Katie Beers, who was kidnapped and held captive in an underground dungeon at the age of nine, speaks out after 20 years about the incident, on THE JEFF PROBST SHOW, Friday, February 8 (check local listings in your area). In a remarkable revelation, Beers explains to host Jeff Probst why, in hindsight, she feels her abduction was one of the best things that could have happened to her.
Abducted just after Christmas Day 1992, nine year-old Katie Beers was held captive by a family friend in a tiny, secret, soundproof bunker he built underneath his home. The manhunt across Long Island took 17 days, until her kidnapper finally confessed to police. Incredibly, Katie's life prior to being kidnapped was almost as bad:
"The kidnapping brought me out of a life of abuse, servitude and neglect," explains Katie. "It brought me to my foster parents; it brought me in to therapy; it brought me in to a wonderful life, and without that, I wouldn't be the person that I am."
Now recounting the events of 20 years ago, Beers explains to Jeff how she has survived and coped over the decades: "I think that (people) are very surprised when I'm not emotional about what I had endured. It was my survival mechanism, it's what helped me to recover...I think what helped me to survive the abduction was the abuse that I sustained from my godmother and her husband; the physical, verbal, emotional, sexual abuse that I sustained from them."
Later in the show, Beers is joined by retired police chief Dominick Varrone, who was the lead detective on her case and helped coax a confession from Beers' abductor. He described the moment saw Katie after she was rescued: "After the sensory deprivation and the isolation and everything that she went through, you would expect to see a cowering, withdrawn little child in shock. She was alive, so that was a thrill to me, and she's very upbeat and she's bubbly; I was astounded...You just knew from that moment that she was gonna survive."
Hosted by five-time Emmy winner Jeff Probst, THE JEFF PROBST SHOW entertains and engages viewers with stories about people living to the fullest, and saying "Yes" to life with every opportunity they get.
THE JEFF PROBST SHOW airs weekdays. Check local listings for stations and times or visit jeffprobst.com. The show is produced and distributed by CBS Television Distribution. Jeff Probst is host and executive producer; Amy Coleman is executive producer.
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