CLEVELAND (AP) — The first of three women who were kidnapped and held for a decade in a Cleveland home described kidnapper Ariel Castro as cowardly when he died in prison in what was ruled a suicide.
"He took a coward's way out," Michelle Knight said in a taped interview Wednesday on the "Dr Phil" show.
It was the second part of an interview in which Knight spoke of being beaten, chained and sexually and emotionally abused from the time she was kidnapped in 2002 until she and the other two women escaped this year.
Knight was kidnapped when she was about 20, and said Castro told her repeatedly that he could abuse her because nobody would care.
Knight, who cried at times during the interview, also spoke about having five miscarriages in captivity. She says Castro punched and kicked her in the stomach.
She also described her reaction upon realizing she was finally free.
"I wanted to kiss the ground that I was walking on and thank God for letting me get out of that hell hole," she told the TV host.
Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus escaped from Castro's house May 6 when Berry pushed out a door and called for help. Knight has been the most public since, including a visit to Castro's neighborhood before his house was demolished.
Castro, 53, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. A month into his sentence, he was found dead in his cell. His hanging death was ruled a suicide, but a prison report indicated he may have died accidentally while choking himself for a sexual thrill.