Return to the House of Horrors

Fifteen years after the most ghastly crime in the city's history, a survivor breaks her silence about Gary Heidnik.

By Brian Hickey
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 63 | Posted Mar. 13, 2002

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Rivera says the media latched onto the accomplice angle to make the story sexier and to get back at her for not talking to them. The media isn't any better, she says, than those who convinced the other victims that they'd get more money by cutting her out of the settlement.

"Yeah, there were times that I could've gotten away and said to hell with everyone else, but if I did, they were dead," she recalls. "He might have gotten away and I would have had to spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder not knowing where this nut was. Whatever it took for me to get out alive was what I was going to do.

"I mean, if I ran into a burning building and saved people, I'd get a medal. Even if I ran in to save a cat, I'd be a hero. But I didn't get anything like that. Not even a thank you. I save three lives and I'm the criminal."

Defending Rivera to this day is retired police Lt. James Hansen, who supervised the Heidnik investigation.

"If it wasn't for her, those kids were dead. She was strong, she conned him," he says, pointing to the fact that she convinced him to let her walk the streets unsupervised the night of her escape. "She had guts and controlled him better than he thought he was controlling her."

Even attorney Peruto, today a well-known criminal-defense attorney, now understands what motivated Rivera.

In defending Heidnik, a client he always considered "twisted," Peruto never claimed Heidnik was innocent. In his opening statement, Peruto said that "someone who puts human remains in a food processor ... and calls it a gourmet meal ... has got to be out to lunch."

But Peruto did later mention that Rivera was picked up for prostitution in the months after her escape. He also pointed out that after her escape, Rivera went to her boyfriend at the time before seeking police, presumably, he argued, to exact vengeance--and "roll" Heidnik for money.

Peruto hoped the jury would believe that Rivera wasn't as devastated as she claimed, and that she even played a role in driving Heidnik to do some of the things he did.

That line of defense--which bothers Rivera to this day--made her go after Peruto in the courtroom hallway during the trial.

"She didn't egg [Heidnik] on," Peruto admits with the benefit of hindsight. "She did what she thought she had to do to get out. She was the smartest in the group."

Attempts to reach Heidnik's other victims, and the survivors of those killed, proved fruitless. Several contacted through intermediaries said they'd rather leave it all in the past.

Even Heidnik's daughter, who filed appeal after appeal to stave off the execution he wanted, declined to talk. She has not given an interview to this day.

Not once since their liberation have all the women been in the same room at the same time. Rivera--who didn't want her picture taken for this story, saying it would elicit a new wave of attention--isn't sure whether it would be a good idea for the women to meet even 15 years removed from hell.

Rivera says she can't hear Heidnik's voice in her head anymore, but there are images permanently embedded in her mind. They're so powerful that she thinks Heidnik--who was lethally injected without making a last statement on July 6, 1999--got off too easy.

"Let him sit there, suffering like we did," she says. "The mental fatigue of being in a room and only being allowed out one hour a day. It's exactly what he did to us. Leaving him there would have been worse than killing him. He wanted to die famous and that's just what he did."

Today the whole world's right outside Josefina Rivera's open motel room door. She can come and go as she pleases.

"It's a part of me and it's always going to be a part of me and my family--I've accepted that," she says. "Some people out there think it's all going to kick in any day now and I'm going to be a basket case. Well, guess what? That's not going to happen."

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 63 of 63
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1. tiffany said... on Aug 23, 2008 at 05:38PM

“i have question in the book by Ken Englade. It claims that Josefina never suffered the screw driver to her ears.”

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2. HTJ said... on Apr 20, 2009 at 04:18AM

“Even if she didnt this women suffer a whole lot.”

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3. Ricky said... on Apr 24, 2009 at 03:01PM

“Josefina is the big hero in this mess. She did what she
needed to do. The other girls to this day refuse to discuss
the incident. Josefina was the only one who realized that
she needed to make this guy believe she was her friend
so that she could escape. She even waited many months
for the perfect time to get him caught and free the others.
They should understand that her 'crimes' were only to
persuade the evil master that she could be trusted so she
could finally be free and most importantly, help the others.”

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4. D. Ranged said... on Jul 5, 2009 at 09:42PM

“I believe women who take a child away from their father without just cause should be severly punished and perhaps a death penalty imposed.”

