Cruz to Star as Kidnapper Ariel Castro in Lifetime’s “The Michelle Knight Story”

Raymond Cruz is about to find himself on the other side of the law…

The 53-year-old Mexican American actor, best known for his role as Detective Julio Sanchez on TNT’s The Closer and Major Crimes, will star as kidnapper Ariel Castro in Lifetime’s The Michelle Knight Story (working title).

Raymond Cruz

The network’s original movie, which has received a formal greenlight, centers on the ordeal of the 21-year-old Ohio single mom who became Castro’s first victim.

From Sony Pictures Television and written by Stephen Tolkin, The Michelle Knight Story explores the true story of Knight, whose life was forever changed by a chance encounter with Castro who abducted her on August 22, 2002, in Cleveland and held her as his prisoner in his home for more than 11 years. Finding strength through her faith in God and determined to be reunited with her son, Knight refused to be broken by Castro. He went on to abduct two teenagers, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, and hold them in captivity alongside Knight, who became a friend and sister to her fellow prisoners.

When Amanda became pregnant with Castro’s child, it was Knight who delivered her baby, even performing CPR on the infant girl under the threat of Castro while he told her, “If the baby dies, you die.”

Knight and DeJesus ultimately were rescued because of a daring escape attempt on May 6, 2013. With the help of a neighbor, Berry broke out of the barricaded front door with her 6-year-old daughter, allowing all three women to finally reclaim their lives.

Cruz is also known for playing ruthless and psychotic meth dealer Tuco on Breaking Bad.

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