Evil has a tendency to linger. Whether through the morbid curiosities of strangers or the dejected memories of those who were there, traumatic scenes sometimes take on lives of their own. In most cases, these aftereffects of madness can’t really be helped, but for the people of Cleveland, staring at Ariel Castro’s torture house every single day just wasn’t going to do. So, this morning, a bulldozer was brought out to the property, and the residence was leveled.

Numerous neighbors and members of the media showed up to the event. Not surprisingly, the first serious blow to the house was greeted with raucous applause, as many of the local residents prayed today’s destruction will help everyone start to move on. You can take a look at some pictures of the big moment, courtesy of Cory Shaffer and Brandon Blackwell

Over a roughly three years period, Castro kidnapped local women/ girls Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus. Each girl was held as a prisoner inside that ugly home pictured above for around a decade where they were repeatedly abused mentally and physically. Earlier this year, Berry was finally able to alert a neighbor who called police. The three women, along with a daughter who Berry gave birth to while in captivity, were all given medical treatment and released back into the community, where they were all flooded by a storm of media attention and lovingly embraced by the general public.

For his part in the rescue, neighbor Charles Ramsey became an instant celebrity with a song about him even topping 17 million views. You can watch it below…

No act can ever erase what happened in that house. It was the work of a monster, and it will forever affect everyone involved, at least in some minor way. Hopefully for the true victims here, this demolishing will at least be further proof to each of them that Castro will never have any power over them again. Their freedom is now theirs absolutely.

Pop Blend’s sincerest thoughts go out to Michelle, Amanda and Gina. Here’s to hoping they’re finding the love and support they deserve.

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