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Cleveland woman held captive 11 years to write memoir

Michelle Knight, one of the three kidnapped women, pauses to wipe away tears as she reads her statements during the sentencing of her accuse
Michelle Knight, one of the three kidnapped women, pauses to wipe away tears as she reads her statements during the sentencing of her accuse

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - The Cleveland kidnapper's longest-held survivor will write a memoir recounting her 11 years in captivity, a publishing company announced on Monday.

Michelle Knight, 32, the first of the three woman kidnapped and held prisoner by Ariel Castro "will tell the full story of her ordeal for the first time" in a book co-written with Michelle Burford, who worked on the memoir by Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas, according to Weinstein Books.

Knight's book is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2014.

The other two Castro kidnap victims, Amanda Berry, 27, and Gina DeJesus, 23, previously announced they are working on a book with Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporters Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan. No date has been announced for the release of that book.

The three women, and Berry's 6-year-old daughter fathered by Castro, escaped from the house in May.

Castro pleaded guilty to nearly 1,000 counts, including kidnapping, rape and aggravated murder for causing Knight to miscarry by beating and starving her. He was sentenced to life in prison, but was found hanged in his cell just one month into his sentence.

Knight was the only one of Castro's victims to speak in person at Castro's August sentence hearing and has given an interview to television personality Phil McGraw, which was broadcast earlier in November.

"I want to give every victim of violence a new outlook on life," Knight said in a statement announcing the memoir. "We shall define ourselves not as victims but as victors, and this will lead us to peace."

(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Andre Grenon)

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