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5. Carol 201 said... on Oct 15, 2009 at 03:19AM

“I have listened to Josefina tell her story, both in print and televised on "Investigation Discovery," and this woman is a hero. I feel sorry for the other victims, but to be honest, after everything I read, they just were not as bright as Josefina. Too bad she didn't have the confidence in herself to get an education.
Josefina, where ever you are, be proud of yourself, and don't listen to those out there who accuse you of being an accomplice. The other girls with you in the basement, just are not wise enough to see you saved there lives. My heart goes out to you for everything you have been through, and for have to endure criticism for saving the lives of others. You are an incredible human being. I wish I had been around when you were going through the trial, and everything afterwards. I would have come out in your defense.
Thank you.”

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6. AWB said... on Dec 21, 2009 at 02:10PM

“The first time I saw Gary Heidnik I saw the words "rape and prostitute". I thought to myself, now that is a good looking guy, why would he have to rape anyone? Then I read on and soon this good looking guy morphed into a horrific monster. This is not Gary Heidnik fault. He was (on the record)mentally ill for some time before he was caught AGAIN. I feel that the justice system failed these women who fell victim to this horrible monster who once was locked up for doing the same thing to another girl back in 1978. I can only hope that these woman can find some closure in his death. They do not have to fear him anymore. Thier lives will never be the same. May God look over them and heal them.”

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7. Joey said... on Jan 13, 2010 at 10:58PM

“It's horribly, horribly true. We need to evolve to a point where we can do something different than punish these monsters with a slap on the wrist and let them go so they can ferment into worse monsters. We need better science to understand and treat brains of people who are starting to go down that road”

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8. Ally said... on Jan 15, 2010 at 12:15PM

“I believe that Josefina was a victim, but I can't help but wondering why there seen to be some discrepancies in her various recountings of the details. I also can't help but wondering why these women would be so willing to put themselves in such dangerous situations for so little return. I tell my girls not even to walk alone after dark let alone get in a car with someone you don't know. How scary is that. I understand that they come from a terribly different world than do, but...”

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9. Anonymous said... on Feb 19, 2010 at 03:16AM

“Ally, if what you wrote there in quotes is yours, SHAME ON YOU FOR BLAMING VICTIMS. No woman, no person, deserves what happened to these women. They were all victims. One of them was mentally retarded. How dare you suggest they were "willing to put themselves in dangerous situations". What kind of heartless piece of crap are you? Grow a conscience.”

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10. Karen H. said... on Feb 27, 2010 at 08:34PM

“I can't even begin to digest what these women went through. How terrible this had to be for them! NOBODY, I don't care what kind of activities they choose to participate, deserves such treatment. I hope and pray that all these women have found the strength to move on with their lives. Surviving this nightmare is one thing, but just try to imagine what life must be like for these women. Instead of placing blame, and doubting certain victim's roles in all of this, we should be showing encouragement and support. EVERYONE of those ladies was a VICTIM! They will always be in my prayers.”

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11. Trish said... on Apr 14, 2010 at 02:17PM

“In the book Cellar of Horror by Ken Englade, it claims that Josefina did not get the screwdriver to her ear, that the other captives were the ones who suffered that...just curious which peice of information is the correct one.”

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12. Dee said... on Jun 1, 2010 at 03:19PM

“I have just seen the ID interview of this crime, and I have this to say, "Josephina you did what is called survival and not just for yourself but in the end to save others". If others don't understand that too bad, they were not in the position you were in and probably would not have been as smart were they ever in that position. Feel what they may, those other women still have to come to terms that they are alive because of you. Postitution is a distructive thing but unfortunately is the end results of other issues that are going on or has gone on in a young girls life. No one, no matter what, deserved what happened to you ladies, and it doesn't matter what sequence is correct, I would like to see any of you going thru such a tramatic situation and keep all that straight. Like Karen I pray that these women (victims) mend and can eventually go on in peace.”

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13. Alex said... on Jun 1, 2010 at 10:05PM

“I too saw the ID episode and couldn't get the story out of my head. Still intrigued, I did a little research (which is futile for such a tremendous crime), and what I have concluded is kudos Josefina. The fact that you received negativity from your peers after such a sick, sadistic ordeal only proves why you were the "leader". Not to be a total Darwinist freak, but you were the sharpest for sure. I can only imagine what you went through in your past to make you such a survivor. Abuse is never okay and I hope you realize your tremedous potential.

Alexandra”

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14. Amy B said... on Jul 16, 2010 at 02:30PM

“i grew up 2 blocks away from his house me and my best friend melissa would play on her steps across the street from his house...we were 11 when it happened...it was a surprise as to how twisted G.H. was but he was always quiet and strange...”

