Man Reveals What It Was Like To Find Out His Dad Was A Child Murderer Who Killed 11-Year-Old Lesley Molseed

Photo: Buzzfeed
Ronald Castree
Buzz

His father, Ronald Castree, was a terrible man.

Growing up, Nick Castree knew his father was a dangerous man. 

He would often beat his older brother Jason and his mother, Beverly, and refused to spend any money on his children. In fact, Ronald Castree called his children "leeches" and a "drain."  

But despite all the emotional and psychological abuse he faced as a kid, nothing prepared him for when he learned that in 1975, his father killed an 11-year-old girl named Lesley Molseed.

 

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Another man went to jail for her murder until police arrested him years later. 

Buzzfeed

In an interview with BuzzFeed, Nick opened up about what it was like to grow up with a murder as a father. 

"We'd come in from school and if we made the slightest bit of noise he would tell us to eff off out the room. He'd throw meals at the wall, put his fist through the wall, he was a bully. He'd go on a drunken rampage when he'd drunk a bottle of whiskey a night.”

“I knew he was a dangerous man, but I just hoped he wasn't that dangerous."

Nick learned how dangerous his father was after police told him that four years before he was born, Ronald abducted Lesley from a street near her home. He was on his way to see Beverley and Nick's older brother at the hospital, who had just been born. 

 

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Lesley, who was known as Lel to her family, was small for her age and had learning difficulties. She went to buy bread for her mother when Ronald grabbed her. He took her to a West Yorkshire moor, sexually assaulted her and stabbed her to death. 

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Lelsey's body was found three days later after her parents reported her missing. Police quickly charged Stefan Kiszko, a tax clerk with a learning disability who lived near her home. 

Eerily, Nick said he was very familiar with Lel's murder growing up. 

“We used to watch Crimewatch UK,” he said. “I remember very well we'd occasionally bring it up in the family home about Stefan, and my father told us to ‘shut up and stop watching that crap’.”

Not even a year after he murdered Lesley, Ronald was convicted of abducting another young girl and attempting to assault her in an empty house. But the court classified it as his first offense and he was only fined. No prison time. 

After a long 16 years, Stefan was finally cleared of all charges. He said police bullied him into making a false confession, and a group of teens admitted to lying when they told police Stefan had exposed himself to them. 

Lesley's case was reopened, and around the same time, Nick left school at 16, went to work and rented a house for his mother and younger brother to escape to. The next time he saw his father was in court. 

In 2006, Ronald was arrested for Lesley's murder. He had been arrested on suspicion of raping a sex worker just a year before that, and though those charges were dropped, DNA evidence made it so police could link him to Lesley. 

Another family secret came out during the trial, Nick's older brother — the one Ronald would beat — was actually his half brother. 

“I went to court every day, from the moment I was allowed into the courtroom. I went every day and sat in the second row back, me and my family. Lesley Molseed's family were in the first row,” he said. “I hoped and prayed my father would look me in the eye. I hadn't seen him since 1997. But he wouldn't look in our direction.”

Buzzfeed

Ronald was sentenced to life in prison and will not be eligible for parole for 30 years. The judge told him he'll likely die behind bars. 

“Lesley's sister had said to me [during the trial] ‘Our nightmare is coming to an end; yours is just beginning,’ and I didn't know what she meant by that, but then I did. They took him down and the door slammed shut and I thought, I'm the son of a murderer.'" 

Learning that his father was a serial pedophile who had also sexually assaulted boys made Nick rethink a lot of his encounters as a child with his father. He also had to deal with sexual abuse he endured from his paternal grandfather — Ronald's father — for several years when he was an early teen. It only ended when Nick found him dead. 

The last time he heard from his father was four years ago. He wrote him and asked him to visit, and he maintained his innocence, saying "I can fully understand and sympathize with how Stefan Kiszko must have felt during his 16-year fight."

Buzzfeed

Today Nick is still dealing with the scars of his past, but he's doing well. He has a family with his partner and runs a successful property management business. He also wrote a book about his story called, "Did You Never Suspect?" 

 I won't be a victim. It's because of what I've been through that I am who I am. I'm a survivor. I won't be a victim of my father any longer."

 

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Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, dating, relationships and everything in between. You can follow her on Instagram (@blackw00d) and Twitter (@emztweetz). 

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