CLEVELAND -- Channel 3 News has learned of new and surprising details in the Cleveland kidnapping case that captured the world's attention.
Craig Weintraub, one of two attorneys representing Ariel Castro, said in an exclusive interview with the Investigator Tom Meyer that Castro deliberately left doors to his house unlocked for months preceding the day Amanda, Gina and Michelle escaped after being held hostage for a decade.
"He intentionally became much more negligent in the house about locking the door and keeping them inside," Weintraub said.
Weintraub says Castro told him that things were changing inside his house of horrors about six months to a year prior to escape. He told Amanda that he knew the end was near.
"It wasn't going well any longer. His daughter was at an age that she should not be in the house anymore. She needed to be in school and be in a normal environment, and she needed friends," Weintraub said.
Castro explained that he had become attached to the daughter he had with Amanda. Weintraub said Castro dismissed any thoughts of killing the three women because of his relationship with the child.
"He didn't have the courage to go to the Police Department and surrender, and the only way this was going to happen is if he was negligent and allowed them to leave the house and be able to find a way out while he was gone a few hours," Weintraub said.
Weintraub has seen home videos of the group celebrating Easter and Christmas. The videos are now in the possession of the FBI and are not being released.
"What was startling to me was watching the videos of the Easter celebrations in the house, searching for Easter eggs, hunting for Easter eggs, as well as the Christmas celebration like it was a normal family," said Weintraub.
Weintraub called Castro a sociopath who created a fake family and lived in some type of fantasy world.
Castro told Weintraub that he and the women would joke about the books they'd be able to write once everything ended.
Castro often toyed with Weintraub, preferring to talk to him naked inside his jail cell and avoiding tough questions about evidence by ordering Weintraub to turn off the air conditioning.
Castro told Weintraub that he knew he would spend the rest of his life in prison. Weintraub said he wasn't the least bit surprised Castro killed himself because he says Castro demonstrated suicidal tendencies in the Cuyahoga County Jail and when he was transferred to Lorain Correctional.
"There weren't any cemeteries that would take his remains. They certainly don't want to be subject to vandalism," Weintraub said.
Weintraub and his co-counsel, Jay Schlachet, were the subject of death threats but have no regrets taking on the case.
Weintraub says a number of Castro's family members have been verbally abused and harassed during the past year. Castro's son, Anthony, changed his name after his home was ransacked and profanity was scrawled on his front door.