Katie Beers and other harrowing survivals in secret lairs

Katie Beers and other harrowing survivals in secret lairs

Credit: AP Photo

Katie Beers' captor created a torture chamber so hidden that it wasn't detected by police until he broke down and led them to it. While detectives staked out the Bay Shore, N.Y., home of John Esposito, the handyman would venture down to his torture chamber every night to feed his 10-year-old victim junk food, avoiding detection of the men outside who could have saved her. To get to the chamber and his captive, Esposito went through an elaborate process. First, he removed four screws from a bookcase in his office and wheeled it aside. Pulling up a piece of carpet, another layer of matting and linoleum, Esposito was then faced with a slab of concrete. Esposito used a block and tackle to move the 200-pound concrete barrier out of the way. After that, he opened a trapdoor and went down a 6-foot shaft where he then made his way to the tomb where Katie was kept. On Jan. 13, 1993, Esposito broke down and led detectives to the dungeon where Katie was hidden for 17 days. Esposito pleaded guilty to kidnapping and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. In a letter to Carolyn Gusoff, co-author of Beers' new book, Esposito said he believes he deserves to be released. "I think Katie knows I will always wish her well," Esposito writes. "I'm sorry for what I've done. I'm sorry I even thought it up. It was a mistake."

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by ALYSSA NEWCOMB

ABC NEWS

Posted on January 16, 2013 at 4:01 PM

(ABC NEWS) -- Twenty years after Katie Beers was rescued from a catacomb beneath the home of her captor, she is telling her story.

Her 17-day ordeal when she was only 10 years old, isolated and abused in the dungeon of John Esposito, a family acquaintance, is chronicled in her new book, "Buried Memories: Katie Beers' Story."

In a shocking quote, Beers said, "[It was] the best thing that happened to me," she told the Associated Press.

Beers' rescue saved her from the abuse, sexual and emotional, she suffered at home, she said.

Placed with a loving foster family in East Hampton. N.Y., she had a stable upbringing out of the spotlight. She went to college, got married and had two children.

Now living in Pennsylvania and working in insurance sales, Beers said she's happy with her life.

But Beers' rescue was a close call. The dungeon beneath John Esposito's home was so thoroughly concealed it went undetected by authorities until he confessed.

Click here to see the secret compounds that went unnoticed, and the victims who had to find another way out.

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