Dr Phil: Katie Beers Disappearance
This is the stuff nightmares are made of. 20 years ago, 10-year-old Katie Beers was kidnapped on her birthday, held in a bunker for 16 days and abused by a demented man named John Esposito. John had been fixated on Katie her entire life.
He asked her godmother if he could take her to an amusement park for her birthday. The aunt agreed, but instead John brought Katie to his home on the pretense of playing video games. She could tell something was up. John led her into his bedroom where he did unspeakable things to her. Then, he dragged her to his bunker he had constructed for her.
Dr Phil: Katie’s Dungeon
To get into the dungeon, John had to pull back a pseudo bookcase in his garage, then, lift the tile, carpet and a heavy cement slab with a crane built into his ceiling. In a coffin-like shaft, Katie plunged seven feet. She was chained to a bed by her neck and there was a chemical toilet in the corner. Most of the time, she couldn’t reach it and had to relieve herself under a TV mounted on the wall.
The closed circuit TV would show Katie what was going on outside. She could see the law enforcement in the yard, but they couldn’t hear her. The room was completely sound proof. She did fight John when he would come down to abuse her. She never ate anything but prepackaged and sealed food.
Dr Phil: Katie’s Survival Mode
John wanted to take a photo of Katie laying on the floor, looking dead. He told her he was going to send the photo to the police in order to get them to call off the search. He made audio recordings of her that Katie doesn’t want anyone to hear, ever.
Through it all, young Katie told herself she had to stay strong. She said she went into survival mode. Katie only wanted to get back to her aunt and mother.
Her aunt’s husband, Sal, was also abusing Katie. She told Dr Phil that anything had to be better than being in the dungeon.
Katie finally got out 16 days after being kidnapped. John gave himself up to the police and Katie was safely returned to her family. She is now 30 and telling the story for the first time to Dr Phil.