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Man who kidnapped Katie Beers found dead in his N.Y. prison cell

September 05, 2013|By Michael Muskal
  • John Esposito, 64, who kidnapped Katie Beers in December 1992 and held her prisoner in an underground dungeon for 17 days, was found dead in his cell at Sing Sing on Wednesday.
John Esposito, 64, who kidnapped Katie Beers in December 1992 and held her… (New York State Department…)

Katie Beers, held for 17 days in an underground dungeon on Long Island, N.Y., when she was a child, said she has no sympathy for her captor, who was found dead in his prison cell.

John Esposito, who was serving 15 years to life for kidnapping Beers, was found in his cell at Sing Sing prison Wednesday, according to state officials. The death of the 64-year-old man appears to have been from natural causes, but the local medical examiners will examine the body and issue a formal ruling, officials told reporters.

“I’m saddened at the loss of a life, but at the same time I’m happy that John Esposito will never be granted parole or have the opportunity to hurt anyone ever again,” Beers said in a statement.

On Dec. 28, 1992, Beers, just two days shy of her 10th birthday, disappeared. Evidence later showed that she had been lured by Esposito, her neighbor, into a 6-by-7-foot concrete bunker under his garage in Bay Shore, N.Y.

Esposito claimed he took the child because he loved her. Though he was never charged with a sexual crime, Beers later said she was raped in captivity. Beers wrote a book published this year about her experience.

Esposito's body was found shortly after a parole hearing, his fourth appearance before the board.

He was found just a day after Ariel Castro, serving life in prison for kidnapping, torturing and raping three women over a decade in Cleveland, committed suicide by hanging himself with a bedsheet in his Ohio prison cell.

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