Google Maps Blocks Out House On Ordinary Street For Chilling Reason
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Google Maps can show you anywhere around the world – within reason – but there's one place in particular you won't be able to see.
A seemingly ordinary street in Cleveland, Ohio, will show you the suburban houses that reside there - all except for one.
One house has been blurred from view, and for a chilling reason.
2208 Seymour Avenue is completely hidden from view by Google, no matter how hard you try to zoom in. The house was home to abuser Ariel Castro and is where he kept three women for almost a decade. Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were all locked up in Castro's home and regularly abused while being held in captivity.
Prior to the house being blurred from view, it was an ordinary looking home on the suburban street. The two-storey building has four bedrooms, a bathroom, a 760sq ft (71sq m) basement, two porches, an attic and a detached garage. From the outside, it hides the true horror of what was happening within.
When the authorities conducted their investigation after the three women were released, they found tape and chains used to restrain the women. Each woman had their own room, which they were regularly locked inside and given buckets to use for the bathroom.
The three women were abducted between 2002 and 2004 after Castro offered them lifts before bringing them to his home and subjecting them to mental, physical and sexual abuse until they escaped in 2013.
Michelle was Castro's first victim and was just 21 when she disappeared in August 2002. She disappeared the day before she was due to appear in court at a custody hearing concerning her young son, Joey.
Next, Castro abducted Amanda, who vanished the day before her 17th birthday in April 2003 on her way home from work at Burger King. She gave birth to Castro’s child on Christmas Day three years later. He named the baby Jocelyn.
Castro's third victim was fourteen-year-old Gina. She was on her way home from school when she went missing in April 2004. She later said how she accepted a lift from Castro because she was a friend of one his teenage daughters who lived with his former partner Grimilda Figueroa.
The three women eventually escaped their 'prison' in Castro's basement when they were left alone in the house unattended. A neighbour, Mr Ramsey, saw Amanda shouting for help and came to their rescue.
In 2013, Castro was sentenced to life plus 1,000 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to 937 counts of kidnapping and rape.
Just a month after sentencing, he was found dead in his prison cell after committing suicide.