen as vulnerable to victimization because of their age. Mendelsohn’s “Innocent Victim” class is applicable to victims with no accountability for the crime. Through the evaluation of these theories of crime and sufferer typologies we will try to understand the origin of these behaviors.


Crime is an unfortunate element of society and with the repercussions and gruesome headlines a few of these acts may make, we must keep in thoughts that behind these newsworthy stories lie two sorts of human beings, the offenders and the victims.

What makes and offender an “offender”? What elements, organic or environmental make them commit such hideous crimes? It is sometimes very troublesome for most people to know why these folks behave the way they do.


Early Life

The offender, Ariel Castro, was born in Yauco, Puerto Rico, on July eleven, 1960. After his parents divorce he moved to the mainland with his mother and siblings, finally settling in Cleveland, Ohio. Castro was a violent man, it was reported that he was a perpetrator of domestic violence against Grimilda Figueroa, the mom of his kids, typically beating her till she misplaced consciousness. He was arrested in 1993 on expenses of domestic violence however was not indicted by a grand jury.

From 2002-2004 he engaged in a series of kidnappings, which are the major target of this paper, and was later apprehended for these on May 6th 2013. After being taken into custody, Castro’s bail was set at 8 million dollars. On June 7, Castro obtained a true bill of indictment with 329 counts, a true bill of indictment is the agreement of a grand jury probable cause exists to order a defendant to stand trial on the costs in the indictment (US Legal, Inc, 1997). These counts had been later increased to 977 and ranged from rape to aggravated homicide. At first Castro pleaded “not guilty” to the costs however later pleaded guilty to 937 of the 977, as a half of a plea discount, a negotiated agreement between a criminal defendant and a prosecutor during which the defendant agrees to plead “guilty” or “no contest” to some crimes, together with attainable conditions, in return for discount or dismissal of some of the expenses or some other profit to the defendant. (US Legal, Inc, 1997). In the tip, Castro was sentenced to life in jail with out parole,  the discharge of a convicted felony defendant after serving a portion of their sentence, upon a discovering that the particular person is sufficiently rehabilitated and not a risk to society. (US Legal, Inc, 1997). He later died by suicide on September 3, 2013. (Markon & Wilgoren, 2013).

Modus Operandi

Castro’s preferred M.O., (modus operandi) was undoubtedly rooted in gaining the trust of his victims so he may later kidnap them, restrain them and begin bodily and sexual assaults. This implies that Castro needed to be a really charming man who may simply gain the trust of his targets and lure them into his home. According to Douglas and Munn (1992), the MO is dynamic and malleable and evolves because the offender features both expertise and confidence in his/her patterns of felony offending. In Castro’s case, his M.O. didn’t change lots from what has been recorded but he positively turned extra sophisticated when it got here to maintain his victims contained and never interacting with one another, so they wouldn’t gang up on him. Seeing that physical violence and sexual assault are a typical theme in his crimes, it’s clear that he was a person who beloved to point out his energy over the victims.

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office performed research on child abduction murders based mostly on the review of over 775 cases that occurred between 1968 and 2002. The outcomes said that in 89% of the cases, the lacking youngster died within 24 hours of being abducted and that the primary motive for the abductor was sexual assault. (Douglas, J. E., & Munn, C., 1992). Looking at these numbers, it is truly incredible how Castro saved not one, but three abducted ladies and a baby, alive whereas underneath captivity. This leads us to consider that, even though his crimes where partly related to his want to level out dominance by way of sexual assault, Castro’s motivation got here from a method more sinister need to have management over women.

Analysis of Theories


Ariel Castro, the person behind the Cleveland kidnappings positively suits inside a few of the crime theories however, out of all of them. I believe the ones that go well with him essentially the most are: Life Course Theory and Social Disorganization Theory.

Life Course Theory

Looks at how delinquent behaviors either persist or desist all through one’s life and how life occasions would possibly encourage shifts in habits. (Mallicoat, 2017). Ariel Castro clearly matches into this concept as a end result of he consistently endured in delinquent behavior even before the famous kidnappings occurred, which can be seen in how he abused the mother of his youngsters, constantly kidnapped his kids and was general reckless while working as a public-school bus driver. Another instance that might contribute to the truth that he was drawn to harming individuals, particularly women, could possibly be how he held plenty of resentment in course of his mom, which may be seen in one of many diary entries of Amanda Berry, one of the women he kidnapped; He seems to go to her place a lot, which seems weird to me as a outcome of he’s all the time telling me how much he hates her. He calls her “whore” and “bitch” and says she beat him when he was little. His mother’s violence in direction of him when he was little could have been the catalyst that incited him to commit these violent acts towards women all through his younger and late adulthood.

