TODAY | July 29, 2013
>> cleveland kidnapping case that made headlines around the world. one of the victims, amanda berry made her first public appearance at a concert one day after ariel castro agreed to a plea deal that will put him behind bars for life without parole . his son anthony castro is with us exclusively now. good morning. it's good to see you.
>> good morning.
>> let's start there. what do you think of the sentence your father got? did he get what he deserved?
>> i think it's the best possible sentence. i think if he can't control his impulses and he really doesn't have any value for human life the way this case has shown then behind bars is the way he belongs for the rest of his life.
>> the prosecutors did consider the death penalty in this case. would you have been okay with that punishment?
>> it would have been tough to accept because death penalty cases are -- you end up in court a lot so they come back a lot more often. i think this way is a lot better because, you know, he has put himself away and he will be away for the rest of his life.
>> would you ever visit him in jail?
>> right now i can't see any scenario where i would go visit him? he's been lying to his family for the past ten or 11 years at every possible turn. i have no trust in him. i can't see myself going to visit him and giving him the opportunity to face me and lie to me again.
>> let me take you back to that day in may when the world found out that he had been keeping these three women captive for a period of more than ten years. what was your initial reaction?
>> well, i first found out that the girls had been found. gina and amanda had been found. and it wasn't until a little bit later that details started to come in. so my first feeling was, you know, overwhelming joy because this was a case where it captivated our city for so long. and, you know, it was shortly there after where my father's name and picture started to come out and, you know, it really became real to me when the 911 call started to be played and a heard amanda berry say his name and that was the toughest moment. that's when it became real.
>> were you shocked?
>> i was shocked because of the magnitude of such a crime. i don't think i could imagine anyone doing that, let alone to find out it was my own flesh and blood , my father. however, i did grow up in a house with a lot of fear and a lot of violence. and so the fact that this was a violent case, no, it didn't surprise me.
>> you have talked about that. growing up, you were abused. your mom was terribly abused according to you and your siblings. tell me about what it was like to live under his roof.
>> incredibly strict. he had a temper. he wasn't, you know, a monster 24/7. but if you crossed him, there would be consequences and those more often than not would be physical consequences. i remember crying myself to sleep when i was a kid because i was, you know, my legs are covered in welts from belts, you know and seeing my mom getting beat up in our own home and no one should ever have have to see their mom in a corner in the floor the way i did so many times.
>> so many people have wondered whether anyone in the family could possibly have known. had you been inside that house during the time period when we now know these three women were being held.
>> yes, i had been there a few times. more often than not, on the outside only. but when i did go in the house, i would always enter through the back door. that's where my father would flag me in and we would talk in the kitchen. we would be there 15, 20 minutes .
>> did you ever see any signs that in retrospect that you wonder about? did he have locks on the doors or that kind of thing?
>> well, the locks on the doors weren't unusual. when we live there had there were locks on the basement door, attic door, windows were nailed shot.
>> when you were a child there were places you just couldn't go.
>> when you think about what these women have gone through, does it haunt you?
>> it does. it's been about -- a little less than three months since we learned about all of this and it's been a three-month nightmare. obviously, nothing to compare to what the girls went through but, you know, this has been incredibly hard.
>> do you think about the fact that this is your father, this is your flesh and blood , is it hard to handle being related to someone who is capable of such cruelty.
>> absolutely. and what's who phorrifying is i have the same first and last name. i look in the mirror and i see the resemblance and i think about what he did and how horrible it was and i just can't help sometimes just being overcome with that.
>> your mom would have turned 50 tomorrow.
>> in some ways, do you think about this as justice for her and what she went through? the fact that he will now spend the rest of his life in prison ?
>> i do. i really do. i think that she will be there. the first morning he wakes up in prison, you know and the sunshines down, that's going to be her justice.
>> it wasn't easy for you to come out and speak publicly, to show your face. why did you want to? what message would you want to send?
>> i really wanted to thank the people that were the closest to me and helped me through this. you know, my best friends and my coworkers have been incredibly understanding and have been there for me. and i really want to thank them for that and i also want to just express how happy i am that because of all of this my father will never be able to hurt anyone ever again.
>> if you had anything to say to him, what would it be?
>> i have nothing to say to him.
>> anthony castro , thank you for being here this morning. we appreciate it.