3. Katie Beers
You may remember this case due to the chilling voice recording of the victim, then 10-year old Katie Beers left on her aunt’s phone in January 1993. The case shook the nation at the time, as Katie was rescued from her neighbor’s basement, where she was kept in a secret bunker, chained in a child-size coffin for 17 days. During those days Katie was abused by the family’s friend, John Esposito, who lured her into his home in December 1992.
Despite the tragedy she endured, Katie is calling the kidnapping a blessing in disguise as it allowed her to escape the abuse in her family home, at the hands of her godmother’s husband. Due to the sexual, physical, and emotional abuse she had been suffering already, it is believed that Katie managed to endure the torture in the bunker. She went on to live in a foster home that sheltered her from media and helped her through her trauma.
Her abductor was sentenced to 15 years in prison, where he died in 2013.
4. Steven Stayner and Timothy White
In 1974, Steven Stayner went missing when he was just 7 years old. Kenneth Parnell lured him into his car and took him to his secluded cabin in the forest. There the man proceeded to lie to the boy and tell him his family could no longer keep him because they had no money and that he adopted him. Steven was violated for years by Parnell until he reached puberty.
Because Steven was no longer a child, in 1990 Parnell abducted 6-year-old Timothy White. The older boy did not want anyone else to go through what he went through, so he took the boy 16 days after he was abducted and fled. They hitchhiked together for 40 miles to the closest police station.
Their nightmare stopped because Steven took a risk to save someone from sharing his fate. But the man who abducted and abused them only spent 5 years in jail for what he did to them. In 2004, he tried to buy a 4-year-old boy from the internet and he was finally convicted to 25 years in prison, where he would die in 2008.