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15. Kelly said... on Aug 6, 2010 at 12:14AM

“I am still waiting for I.D. to re air the Escaped Cellar of Terror episode. Gary Heidnik was SUCH a piece of trash.”

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16. Chris said... on Oct 8, 2010 at 10:42AM

“I'm a friend of Josephina. The stories are true,screwdrivers and all. There is even more horror involved in this case than has been published. She carries on in a positive manner,though the memories are there every night and day. Thanks to those who see her as a hero for that is what Josephina is”

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17. Laura Momaney said... on Oct 11, 2010 at 01:35PM

“I have read the book and watched the show on ID. This woman's supreme courage, tenacity and stunning capacity to endure and then prevail that horrorc leaves me without the language it would require to express my feelings. My spirit is exhausted beyond measure when I think about what she endured and would help her in a hearbeat if there was ever the opportunity was presented. I would be honored to communicate with her directly since she resides in a special part of my heart where I give thanks for her existence and concern for her welfare, hoping, wishing that someday, someway I might be able to know her personally. Stranger things have happened as evidenced by those four months she lived in a hellish nightmare.”

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18. Amber B. said... on Oct 15, 2010 at 08:12AM

“I was wondering if anyone knows if the Heidnik house is still there or was it finally knocked down? I am curious.”

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19. Anonymous said... on Oct 17, 2010 at 07:54PM

“It is still there, I think someone is living in it.”

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20. Anonymous said... on Oct 23, 2010 at 01:48AM

“That was a sad story. Kuds to Josephina! If I was in the situation as you and the rest of the girls I don't thinnk I will be brave enough to follow your footsteps. But to the rest of the girls who thought of Josephina as an accomplice, think about what your actions and think about Josephina's. She is a hero and a saviour. To Josephina, good luck and best of wishes to everything! I hope that one day you and the rest of the victims can finally find peace within yourselves.”

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21. sandra's niece said... on Oct 24, 2010 at 12:34PM

“My aunt was mentally ill and that worthless man took her and did those thing to her.She was the one blended with the dog food. I was reading that he took Josephina to the kitchen and lead her to the stove.On the stove was a pot and in the pot was my aunts' head. That was the hardest thing i had to read.”

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22. Laura Momaney said... on Oct 27, 2010 at 10:52AM

“This event and the inflictions these women suffered are beyond my capacity to understand the evil, the ugliness and horror in the most ordinary looking human being. I lock every door, window and always carry a weapon (or two). I know people, myself included, can survive against incredible adversity but most certainly the thought of being even a friend or family member of any one of these women is almost more than I can imagine having to live with. My God, this breaks my heart.......<3 to all of you.”

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23. Ricardo and Zornae Sepulveda said... on Nov 10, 2010 at 02:27PM

“this is not a joke josefina rivera is our mother. We were put up for adoption over 24 years ago. We are trying to locate our mother Josefina Rivera, but have been unsuccessful. If you have any information please contact us at the email address: ricadosepulveda97@yahoo.com, zornaesepulbeda@yahoo.com, Blanca201092@yahoo.com, uniqu309@yahoo.com. Thank you”

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24. Anonymous said... on Nov 11, 2010 at 09:14PM

“I hate to say this, but Josefina is such a liar. Just come forward with the truth. Yes, it is unspeakable what she and the other women went through. Why is she lying about things though?”

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25. Kay said... on Jan 26, 2011 at 05:02PM

“Josefina, you are a hero! All comments that are negative just look over them . You were the one that was inflicted by such evil and was there. So continue to stay positive and keep your head up toward heaven.”

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26. Elaine said... on Jan 31, 2011 at 03:18AM

“Oh my gosh. I just watched her story on Investigation Discovery and I feel such hope and despair at the same time. I can't even imagine living with those memories. On the hand, Josefina, you are so amazing. I cannot believe how you survived and that to this day you continue to try and live a normal life. Forget all the negative things people say about you. In my book, you are a hero.”

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27. ray1 said... on Feb 5, 2011 at 07:05PM

“josefina knows she opperated in the classic "If u cant beat'm join'm" with Heidnik, Im not saying she deserved this but she Is not as innocent AS OTHER VICTIMS,as far as her storys not adding up to books, CRACKheads lie so much,they dont no the truth from 1min. to the next. Why didnt she signal for help all the times they ate in restaurants& went shoping after she earned his trust,I wouldnt be surprised if she was rewared in drugs,She was sharing a bed with him toward the end! I dont blame the other woman for noy wanting to speak out,impowering him by reliving the horor,just to satisfy US the Public!”