Social Disorganization Theory

Investigates how neighborhood environments contribute to criminal behavior. (Mallicoat, 2017). According to the theory, poverty, residential mobility, ethnic heterogeneity, and weak social networks lower a neighborhood’s capability to control the behavior of people in public, and therefore increase the likelihood of crime. (Kubrin, C. E., & Weitzer, R., 2003). Castro was born in Yauco, Puerto Rico, which is a poor township on the island. He later moved to Cleveland, Ohio together with his mother however still remained residing in a relatively low-income a part of town. It can be recorded that Castro only went up to obtain a high-school diploma in 1979 from Lincoln-West High School in Cleveland. Social Disorganization Theory is a mirrored image of how crime is correlated to socioeconomic status, notably for lower-class communities. Castro’s neighborhood was distinguished in primarily Spanish talking immigrants, Amanda Berry wrote: There are so many Spanish-speaking individuals right here that they name it little Puerto Rico.” It is evident that Castro was at all times a member of the lower-class which could actually have contributed to his legal behavior because of the early exposure he had to crime normally.


Amanda Berry, the second girl kidnapped by Castro, was abducted April 21, 2003, a day before her seventeenth birthday, after Castro provided her a journey home after she had just finished her shift at Burger King. Because she was just sixteen when she was kidnapped, I consider the theories of victimization that apply to her underneath the Hans von Hentig’s Typology of Crime Victims are: Female and Young. Another category we will be trying into would be the Innocent Victim in Mendelsohn’s Categories of Victims.

Hans von Hentig’s Typology of Crime Victims (Female)

Suggests Women are at risk as they’re bodily weaker compared to males. Amanda Berry clearly suits into this class seeing as she is a woman and was unable to flee her offender because of having less bodily strength. This can be seen within the retelling of the events of her kidnapping: “He picks me up and throws me over his shoulder. My head is dangling down by his butt, and every part of my physique hurts”. (Berry, De Jesus, Jordan, Sullivan, 2015). Amanda struggled to get free from Castro on numerous events however her biological status as a woman made it tough for her to take action.

Hans von Hentig’s Typology of Crime Victims (Young)

Amanda Berry undoubtedly suits into the Young class of Hans von Hentig’s Typology of Crime Victims as a result of she was kidnapped April 21, 2003, a day earlier than her 17th birthday. I cry and cry, however he only turns up the quantity on the TV, shuts off the sunshine and walks back upstairs with out a word. It’s so dark. Then I bear in mind: It’s my birthday. (Berry, De Jesus, Jordan, Sullivan, 2015). Seeing as she was still an adolescent, Amanda was vulnerable to Ariel Castro and his criminal intentions.

Mendelsohn’s Categories of Victims (Innocent Victim)

There is not any responsibility for the crime attributed to the sufferer. (Mallicoat, 2017). Amanda Berry was solely sixteen years old when she was abducted by Ariel Castro. There isn’t any means that Amanda Berry was accountable of what occurred to her, she was a teenager leaving her part-time job when she accepted Castro’s offer to take her residence, knowing that he was the daddy of a girl she went to school with. There are myriad situations in conflicted societies the place entirely blameless individuals and communities have violence visited upon them with none morally or politically justifiable cause. (McEvoy, K., & McConnachie, K., 2012) She was only a child who made a nasty selection by getting into a “strangers car” but that doesn’t imply that she was an accessory for the crime dedicated.


After placing into perspective both the offender, Ariel Castro, and sufferer, Amanda Berry, we can conclude that each of those individuals fit into their respective crime and sufferer theories. Castro’s lower-class upbringing and dangerous relationship along with his mother, which created an overall resentment in the direction of girls perfectly qualify him to slot in the “Life Course Theory” and “Social Disorganization Theory”. Seeing as Amanda Berry is a feminine, and thus was unable to overpower her abductor due to lack in bodily power and was only sixteen-years-old when she was kidnapped definitely make her fall within the feminine and younger typologies of victims. We can try to perceive the character of crime and why the sure victims had been chosen by the offenders, but the fact is that the human thoughts could be very complicated, and we’re unable to be 100% correct in relation to pinpointing the origins of these behaviors.

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"Ariel Castro”s crimes study" StudyScroll, Dec 25, 2021.

"Ariel Castro”s crimes study" StudyScroll, 25-Dec-2021. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 6-Dec-2023]

StudyScroll. (2021). Ariel Castro”s crimes study. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 6-Dec-2023]

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