Charles Ramsey, the hero who became a reluctant celebrity after busting open a door that freed several woman from a Cleveland house where they had been imprisoned, is writing a book about the ordeal.
The Cleveland native has signed a contract with publisher Gray & Co. for a memoir of his life before, during and after the rescue of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight and Berry’s 6-year-old daughter from the horrors of the house on Seymour Avenue, the Plain Dealer reports. Ariel Castro, who held the women captive for 11 years, was sentenced to life plus 1,000 years for kidnapping, raping and imprisoning the women. Castro hanged himself in prison.
“What you saw on TV doesn’t even begin to tell the story,” Ramsey said.
Work has already begun on the book, which doesn’t have a title and is expected to be published in spring 2014, the Plain Dealer reports. Randy Nyerges, a former U.S. Senate staff speechwriter, will co-author the book.
“Charles says outrageous things, but what a story he has,” Nyerges said. “America doesn’t know yet how truly brilliant this guy is.” Ramsey, 44, who had been working as a dishwasher, is devoting himself full time to the project.
Ramsey was famously eating a Big Mac on the steps of his home when he heard screaming. He went to investigate the noises and helped a woman who said she was Amanda Berry escape through the front door, the Plain Dealer reports.
Ramsey’s raw and blunt interviews about the rescue often turned into larger critiques of racism, classism and inner-city living that made him the stuff of legend. Remixes of his interviews have been viewed more than 19 million times online, the Plain Dealer reports. But until now, Ramsey has shied away from the attention, declaring that he is not a hero. He has refused money and free food and wouldn’t allow a hamburger to be named after him.
The book is said to be completely unfiltered. “I think that’s part of his appeal. He says what he thinks,” Publisher David Gray told the Plain Dealer. “I am really intrigued by him—as a person, with the story he had to tell and with his ability to tell it.”
Read more at the Plain Dealer.