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28. miss sharni-lea said... on Feb 22, 2011 at 10:33PM

“although josefina shouldnt of taken a ride with this evil person which is were she went wrong but at least she did a good job in getting him caught!!!!

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29. chip said... on Jun 30, 2011 at 10:42AM

“You cannot judge Josefina unless you were in that position yourself. She did the best she could in a dire situation.
Chip”

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30. Anonymous said... on Aug 6, 2011 at 12:18AM

“Gary used the mentall illness ruSE TO ExIT the military, in a way taught by his brother. Gary was just evil, it took me nine years track this person down. Many of those killed were killed on grays ferry ave. My interest was his distribution of guns to gangs in philly and jersey.”

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31. Anonymous said... on Sep 7, 2011 at 02:37PM

“I don't know what to really think of this guy. ???? Was he acting or what?. Anyway, what a piece of white trash, LOL.”

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32. Anonymous said... on Oct 5, 2011 at 09:17AM

“Well I happen to know one of the women and there's a lot of things that's being left out. But I don't really feel for them cause they put there self in that sitution.”

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33. Monica said... on Oct 20, 2011 at 12:35AM

“She played the role she needed to play to gain his trust. Wether it be to lay in his bed, eat at restaurants ect. This role bought her just enought time away from him, so she can report what was being done. If he only half trusted her, he would have pulled out of the gas station parking lot, ran home, transferred the victims elseware, and cleaned up the remaining evedence. It would have been a her word against his. She is a victim just like everyone else that was there. God bless them all.”

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34. Todd said... on Oct 22, 2011 at 12:02AM

“Hello,
If anyone is related to the victims please email toddbs1220@yahoo.com.
I am work with a Phila. Film Company and we are looking for interviews.
Thank You”

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35. yrellim said... on Apr 7, 2012 at 01:01AM

“@rayone 1 said

She could have signal in the restaurant and stores but then he may have fled home and killed the other girls. She knew this, Iknew this it is just a few like you who can not work it out. She could have saved herself, yes.

He was not a boyfriend she was taken off the streets like all the other girls by Heidnek and tortured. If she did not torture the other girls she would have been killed or hurt. He wasn't a nice person, he didn't give her any choices e.g. beat this one or don't -it's up to you.

Josephina does not deserve this. You get locked up in a basement with a madman, torturer and rapist and see if you don't do everything he tells you or choose to die rebelling. Those are the choices. Those were Josephina.

God bless to Josephina. What her discovery tape.”

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36. Alice said... on Jun 14, 2012 at 04:16PM

“God bless all victims of abuse and violence. God doubly bless those who go on to help others. My heartfelt wish is that the victims of this horrific story may find the strength and grace to somehow live a happy, peaceful life and never look back :)”

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37. TRUTH HURTS said... on Jun 15, 2012 at 10:50PM

“What a horrific story! Just finished watching the new show on the ID channel Evil I, and Im obsessed with the criminal mind which led me to google info. Reading some of the comments just make me smdh, how could anyone say that Josephina was an accomplice?? WTH? She is a SURVIVOR baby!! Which happens to run deep in our (black folk) blood!! Not to play the race card but honey being black and going thru everything we have for years we've had to learn how to go along with stuff we didnt want to in order TO LIVE!!! If I was in her position I wouldve done the EXACT SAME THING!! Played his mind!! Josephina I dont know if you will ever read this but you are a HERO baby, the other women are probably ashamed that they didnt think of doing what you did! With a situation like this you have to think fast and cry later!! They should be greatful to you honey!! You couldve hauled ass and left them in the wind and never looked back!! But they dont look at it like that. I SALUTE YOU!! GOD BLESS!”

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38. Jill said... on Jul 6, 2012 at 11:44AM

“I believe women of all races are survivors, I am caucasion and survived a horrible ordeal also! Some are just built to survive and fight! I also salute you Josephina for all you did to save the lives of these women! I just watched an interview with one of the women that was held captive by this sorry excuse for a man. She credited Josephina for saving her life, she understood what Josephina was doing in building trust with Gary Heidnik, Josephina as well as the other women held captive and tortured by this man are all survivors and extremely strong willed women!!! For those that lost their life at the hands of this monster may you rest in peace. @ ANONYMOUS THIS IS YOUR COMMENT:
Well I happen to know one of the women and there's a lot of things that's being left out. But I don't really feel for them cause they put there self in that sitution.”
There is NO WAY POSSIBLE these women put themselves in this situation, to imply that is obsurd and shows your level of maturity or lack of!”

