From left to right: Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight
Between 2004-2006, Ariel Castro kidnapped Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight, and held the girls captive for over ten years. They were raped, beaten, and Berry gave birth to a child fathered by Castro.
Now two of the survivors are teaming up with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Mary Jordan to tell their story in a book, Cleveland.com reports. No publishing date is set.
Jordan, who writes for The Washington Post, grew up on Cleveland’s West Side and said that she has always been attracted to stories of human resilience.
“There has been a lot out there, but nobody knows their amazing story and it’s their story,” Jordan said. “I’m helping them do it.”
Throughout the trial and conviction of Ariel Castro, details of his victims’ captivity emerged through court records and police reports, yet all three women have remained silent as to how they survived the decade-long trauma.
The girls have decided to write about their past to regain control over the narrative of their captivity, said their lawyer James R. Wooley.
“Many have told, and continue to tell, this story in ways that are both inaccurate and beyond the control of these young women,” said Wooley. “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. “
Berry and DeJesus spent a decade trapped inside the West Cleveland home of Ariel Castro, along with a third victim, before escaping on May 6 after Berry kicked out a panel in the front door and called out for help.
Wooley said that he approached Jordan to help his clients write their story.
“Mary will collaborate with Gina and Amanda to help them write this book,” he said. “Mary did not seek me out or ask to be involved. I went to her for help, knowing I could trust her, which meant everything to me.”
“It’s all about each of them being in control.”
Amanda Berry, middle, with her sister, after being released from captivity in May, 2013.