A gun in the case.
CLEVELAND -- Ariel Castro's words in court Thursday had little in common with the images that flashed on the screen -- photos that were taken inside the now infamous home on Seymour Avenue.
Those photographs showed the rusted chains that had bound the three women he kidnapped to a pole in the cellar, a Ruger pistol with which he threatened them and forced them to play Russian roulette, and motorcycle helmets he placed on them to muffle screams.
Prosecution's Evidence Photos from Court (PDF)
But Castro played the victim card and the blame game.
"I believe I am addicted to porn to the point that it really makes me impulsive and I just don't realize what I'm doing is wrong," he said.
He even blamed his former wife, now dead, for making him beat her.
"I was never abusive till I met her," he said. "This would happen because I couldn't get her to quiet down."
Castro said he hadn't planned on kidnapping Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus or Amanda Berry either. It just sort of snuck up on him, he said, because of his "sexual instincts."
He ran into Michelle at a store and heard her say she wanted to go somewhere and "I reacted on that."
With Gina, he said, "I was driven by sex." And Amanda, he explained, "Just got into my vehicle."
Kidnapping women, Castro said, "Just wasn't my character."
Castro portrayed himself not only as a loving father to the daughter he had with Amanda, but as a man who created what he called a "normal family" for her.
"She never saw violence going on," he said of the daughter, now 6. "I tried to raise her so she wouldn't be traumatized or anything like that."
He didn't seem to worry much about traumatizing Gina, Amanda, or Michelle though; in his words, he conveyed obliviousness to the fact that he had kidnapped them, and repeatedly raped them.
He claimed that much of what went on in the house was consensual sex.
"These allegations about being forceful on them, that is totally wrong," he said.
The chains and duct tape, the lock on the doors and windows, the fact that the women didn't see daylight for the better part of ten years, the pregnancies he brought to an end?
It wasn't that bad, Castro said, to the disbelief of those in the courtroom.
"We had a lot of harmony going on in that home," he said.