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Yet there is no neat and tidy explanation as to how they do it.
“Core elements are keeping hope up in some way: thinking about the future, and having something to occupy your mind so you’re not dwelling on it all the time,” says David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.
It dawns on me that someone who was held captive for over a decade—raped, beaten, starved, chained and rarely let outside—would of course want to stop and watch the clouds float by.
We’re sitting outside a restaurant in downtown Cleveland.
On her chest, a baby and the phrase “Too beautiful for this Earth.” On her right calf, there’s a large face, part skeleton and part flesh.
“This tattoo represents my life from the past and my life in the future.
Suddenly, Knight felt herself being roughly hoisted into the air.Knight, who’s 34 now, wears a magenta and black-leopard-print blouse, dark jeans and pink lipstick.She gently pats her short blond hair and points to a meaty green animal tattooed around her right wrist. She raises her left sleeve and drops her shoulder, revealing five large roses cascading down her arm, each one covered in drops of blood.The appointment, with social services, was to discuss how she might regain custody of her 2-year-old son, who’d been placed in foster care a few months earlier after her mother’s boyfriend got drunk and, Knight says, became abusive and broke the boy’s leg.It was August 2002—years before smartphones and Google Maps—and after nearly four hours of wrong turns, Knight spotted the Family Dollar store. Knight was about to walk out when she heard a male voice: “I know exactly where that is.” She looked up and saw a man with thick, messy hair and a potbelly, dressed in black jeans and a stained flannel shirt.“Oh my gosh, you’re Emily’s dad! Standing before her was Ariel Castro, the father of a girl she knew from the neighborhood. Castro’s orange Chevy was littered with Big Mac wrappers and Chinese food containers.