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39. Anonymous said... on Jul 6, 2012 at 11:38PM

“Any women could have been a victim at the hand of this man.
He when after easy target and all of them was black.
Regardless if they where runaway prostitute homeless or crackhead, they are still part of the human race. No one have the right to pass judgment
I'm not trying to play the race card, but this was 1986 missing blacks
never really got to same coverage of follow up on as missing whites.
But one thing I do know Josefina Rivera didn't have to come back.
But she did and that tell a lot, she could have kept going, and never look back. Some of U are trying to re-torturer this women with your heartless comments. She was God bless to the other woman who survived.
Hold your head high Josefina because only God will be there on Judgment Day and He already have walk with you that day. And guess what He still there.

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40. Anonymous said... on Jul 7, 2012 at 06:51PM

“I saw this story on ID and also watched a recent interview with one of the other victim's on the Steve Wilko's show. I think that some of these young girls who want to be grown and out there on the street, not telling their parent(s) where they're going, etc., need to recognize that anything like this could happen to them. Because if parents have to keep calling the cops everytime they run away and stay gone for weeks and months at a time, the cops aren't going to take it seriously when they come up missing for any length of time. There are just too many girls itching to be grown and having sex all over the place with any and everybody. I wish somehow they could at least learn to love themselves and see that they are worthy of all that's good.”

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41. Anonymous said... on Jul 8, 2012 at 02:49PM

“Until your actually in this womens postion . You have no right to judge what she did or what her intentions were . Josefina is a hero & she did the right thing”

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42. Lasandra said... on Jul 14, 2012 at 01:54AM

“Cudo to her..she is a hero for savin those victims lives...because if she had to depend on them to save her life...they would all b dead!!!!!”

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43. Rachel said... on Jul 14, 2012 at 02:02AM

“Cudo to a hero”

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44. tami said... on Jul 14, 2012 at 08:15AM

“I kno jackie personally i feel sorry for all involved it happened and she has scars to tell the story he was a piece of scum”

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45. indy said... on Aug 3, 2012 at 04:51PM

“I just saw one of the victims on the Steve Wilkos show and what a story. This man was pure evil. Josefina did what she had to do to survive and eventually save the other survivors. It's just sad that there are people like this roaming the world still. I just pray for the victims and their families. No one should have to go through this ever. People who judge these women couldn't last a day in their shoes. I know I couldn't. And R.i.p. to the two victims that didn't survive.”

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46. Anonymous said... on Aug 3, 2012 at 05:01PM

“I can not believe some of these comments calling the victims liars or dumb no there not!!! You shouldn't talk unless your in that situation!! Stop blaming the victims and ACTUALLY CRITICIZE THE MAN WHO HURT THESE POOR GIRLS!!!! GARY HEID.”

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47. Anonymous said... on Oct 18, 2012 at 01:43PM

“hi i also lived on heidnik,s block but the next hundred.i remember as a lil girl playing outside with my friends and seeing a woman walking down the street crying naked. some of us followed laughing n others concerned.a neighbor came out n wrapped the woman in a sheet and she wouldnt talk n kept walking over the sedgley avenue hill.creepy! i wonder what happened to that woman or was she the one who escaped in 78?however to josefina im proud of u girl! hook or crook u got out.you go girl. i remember being in the store with him as a child in sandy,s store to be exact n one of the comments from back in the day wasnt lying he was weird n creepy n never spoke. he would get salt n soda n empty boxes from outside the store.the day he was captured is a day I,ll never forget it was so much commotion that morning bringing out the body parts that i got scared n asked my mom can i stay home from school.although i didnt know any of the victims it felt like i did. i mean to watch love ones out their”

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48. Anonymous said... on Oct 30, 2012 at 12:29AM

“I wonder if the Justice system has learned anything. It seems to be too much in favor of fixing the 'insane' (or seemingly 'insane') than delivering justice to the victims families. Its just too much in favor of the perpetrator...”

