Tony Dejak / AP
An FBI agent watches as the house where three women were held captive and raped for more than a decade is being demolished Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013, in Cleveland.
Don't bother looking for macabre mementoes from Ariel Castro's Cleveland house of horrors on eBay.
The remains of the home where Castro held three women against their wills for more than a decade will be trucked to an undisclosed landfill where the planks will be shredded and pulverized before being allowed to rot.
“It’s all being very carefully hauled away to a landfill so no one will have access to that there,” said Joseph Frolik, director of communications for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. “There’s that concern that people might look for sort of ghoulish souvenirs, taking pieces of it.”
Possessions from inside the house including furniture and appliances were trucked to a landfill where they were compacted, smashed, and buried, said Cuyahoga Land Bank President Gus Frangos.
Building materials from the house, which was knocked down with a backhoe in about 90 minutes on Wednesday morning, were taken to a construction debris site to be pulverized, he said.
Employees from the Land Bank oversaw the whole process, said Frangos.
“This is a standard and normal demolition in terms of taking it down and transporting and doing that,” Frangos said. “What is not conventional is that we’re supervising the materials and making sure that they don’t get off-loaded for souvenirs or anything of that sort.”
Frangos said he wanted to prevent any “unsavory kind of trafficking in debris” from Castro’s house.
It wouldn’t be the first time gore profiteers tried to make a quick buck off a brutal Cleveland crime. A website sold gram-bags of soil from serial killer Anthony Sowell’s home for $25 apiece, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported in 2011.
The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department and Cleveland Police maintained a detail at the site of Castro’s home on Wednesday, said Detective Jennifer Ciaccia, a public information officer for the police department.
Michelle Knight, who described her captivity in the house as "11 years in hell" at Castro's sentencing hearing, released dozens of yellow balloons with the help of Seymour Ave. neighbors on Wednesday morning.
Cleveland-area contractor Independence Excavating did the demolition free of charge, despite a provision in Castro’s plea deal that he pay about $20,000 to tear down the house he used to imprison Knight, Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry. Prosecutors said on Wednesday that the three women had declined the money and asked that it be given to the neighborhood.
Castro was sentenced to life in prison without parole plus an additional thousand years on Aug.1 after he pleaded guilty to a 937-count indictment that included rape, kidnapping, and aggravated murder charges.
First published August 7 2013, 10:12 AM