Katie Beers was kidnapped and held captive for 17 days back in 1992, and now one of the men responsible has been found dead in a New York prison cell.
John Esposito was found dead in his cell in Ossinig, New York, on Wednesday. Prison officials are investigating the death but said it does not appear to be suspicious. The 63-year-old Esposito was sentenced to 15 years to life for kidnapping a then 10-year-old Katie Beers.
On Wednesday prison officials called Katie directly to tell her of Esposito’s death.
“They wanted me to hear it from them and not in the media, and that is something I definitely appreciated,” Beers said.
Beers was able to move on after her ordeal, earning a degree in business management and making public speaking engagements. She even wrote a memoir about her experiences and continues to give interviews about the harrowing experience.
“I was more concerned with trying to get free and trying to survive,” Beers told CBS 2 earlier this year. “Looking back, it’s amazing to learn of the support I had from everybody. The remembering has been difficult because I buried it for so long.”
Beers also told People magazine that the kidnapping was, unfortunately, “the best thing that happened to me, because it got me out of the abusive situation.”
The married mother of two seemed to actually have a bit of sympathy for John Esposito, though she stopped short of actually feeling sad.
“I would never say I was happy about it, but I wasn’t saddened about it,” Beers said. “There was a loss of a life. Somebody lost an uncle, a brother, whatever, so I am saddened for his family, but I am not saddened by his death.”
Esposito’s death has interesting timing. Less than one day beforehand, Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro was found dead in his Ohio jail cell. The 30-year-old Beers had actually commented about the connection between Castro and Esposito.
“I tweeted something about how within 24 hours, two monsters have died,” she said.
The other man convicted of kidnapping Katie Beers, Sal Inghilleri, died in prison in 2009.