Two of the Cleveland kidnapping victims – Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus – are collaborating with a Pulitzer Prize-winning team of Washington Post reporters for a planned book about their captivity in the house of horrors.
Amanda Berry was abducted in April 2003. A year before her abduction, on August 23, 2002, Michelle Knight was kidnapped. In 2004, Gina deJesus joined them.
Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus said they will work with Washington Post‘s Mary Jordan, a Cleveland native, and her husband and fellow reporter, Kevin Sullivan.
Up to now, no meetings with publishers have been scheduled, although interest would likely be based on the popularity of another kidnapping survivor’s memoir, Jaycee Dugard’s A Stolen Life.
Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro had been sentenced to life in prison, plus 1,000 years, but was found dead in his jail cell on September 3.
“Many have told, and continue to tell, this story in ways that are both inaccurate and beyond the control of these young women,” said James Wooley, the attorney for Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus.
“Our clients have a strong desire for privacy, but it is a reality that confronts them every day. Gina, Amanda and their families have decided to take control and are now interested in telling the story of what happened to them.”
James Wooley had known Mary Jordan for years and contacted her about the project.
Mary Jordan said during a recent interview that she was drawn to the “resilience” of Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus and was eager to help them tell an “amazing story of overcoming adversity”.
In 2003, Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan won a Pulitzer for their series about the Mexican criminal justice system.
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