Katie Beers has spoken out about her kidnapping and the bizarre captivity that surrounded it, twenty years after her abduction captivated Long Island and the nation alike.
If you, like me, grew up on Long Island, the name Katie Beers is a recognizable one — in Suffolk County, the notable locations of the crime were well-known to local kids, with the then-popular and now-defunct Spaceplex arcade a key site as well as the Bayshore home in which the 10-year-old was eventually located.
But few of us then expected Katie Beers to come home — and when she was discovered imprisoned in a dark, makeshift dungeon in the home of John Esposito, the horror of what she had endured only started to unravel.
Ultimately, adults learned that Beers had not only been suffering during her two-week long captivity, but in the time leading up to it. A tale of abuse and neglect was one adults were privy to, but in the pre-internet era, the horrifying details were ones kids of the era were spared.
But Katie has now decided to discuss not only her kidnapping, but the abuse that was uncovered as a result of it. And the survivor, now 30, remarkably explains that the terrifying ordeal was one of the best things to happen to her in hindsight, as it rescued her from the nightmare she lived even before she was abducted.
Beers, whose mother Marilyn was often out working, had frequently been left in the care of family friends Linda and Sal Inghilleri — and while Esposito had imprisoned her, the man with which she spent much of her time also abused her extensively.
In an interview with People, Katie Beers says that her foster family helped her heal after the trauma and explains of the abduction:
“Being abducted was, unfortunately, the best thing that happened to me, because it got me out of the abusive situation… I owe them my life.”
However, she also explains that the trauma is not one it is easy to overcome, and adds:
“You never fully recover… It’s with me every day, but it’s something I’ve learned to cope with.”
Inghilleri died in prison in 2009, and Esposito is still incarcerated for the abduction. Beers details the incident in a new memoir, Buried Memories: Katie Beers’ Story.