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."