Cleveland Abduction (2016 Lifetime)

Taryn Manning’s at her best.

Cleveland Abduction (2016 Lifetime)

Cast: Taryn ManningRaymond CruzKatie Sarife

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

A single mother who becomes the first victim of kidnapper Ariel Castro finds herself trapped in his home for 11 years, where she eventually becomes a friend and sister to two other women who are taken captive by Castro.

Thoughts

If you don’t know about this case. It is extremely disturbing.

Michelle is a single out of work mother. When she goes for a job interview, her mother’s boyfriend assaults her son, and he is placed into protective child services. Michelle moves out of her mother’s house and tries to get her life together to get her son back. She befriends a neighbor named Emily.

While late to a court hearing, Ariel Castro (a neighbor) offers her a ride. He tells her that he has some puppies back at his house. Since Michelle knows Emily, she figures it is okay and goes to check out the dogs. Ariel Castro locks Michelle in a room, ties her up with an extension cord, and smashes her glasses. He tells her that he wants to be friends and needs someone to be there since his wife and kids recently left him. She suspends her in the air while she is hogtied so she can’t getaway. Out of the window, she can see the neighborhood carrying on as usual.

Ariel Castro moves Michelle to the basement and tells her that everyone thinks she abandoned her son as she chains her to a pole. No one is looking for her. He even has people over at his house for dinners and band practice. The man is emboldened. He keeps Michelle chained and naked for his sexual satisfaction.  

As time goes by, Michelle waits for Castro to make a mistake. One day as he heads off to work, he doesn’t correctly lock her chains, and she seizes the chance to escape. It is a test, and she is waiting downstairs for her. To punish her, he kills her puppy. Unsatisfied with his first kidnapping victim, Castro attacks and kidnaps seventeen-year-old Amanda Berry. He chains her up and keeps in the room next door. 

Michelle is pregnant and more desperate to get out than ever. She holds out hope to be rescued by the police when a neighbor sees her in the backyard. More neighbors start calling the police when they hear screaming in Ariel Castro’s house. He kidnaps a middle schooler next named Gina DeJesus. The three missing teenagers begin to share what they know about Castro and promise to help one another get out alive. They do push-ups together to gain strength. 

Castro is overly confident because he has now kidnapped three girls. He even goes to Gina. DeJesus’s candlelight vigil. Years go by, and they eventually earn his trust. He unchains them, and they have dinner together. 

Amanda Berry goes into labor, and Michelle helps deliver the baby in a kiddie pool while being held at gunpoint. More years go by, and the baby grows into a young girl. Michelle has been held captive for ten years. 

Castro leaves, the door opens, and Amanda Barry screams for help. They are rescued, and police are called to the scene and find Gina and Michelle upstairs. They can’t believe it. Neither can the women who have been held in captivity for years. The depiction of them leaving the house is very impactful and emotional. The neighbors look on in shock and terror.

Amanda and Gina return to their families, but Michelle only gets a hamburger and fries. She wants help finding her son and asks the nurses to help her. Lucky for Michelle, her nurse is Pam Grier, and there is also Agent Solano to help. They take care of her and support her through her PTSD. Encouraging her to testify against Ariel Castro, She tells him that he deserves to spend his life in prison. 

Castro is sentenced to 1000 years in prison and hangs himself after one month. 

The house is torn down, and Michelle releases yellow balloons into the air.

Side Note

Minority Report: Store owner, Boyfriend, Neighbor, Castro, Gina, Carla, FBI Agent, Dr. Elaine, Michael, 

Read about the true story here. 

Based on survivor Michelle Knight‘s memoir and filmed in Cleveland, Ohio. 

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Overall rating

🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪 (5 Knives)

🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required.)

*Photo Credit: © 2015 Lifetime

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