Elation over the women's rescue turned to shock as details emerged about their captivity. Castro fathered a child with Berry while she was being held. The girl was 6 when she was freed.
Investigators also disclosed that the women were bound with chains, repeatedly raped and deprived of food and bathroom facilities.
Knight told authorities that Castro impregnated her repeatedly and made her miscarry by starving her and punching her in the belly. Berry said she was forced to give birth in a plastic kiddie pool.
On Castro's old street Wednesday, freshly planted landscaping was in bloom on the site where his house stood before it was demolished by the city a month ago.
Castro "took the easy way out," said James King, who lives down the street. "He knew what he did was wrong, so he killed himself."
No one answered the door at the home of Castro's mother and brother.
Castro's lawyers tried unsuccessfully to have a psychological examination of Castro done in jail before he was turned over to state authorities, his attorney, Jaye Schlachet, said Wednesday. Schlachet would not comment further.
Michael Casey, director of the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy outside Chicago, said a notorious figure like Castro would have been more apt to be harmed by other inmates, citing the case of Jeffrey Dahmer, the Milwaukee cannibal who was beaten to death in prison in 1994.
He said that given the way Castro managed to hide his crimes for so long, he probably would have been able to conceal any suicidal tendencies from his jailers.
The prison where Castro hanged himself, a so-called reception center for newly arrived inmates, is crowded with nearly twice the 900 prisoners it was meant to hold, according to state figures.
Stress is high and assaults are up at the prison, said Tim Shafer, an official with the guards' union. But he said: "Just like out in the public, suicides happen, and you just can't prevent every one of them."
Associated Press writers Thomas J. Sheeran in Cleveland, Kantele Franko and Julie Carr Smyth in Columbus and Allen Breed in Raleigh, N.C., contributed to this report.
Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/awhcolumbus.
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