Is Cleveland Abduction a True Story and is it on Netflix in the UK?

True crime dramas continue to dominate the charts on streaming, with recent hits such as Netflix ’s Tinder Swindler and Worst Roommate Ever showing the genre isn’t slowing down.

Now 2015’s Cleveland Abduction has joined the group and it has taken social media by storm.

Viewers are branding it disturbing, shocking and completely brutal, but most are left wondering how real this story is.

With most true crime dramas, the real story can be even more unsettling and that’s definitely the case with this one.

Here is everything you need to know about the Lifetime film that doesn’t hold anything back.


What is the Cleveland Abduction about?

This film recounts the horrendous story of Michelle Knight’s kidnapping, who was 21 when she was captured, and her subsequent 11 years held in captivity in Ariel Castro’s house of horrors.

She was subjected to all manner of horrific abuses by Castro, who didn’t stop with Michelle.

In what was then known as the Ohio Kidnappings, he also abducted Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus between 2002 and 2004.

All three women were chained up in his house, locked to a bed or even a heater furnace.

The film focuses on the bond the three women share as they try desperately to hold up hope that one day they might escape.


Is the Cleveland Abduction based on a true story?

The film’s poster isn’t lying when it says it’s “based on a true story”.

Sadly, Knight’s, Berry’s and DeJesus’ ordeal was very real and the story behind it is more shocking than the film itself.

Knight was first captured by Castro in August 2002.

She was on her way to her son’s custody hearing when she got lost in Castro’s neighbourhood.

He offered her a lift in his car after checking in with his daughter, giving Knight a puppy on the way.

This was a trap, and he soon overpowered Michelle and told her that she would never see her son again.

Speaking to ABC after her escape, Michelle explained: “He said, ‘You’re not gonna leave for a long time.’ And then he starts undressing himself. I dropped to the floor begging him to let me go.

“Begging him, saying, ‘I need to get my son. This can’t happen.’ He ripped my son’s picture right in front of me – the only picture I had – and said, ‘You will never see him.’ That hurt so bad.”


When was Amanda Berry kidnapped?

His next victim was Amanda Berry, who Castro lured back to his house with the offer of meeting his daughter in April 2003.

Both their children went to elementary school together, so Amanda thought he could be trusted.

When she arrived at his house, she got a glimpse of Michelle moments before being chained herself.

Speaking to ABC, Amanda said: “He took me to the basement and he taped my wrist and he taped my ankles and he put on a belt around my ankles over the tape.

He put a helmet over my head, and he said, ‘Just be quiet and don’t make any nose. And I’ll take you home.’ I didn’t think that I was going to ever make it home.”


When was Gina DeJesus kidnapped?

Around one year later, Gina DeJesus was captured by Castro.

She was a close friend of his daughter, Arlene Castro, which he used to his advantage.

One day when Gina was walking home, he pulled up next to her in his car and asked if she had seen Arlene.

She agreed to help look for her and got into his car.

He drove her to his home and took her down into the basement, before attempting to chain her like the others.

Speaking to ABC, Gina said: “He didn’t make it tight enough, so I threw it over, and then I tried to run, but he sat on my back.

“And then I just start kicking him. I kicked him, and I bruised him bad.”


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How did the three women escape?

In December 2006, Amanda gave birth to her captor’s daughter, Jocelyn, who she loved dearly.

Castro changed soon after, allowing Amanda to have more freedoms in the house, but Amanda was still worried he would turn on her daughter like the other women.

Berry explained: “She loved him, and he loved her. I was nervous, like, would he touch her? Would he ever think about touching her because, you know, he had his problems?”

In 2013, six-year-old Jocelyn told Amanda that Castro had left the house and that her bedroom door was unlocked.

A neighbour then saw Amanda and her daughter trying to escape and helped kick the door down.

Amanda then called the police and they rescued Michelle and Gina.

Amanda said: “Just because there’s people on the street doesn’t mean he wouldn’t hurt me. I was so terrified. I still don’t know why he left that day with the door unlocked. I will never know.”

Gina added: “When I was telling [the first responders] my name, they looked like they’d seen a ghost or something. Like their faces completely dropped.”

What happened to Ariel Castro?

In 2013, 52-year-old Castro was found guilty of four counts of kidnappings and 937 rapes.

He was sentenced to a lifetime in prison plus 1,000 years for his heinous acts.

Just one month into his sentence, Castro died by suicide in his prison cell by hanging himself with his bedsheet.

Despite attempts to revive him, he was pronounced dead soon after.

County prosecutor Timothy J McGinty said in a statement: “These degenerate molesters are cowards, this man couldn’t take, for even a month, a small portion of what he had dished out for more than a decade.”

Who is in the cast of Cleveland Abduction?

The film brings together a cast of familiar faces for the harrowing tale.

The biggest star is Raymond Cruz as Ariel Castro, best known for playing Tuco Salamanca in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.

Taryn Manning takes on the role of Michelle Knight, who could be seen in Orange Is The New Black as Tiffany ‘Pennsatucky’ Doggett.

Katie Sarife plays Gina DeJesus, known for Annabel Comes Home and This Is Us.

Rounding out the main cast is Samantha Droke as Amanda Berry, who can be seen in Poor Paul and Eastwick


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Is the Cleveland Abduction available on Netflix UK?

No, it currently isn’t available to watch on Netflix UK.

It hasn’t been confirmed if it is ever coming to the platform, despite being available on it in some regions.

However, there are some options available to viewers in the UK who want to see the film.


Where can you watch the Cleveland Abduction in the UK?

The best place to catch the film is on iTunes or the Microsoft store.

Alternatively, it is on the Sky store.

It is also available to buy on YouTube for £6.99 or £7.99 in HD.