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Folk hero in Cleveland kidnapping case signs book deal

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - Charles Ramsey, the Cleveland dishwasher who became an instant celebrity after he helped save three women from a decade-long kidnapping ordeal, has signed a deal to write his memoirs.

Ramsey, 44, became a national sensation in May for his colorful recounting of breaking Amanda Berry out of the home of kidnapper Ariel Castro, where she had been held captive for years along with two other women, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, and her six-year-old daughter.

Castro pleaded guilty to 937 counts including aggravated murder for forcing Knight to miscarry. One month into his life sentence, he was found hanged in his cell. His death was later ruled a suicide.

Ramsey, whose role in helping save the women won him free hamburgers for life from McDonald's, signed the book deal with local Cleveland publishing company Gray & Company late last week.

He and co-author Randy Nyerges, who co-wrote a book with a former Cleveland Browns football player and served as a staff speechwriter in the U.S. Senate, have been working on the memoir since early December, the publisher said.

"Ramsey will give a detailed account of the day of the rescue. He'll describe living next door to kidnapper Ariel Castro while unaware that the women were being held captive in his neighbor's house," a press release from the publisher said.

All three women who survived the ordeal have announced plans to publish books in the next two years.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer)

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