“It’s A Wild Stretch” to Say Cleveland Police Ignored Major Clues On Women


Cleveland police didn’t ignore important clues in the case of three women who were confined in a home for a decade, says Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Mark Naymik. Cops are being blamed for missing what the critics say is an obvious sign: the blinds on the house, owned by Ariel Castro, were always down. Naymik says: “It’s a wild stretch to suggest such a thing. Walk the short street and you’ll notice several houses that looked shuttered. If broken windows, sheets and always darkened windows are signs of crime, cops will have to raid homes all over the city.”

Neighbors claiming they told the police about mysterious doings but got no response. Among the most salacious claims is that police failed to respond to a report that a naked woman on a leash was seen in Castro’s backyard. Police say they have no records to support that such calls were made, and it’s hard to imagine that any cop would ignore reports of a naked woman on leash. Police did visit the Castro house on tips unrelated to the missing women, but they did so with no suspicion or legal cause to enter the home. The disappearances of two of the women have been ever-present in the consciousness of the public and the police, Naymik says. He does note some of the “the subtle signs, such as the lowered shades or odd behavior of Castro and how he never entertained guests,” and says, “These are the kinds of signs that police officers who patrol a specific beat over time might notice or hear about from neighbors. But that kind of patrol disappeared when community policing ended.”

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