Cleveland kidnap victims’ thank-you video: ‘Through hell and back’

Three Cleveland women who were held captive for up to 11 years released a YouTube video Monday night thanking people for their help and for respecting their privacy.

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were rescued by neighbors and police two months ago after Berry called 911: “Help me, I’m Amanda Berry.... I need police.... I’ve been kidnapped. I’ve been missing for 10 years; I’m here, I’m free now.”

Police rushed to the home and found her along with the other two women and a 6-year-old girl, born to Berry during her captivity.


Berry was 16 when she disappeared on April 21, 2003. DeJesus was 14 when she went missing a year later. Knight vanished in 2002 at age 20.

In the new video, Berry says, “I want everyone to know how happy I am to be home with my family and my friends…. I’m getting stronger each day, and having my privacy has helped immensely. I ask that everyone continue to respect our privacy and give us time to have a normal life.”

DeJesus and Knight thanked everyone for their help and donations.

“I want everyone to know I’m doing just fine,” Knight said. “I may have been through hell and back, but I’m strong enough to walk through hell with a smile on my face and with my head held high. … I will not let the situation define who I am.”

Ariel Castro, 52, faces more than 300 charges, including kidnapping and rape, and could face the death penalty.


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