When I had heard that the 3 Cleveland women were being rescued as I watched on TV, it was an awful but also inspiring day. It was heart-wrenching thinking that those women, those girls, were locked in a house with a monster 60 miles north of where I live. It truly was a story of courage and triumph. Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus survived that awful prison, and did not ever let Ariel Castro win. A man, with a past that wasn’t squeaky clean, stood up, mustered up courage, and became the women’s saviors. His name is Charles Ramsey.
We all know Charles Ramsey. I live in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and I remember seeing the very “Dead Giveaway” moment on Channel 3 (WKYC) even before the thousands of remixes and memes. Even people who don’t live in Northeast Ohio area know this hilarious character, quick with a joke and a hero. As TMZ said, “Charles Ramsey is the best kind of hero…the kind that saves lives, and makes you laugh your a** off.”
Now, Charles Ramsey has released his first book, entitled Dead Giveaway. Ramsey’s autobiography talks about his experiences throughout his life. He talks about how he has worked as everything from an onion-peeler to a dishwasher. Ramsey discusses his experiences with drug-dealing, earning a 0.00 GPA in the first semester of college to rebel against his father, and prison stints.
But, for all the darkness Charles Ramsey has experienced throughout his life, he doesn’t neglect to talk about the good (and some frankly funny) events that came after his rescue of the girls. He writes about how he was made into an instant celebrity, and how that led to his phone being blasted with thousands of text messages and calls, so much that it drove him to throw his phone in the Hudson River. He also reveals his friendship with Snoop Dogg that has developed after the heroic act, and how he has received accolades from Anderson Cooper, John Walsh, Valerie Bertinelli, President Obama, and more public figures.
The best part of Dead Giveaway, at least for me, was Ramsey’s brutal honesty. He does not sugar-coat the events of his life, and it reads perfectly. It is important stories, like Charles Ramsey’s, deserve, and need, to be told, lest we forget what so many of our fellow Americans experience day-to-day in the inner city.
Charles Ramsey’s story is just beginning. We all thought that 3 survivors emerged on May 6th, 2013. I believe that 4 people were actually rescued that day, and now they all have a chance to live their full life stories. I commend Charles Ramsey for his bravery, sense of humor, and frankness expressed in Dead Giveaway. I look forward to seeing what he accomplishes next.
Charles Ramsey became an unlikely international celebrity on May 6, 2013 when he helped rescue three kidnapped women in Cleveland, Ohio. National media and fans called him a “hero.” He says no, he just did what anybody should have done. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio.