Fifty-three-year-old Ariel Castro was being given his sentence Thursday. He had pleaded guilty to 937 counts including aggravated murder, kidnapping, rape and assault.
He got the life term for the most serious count and was getting additional time for the hundreds of other counts.
A plea deal struck last week spared him from a possible death sentence for beating and starving a pregnant victim until she miscarried.
The women disappeared separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old.
They escaped to freedom May 6 when one of them, Amanda Berry, broke out part of the door to Castro's house and yelled to neighbors for help.