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Cleveland kidnap victim says was hung on the wall like ornament

Michelle Knight, one of the three kidnapped women, pauses to wipe away tears as she reads her statements during the sentencing of her accuse
Michelle Knight, one of the three kidnapped women, pauses to wipe away tears as she reads her statements during the sentencing of her accuse

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - One of the three Cleveland women who survived years of imprisonment after being kidnapped by Ariel Castro gave details about her ordeal in a television interview on Monday including being tied up and hung on the wall like an ornament.

"He tied me up like a fish, an ornament on the wall. That's the only way I can describe it," Michelle Knight, 32, told Phil McGraw in a taping for his "Dr. Phil" syndicated TV program.

The interview in which Knight tells of her 11 years in Castro's Cleveland home will be aired on Tuesday and Wednesday. CBS television provided excerpts on Monday.

Knight was the first of the three women to be kidnapped by the bus driver, followed by Amanda Berry, 27, in 2003 and Gina DeJesus, 23, in 2004. The women escaped in May, along with Berry's 6-year-old daughter, whom Castro had fathered.

Their story captured worldwide attention. Castro was found hanging in his prison cell in September, a month after he pleaded guilty to almost 1,000 charges of rape, kidnapping, torture and aggravated murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Knight said Castro promised her, "When I get two other girls in the house, then I'll let you go."

The other two women are planning a book about their ordeal, working with Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post writers Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan.

Knight had been the only one of the three to testify at Castro's sentencing after he had agreed to a life term to avoid a death sentence.

She said in the interview with the "Dr. Phil" show that she was the "most hated" of the victims. At one point, she said she picked a lock and tried to escape, and Castro told her, "Now you're going to be punished."

(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Writing by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Greg McCune and Leslie Gevirtz)

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