Ohio kidnapping survivors working on book


In a statement issued on Monday to the Associated Press, an attorney for Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus said they will be working with Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporters Mary Jordan and her husband and fellow reporter, Kevin Sullivan.

According to the statement, no meetings with publishers have been scheduled. Negotiations for the book will be handled by Washington-based attorney Robert Barnett, whose clients have included President Barack Obama and Amanda Knox.

James Wooley, Berry and DeJesus' attorney, said his clients are aiming to clear up inaccuracies about their story.

"Our clients have a strong desire for privacy, but it is a reality that confronts them every day. Gina, Amanda and their families have decided to take control and are now interested in telling the story of what happened to them," said Wooley.

In his statement, Wooley said he had known Jordan for years and contacted her about the project. Jordan, a Cleveland native, told the AP during a recent interview that she was drawn to the "resilience" of Berry and DeJesus and was eager to help them tell an "amazing story of overcoming adversity." In 2003, she and Sullivan won a Pulitzer for their series about the Mexican criminal justice system.

Berry, DeJesus and Michelle Knight were all 20 or younger when they were kidnapped between 2002 and 2004 by Ariel Castro, a former school bus driver. They were rescued from Castro's house on May 6 when Berry broke through a screen door and called 911. Investigators said the women were bound, repeatedly raped and deprived of food and bathroom facilities.

Castro was sentenced Aug. 1 to life in prison plus 1,000 years after pleading guilty to 937 counts, including kidnapping and rape, in a deal to avoid the death penalty. He hanged himself in his cell in September.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.