Ironically, Beers -- who was kidnapped two days before her 10th birthday -- shares with Probst and his audience, the ordeal has turned out to be one of the best things that happened to her, according to a Feb. 7 email shared with Examiner.com.
Beers was abducted just after Christmas Day 1992 and held captive by a family friend, building contractor John Esposito, in a tiny, secret, soundproof bunker that he built underneath his home. The manhunt across Long Island took 17 days, until her kidnapper finally confessed to police. Unfortunately, though, her life at home prior to the abduction was also torturous.
"The kidnapping brought me out of a life of abuse, servitude and neglect," Beers, 30, said "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."
As for how she survived and coped over the years, "I think that (people) are very surprised when I'm not emotional about what I had endured," she shared. "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."
During the Friday broadcast, which airs locally at 2 p.m. on Channel 2/WKRN, Beers will be joined by Dominick Varrone, retired police chief, who served as the lead detective on her case and helped coax a confession from Beers' abductor.
Regarding his initial impressions upon rescuing the then-10-year-old, Varrone said, "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the sensory deprivation and the isolation and everything that she went through, you would expect to see a cowering, withdrawn little child in shock.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."
Video bonus: To see a clip from the Feb. 8 interview with Beers, where she describes where she was held captive, please access the video embedded with this post.