CLEVELAND --The story behind the man accused of raping and kidnapping Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight continues to unfold.
"He was awful, look, the guy always creeped me out,” said Ariel Castro’s former
sister-in-law, Laura Hudson. “Ever since from the beginning I didn't like him."
Hudson had a common law marriage with Onil Castro, the youngest brother of Ariel and Pedro Castro, from 1981 to 1994. All three were arrested Monday night in relation to the kidnapping of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight. Police announced Wednesday that Ariel would be the only suspect charged with three counts of rape and four counts of kidnapping.
"Ariel? I can see it,” said Hudson. “Honestly, I could see that now that I'm looking back, definitely not Pedro or Onil."
Hudson told Fox 8 News I-Team Reporter Lorrie Taylor she is still friends with Onil, who is the father of her two sons. She said she was convinced of Onil and Pedro’s innocence long before police announced they would not charged. She said the two were incapable of committing such crimes and of keeping quiet.
"Especially if he was drunk, him or Pedro would have blurted it out to somebody in the family or somebody, you know? So I just know they're not involved,” she said.
She said she had no such faith in 52-year-old Ariel, whose abusive nature was common knowledge amongst family members. Hudson told Taylor she was not surprised to hear the horrifying details in a 2005 petition for a protection order filed by Grimilda Figueroa, Ariel's deceased common law wife.
She told the court Castro broke her nose twice, broke her ribs, that he knocked out a tooth, caused a blood clot on her brain, dislocated her shoulder twice and threatened to kill her and their daughters.
"Now that I'm looking back,” said Hudson, “just how weird he was sometimes and violent to his wife, and controlling to her, not letting her walk to the store or just little things like that, you know, he was never allowed out of her sight."
Hudson said Figueroa came to her for advice on leaving Castro.
“I told her just take the kids and leave and she did,” said Hudson.
Knight disappeared in August of 2002, Berry went missing in April of 2003, and DeJesus disappeared in April of 2004.