Photos of Ariel Castro’s backyard show barbed wire, rusty chains and other instruments of torture
Ariel Castro had spools of barbed wired tossed about his backyard alongside heavy metal chains and rolls of tarp that he used to hide his neighbor’s view, new photographs reveal.
The collection of discarded items piled up in the garden of the “house of horrors” come in stark contrast to the discarded Barbie bicycle that was likely used by Jocelyn, the daughter Ariel Castro fathered with Amanda Berry.
Police have sealed the scene as they continue to search for clues inside the Seymour Avenue home in west Cleveland, but the photos show that Ariel Castro did much of the blocking off himself.
While police were the ones to replace the back door with a piece of fresh plywood, Ariel Castro had taken out the windows from the back of the house and completely blocked them with gray wood to keep any neighbors from looking into his home.
CNN obtained the photos from a neighbor who chose to remain anonymous.
It appears that the person hopped the fence into the yard because they were able to photograph certain items- like the child’s bike- at a very close distance.
Another chilling clue into Castro’s psyche is the fact that he installed mirrors above his back door.
The angle at which they were left shows that he used them in order to see if anyone was coming up his driveway without his knowledge.
This confirms the story of former friends of Ariel Castro, who said that when they would go over to his home, he would always jump out from the back door as they were walking up, meaning that even if they were going over unannounced he knew they were coming.
The most dramatic items that were spotted in the backyard are the spools of barbed wire and the rusty chains.
Both were likely used to keep the three young women captive inside his home for roughly a decade.
Michelle Knight went missing in 2002, Amanda Berry in 2003 and Gina DeJesus in 2004, and all three were found alive in Ariel Castro’s home early last week.
Portions of their interviews with police have been released, including the disclosure that during the first few years of their captivity, the 52-year-old former bus driver used chains hanging from the basement ceiling to keep them under his control.
One of the pictured chains is lying close to a pulley, which suggests that it was like one used in the basement ceiling so that he would have been able to determine how taut or loose the chain was- and, in turn, how high off the ground the girls were forced to be.
The neighbor who took the photographs said that there were “hundreds” of chains scattered about the back yard.
Several items in the backyard would have looked ordinary to neighbors- as there are two red bicycles leaning against one of the fences that may have belonged to his grandchildren who visited the house and never knew about the captive women.
The same could be deducted for the toy basketball hoop.
That said, the decision to use large sheets of blue, green and gray tarp to hide his backyard from the neighbors’ houses only a stone’s throw away.
Police have boarded up the house – only the portions that he hadn’t blocked off already- as they continue to scour for evidence while preparing for Ariel Castro’s eventual trial.
The photographs came out on the same day as it was revealed that utility workers visited his home roughly 160 times in the ten years that the women were held against their will, but none of them reported any suspicious activity.
The young women were freed after one of them, Amanda Berry, was able to get the attention of a neighbor by breaking part of the front door when Ariel Castro had left “the big inside door” unlocked while going to McDonald’s last Monday.