Cleveland Kidnappings Victims to be Represented by Jewish Man’s PR Firm

May 19, 2013 4:24 am 2 comments

Bruce Hennes of Hennes Paynter Communications, which is representing the victims of the Cleveland kidnappings that have become a global news sensation.

(Cleveland Jewish News) Hennes Paynter Communications, a firm co-owned by a Jewish resident of Cleveland, has been tapped to handle public relations for the victims of the Cleveland kidnappings that have become a global news sensation.

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight on May 6 broke free of Ariel Castro’s house after nine to 11 years of captivity.

Bruce Hennes, a Cleveland Heights resident who is Jewish, is co-owner of the Hennes Paynter Communications company with Barbara Paynter. On May 10, Jones Day, the Cleveland law firm handling the women’s cases, asked Hennes Paynter whether it would take care of public relations for the now-famous victims of the Cleveland kidnappings. Hennes said May 13 he was surprised to get the call and honored to do the job.

“The strategy right now is to give the women time and to preserve the integrity of the court case,” said Hennes, a former president of the Cleveland Jewish News Board of Directors.

“Right now, there is no other strategy,” he said. “That’s why the women are not speaking publicly. At this point, our only role is to compile a list of media people who are interested in interviewing them. We’re getting whatever requests there might be and aggregating all of those. At the appropriate time, the women will make their own decisions about whom they want to talk to and when.”

Hennes said he has not spoken to the women, adding “our main contact is through the law firm.” Hennes’s firm has been fielding requests from all over the world, he said, citing all the domestic networks, including Spanish-language channel Telemundo, as well as Radio Australia and “everybody in between.”

“We’re on lockdown,” he said. “It’s very important that nothing be said that will jeopardize the ongoing investigation and the prosecution of Mr. Castro.

“We were floored to get the call, and when we were asked to do this pro bono, the answer was, immediately, of course. We’re honored to be able to help them. I can’t even begin to imagine what they went through.”

As for the media, “they’re looking for the ‘get’ right now” as far as the Cleveland kidnappings story goes, Hennes said. “There’s a worldwide scramble. They want the picture, the interview. This is the hottest news.”

Castro, 52, was arraigned on charges or rape and kidnapping on May 9. Bond was set at $8 million. Cuyahoga County prosecutors allege he beat and sexually assaulted all three women. They also say Castro is the father of Berry’s 6-year-old daughter.

Berry, 27, and DeJesus, 23, reunited with their families after brief hospital stays, according to various news accounts. Knight’s whereabouts is cloudy, however. According to a story in the May 12 Christian Science Monitor, Knight, 32, didn’t even tell her mother where she was going when she left the hospital where she was treated the night of May 10.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published by the Cleveland Jewish News, www.clevelandjewishnews.com, and is distributed with the permission of that newspaper.

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Middle East Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel

    Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel

    JNS.org – Five months after Israeli forces tried to assassinate Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif in Gaza, Deif appears to have signed a letter that the terrorist group claims he wrote in hiding. The letter, addressed to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, expressed Deif’s condolences for the death of Hezbollah terrorists during Sunday’s reported Israeli airstrike in Syria. Deif is said to have survived multiple assassination attempts, but he has not been seen in public for years. According to the Hezbollah-linked Al-Manar [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Theater Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations

    Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations

    JNS.org – The cracks that had been simply painted over for so long began to show in Ferguson, Mo., in November 2014, but in truth they had begun to open wide much earlier—on Saturday, July 13, 2013. That is when a jury in Sanford, Fla., acquitted George Zimmerman of culpability for the death of a 17-year-old black man, Trayvon Martin. The cracks receded from view over time, as other news obscured them. Then came the evening of Aug. 9, 2014, [...]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    A controversial scene in the season finale of Homeland sparked outrage by comparing former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to a fictional Taliban leader, the UK’s Daily Mail reported. In the season 4 finale episode, which aired on Dec. 21, CIA black ops director Dar Adal, played by F. Murray Abraham, justifies a deal he made with a Taliban leader by referencing Begin. He makes the remarks in a conversation with former CIA director Saul Berenson, a Jewish character played by Mandy [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Shining Light on Fiction During the North Korea-Sony saga, we learned two important lessons. The first is that there are two sides to this story, and neither of them are correct because ultimately we should have neither inappropriate movies nor dictators. The second is that we cannot remain entirely fixed on the religious world, but we also must see beyond the external, secular view of reality. It’s important to ground our Torah-based thoughts into real-life activism. To view our act [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies

    Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies

    JNS.org – Hollywood has had its share of big-budget biblical flops, but until now, the Exodus narrative has not been among them. Studios have brought Moses to the big screen sparingly, but in ways that defined the image and character of Moses for each generation of audiences. The first biblical epic In 1923, director Cecil B. DeMille left it to the American public to decide the subject of his next movie for Paramount. DeMille received a letter from a mechanic [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Exodus on Screen (REVIEW)

    Exodus on Screen (REVIEW)

    JNS.org – The story of the Exodus from Egypt is a tale as old as time itself, to borrow a turn of phrase. It’s retold every Passover, both at the seder table and whenever “The Ten Commandments” is aired on television. But the latest adaptation—Ridley Scott’s epic film, “Exodus: Gods and Kings”—fails to meet expectations. Scott’s “Exodus” alters the source material to service the story and ground the tale, but the attempt to reinvent the biblical narrative becomes laughable. Moses [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Lifestyle ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age

    ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age

    JNS.org - In December 2007, leaders of the Hazon nonprofit drafted seven-year goals for what they coined as the “Jewish Food Movement,” which has since been characterized by the increased prioritization of healthy eating, sustainable agriculture, and food-related activism in the Jewish community. What do the next seven years hold in store? “One thing I would like to see happen in the next seven years is [regarding] the issue of sugar, soda, and obesity, [seeing] what would it be like to rally the [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Education Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    JNS.org – Forget the dioramas. How about working on an Israeli Air Force drone? That’s exactly the kind of beyond-their-years access enjoyed by students at the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) industrial vocational high school run by Israel Sci-Tech Schools, the largest education network in the Jewish state. More than 300 students (250 on the high school level and 68 at a two-year vocational academy) get hands-on training in the disciplines of aviation mechanics, electricity and energy control, and unmanned air [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.