On January 13, 1993, 10-year-old Katie Beers emerged from an underground bunker she had been confined to for the preceding 17 days by someone she once considered a friend. The surrender of her captor marked the conclusion of Beers’ entrapment – both from the secret cell constructed by her abductor as well as the life of abuse and neglect she had been subjected to since birth by those accountable for her care.
Beers essentially disappeared from the public eye following her release from captivity until resurfacing in January 2013 with Buried Memories, a memoir she penned along with journalist and news reporter Carolyn Gusoff (who heavily covered the Beers story as it unfolded). Alternating chapter by chapter, the book recounts Beers’ troubled childhood while growing up on the South Shore of Long Island, her December 1992 abduction at the hands of family friend John Esposito, the new home provided to her by loving foster parents following the kidnapping and Beers’ adult life today as a wife and mother, both from the subject’s firsthand accounts as well as Gusoff’s perspective as a member of the media.
After earning a position on the New York Times Best Sellers list, an updated edition of Buried Memories was released in 2015 detailing Beers’ life and experiences since the book’s original printing, including a personal account of the day she learned her captor, John Esposito, had passed away in prison following a parole hearing.
It would be nearly impossible for any reader to come away from Buried Memories without a deep appreciation for the perseverance, streetwise instincts and overall charm of Katie Beers, the child, as well as the strength and triumph that defines Beers today as an adult. In a media culture where the words “inspiration” and “survivor” are often applied, Katie Beers has literally written the book on both terms.
I generally refrain from editorials during reviews, but Buried Memories is genuinely one of the best books I have read in some time. Katie Beers’ story is one which shines a light on a multitude of significant social issues including child abuse, how such cases are observed (by authorities and citizens alike) and the importance of a strong support system for those attempting to overcome trauma.
(Special thanks to Michael Wright of Garson & Wright Public Relations and Felicia Minerva at Beaufort Books)