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January 15, 2013

20 years on, Katie Beers says kidnapping saved her

(Continued)

OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. —

She didn't realize it until many years later, but says now that she frequently watched Gusoff — then a reporter for Long Island's News12 cable station — filing reports on the police search for her while she was missing.

"It was like I had known her for 16 years" when they met in 2008 to begin work on the book, she said.

Gusoff notes that as abhorrent as Beers' sexual abuse and neglect was at the hands of her elders before the kidnapping, it may have steeled her into a survival mode.

Dominick Varrone, the Suffolk County detective who led the investigation, agreed, telling Gusoff in the book that "because of her upbringing, the sexual experiences, the abuse, and street smarts and toughness, she was much more advanced than the normal 9-year-old, and we believe that contributed to her survival."

Marilyn Beers, who is described in the book as a hard-working but largely absentee mother who ceded responsibility for raising Katie and her older brother to Inghilleri's wife and others, did not return a telephone message seeking comment about the book.

"I hope that more does come out of the book," Katie Beers said. "I would love to be able to help other kids or adults or to be an inspirational or motivational speaker, something like that. But if I go back to my life in rural Pennsylvania and go back to my insurance sales job I would love that, too.

"I'm very happy with where I'm at."

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