Nightly News   |  August 07, 2013

Michelle Knight: ‘I feel very liberated’

Since her rescue, Cleveland kidnap survivor Michelle Knight has chosen to speak publically several times, which may be her way of bringing closure. On Wednesday, Ariel Castro’s home was demolished, as neighbors prayed. NBC’s John Yang reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> it was both an end and a new beginning today in cleveland as the infamous house where three women were held in captivity for more tan a decade was torn down. one of those women talked about a fresh start after losing so many years of her life. nbc's john yang is in cleveland for us tonight. john?

>> reporter: good evening, lester. tearing down castro's house was part of the plea bargain. he signed over the deed as part of the deal. when the house came down today it was a very emotion al event. in a little more than an hour workers tore down the home where three young women were held for 11 years. for amandaymamanda berry, michelle knight and gina dejesus it may not be erased easily. knight gave out yellow balloons saying they represent missing children who never were found. she re-elised some in the sky.

>> nobody was there for me when i was missing. i want people out there to know including the mothers that they can have strength. they can have hope.

>> reporter: after the final wall fell, some neighbors prayed. knight spoke of her own faith saying he wants to be a messenger.

>> i feel very liberated that people think of me as a hero and a role model. i would love to continue being that.

>> reporter: since her rescue knight has chosen to speak publically at pivotal times.

>> i'm doing just fine.

>> reporter: last week we deninetily confronting her captor at his sentencing.

>> from this moment on i will not let you define me or who i am. i spent 11 years in hell. now your hell is just beginning.

>> reporter: the psychiatrist who testified last week today called her an inspiration.

>> she is a survivor. she's feisty. she's taken enormous abuse and has it in her to turn that around.

>> reporter: a facebook page supporting her has thousands of likes. today the 32-year-old said she wants to be a voice for the missing.

>> i go from here to becoming a motivational speaker and let everyone know they are heard. they are loved. there is hope for everyone.

>> reporter: the demolition was to have been paid for with $22,000 that the police found stashed in castro's washing machine. but the contractor said he'd do it for free. officials offered the money to the women. the three women said, no, they want the money to go to the neighborhood. lester?

>> john yang in cleveland tonight for us. thanks.