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49. Katy Weitz said... on Nov 21, 2012 at 06:52AM

“This is a message for Josefina or anybody who knows her and can pass this on.....Josefina, you are an amazing, strong and intelligent woman who has been punished unfairly and treated poorly considering you are both a hero and an inspiration. I am a writer with a big publishing house and we are interested in helping you put together a book about your experiences. I have already worked with two women to do their stories - the first book has already sold over 60,000 copies and the second is out this week. This is a really positive opportunity and I hope we can discuss things. Please contact me on katy@weitz.net
Very warm wishes and hope to be able to speak soon, Katy

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50. Anonymous said... on Mar 15, 2013 at 05:20AM

“Initially, I sympathized with Rivera. But when I did some research and delved more deeply into the story, I discovered some disturbing discrepancies.
The victims were all in the same boat, so to speak. They were all viciously brutalized. Yet, the other three survivors made statements against Rivera. To what end would those other victims need to make charges against Rivera? Two of the remaining survivors testified in court that Rivera beat them even when Heidnik wasn't around. They also testified that Rivera suggested electrocution as a form of punishment when they planned methods of escape. In Rivera's own words, she referred to one of the other girls as a "pain in the ass" because the girl yelled about wanting to leave to go home. That particular girl, Dudley, was electrocuted along with the others. However, she, Dudley, died from bearing the brunt of the electrocution. The punishment of electrocution was never administered to Rivera.

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51. Anonymous said... on Mar 15, 2013 at 05:59AM

“I watched Rivera's taped interview. At one point, she recounted the time she and Heidnik were upstairs together. She stated she heard yelling from the basement during the electrocution. In her words, she told "Gary" to check on those girls to find out what was going on. She said it as if she was telling her husband to check on the couple of few stray cats they had in the basement.
One of the victim's body was ground up and force fed to the others. Yet, Rivera was spared the horror of having to eat the dead body.
Rivera's story of escape changed several times during the police investigation and trial.
Several different people in the neighborhood witnessed Rivera being out and about and walking the streets alone several days before she left Heidnik.
The other girls also testified they were always chained and fettered to pipes; however, Rivera was free to roam where ever she chose. The women stated there were lots of opportunities for Rivera to escape.

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52. Anonymous said... on May 8, 2013 at 07:10PM

“at this moment 5/8/2013, we now have the cleavland three, and a dungeon built in the mass. area where a "lunatic" wanted to rape torture, kill and even eat children. there is a whack job born every minute.”

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53. trinichick_kez said... on Jun 17, 2013 at 11:44AM

“I just watched the episode of this story on discovery, "escaped". I must say Rivera is a strong woman. She has been in captive the longest of the 5 women. She endured the sufferings longer than the others. She tried to escape by calling out for help in the first week of bein captive. she quickly realised that by doin so woulf not get her anywhere. She eventually figured out how to gain the physco trust. SHE finally did n waited for the right time to get help. She is a strong woman, i admire her for that. She didnt give up because she knew she had to fight to live to see her children again. i relate to that. Good luck to her and her and i hope shes living as happy anf comfortably as one can be. xoxo to her.

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54. trinichick_kez said... on Jun 17, 2013 at 11:54AM

“And as for the the other surviving victims.... If it wasnt for Rivera, who know what your outcome would be.. Like the detective said on the show "they would have been dead if it wasnt for rivera" So why accuse her.. You should be grateful to her.I wish all the victims good luck in there future and hope they live happy n comfortably after such a terrifying nightmare...”

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55. phillygirl said... on Aug 7, 2013 at 08:06PM

“Rivera is a HERO I'm praying for you.Your a strong woman you did your thing playing with his head to get away an help everyone sleds.if she would have ran he'd probly would've went home an killed everyone an got away good for you.your free now don't let these ignorent people bring you down from one Philly girl to another you gotta be strong to be a inner city girl”

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56. sungod-ra said... on Sep 3, 2013 at 10:16PM

“Another white man who felt a need to torture black women.”

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57. Claudia in Texas said... on Sep 19, 2013 at 08:29AM

“A hero as a female. As a person. No human deserves to suffer what that animal did. Josefina if u or someone u know reads this, know u are noticed. You are loved, respected and have made your mark in life. If I had any idea u were not financially ok, I would do all in my power to make u comfortable. I hope u aren't living in motels. U don't deserve it. God bless u and use your talents to help others. Maybe keep girls off the streets. Spread the word. Love u!”

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58. ann said... on Oct 18, 2013 at 09:33AM

“you are awsome you are a hero”

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59. Gamedame said... on Aug 11, 2014 at 06:04PM

“I realize that I'm coming in years after this story was published, but I just wanted to add my congratulations to Josefina, for her brains, strength and courage. Josefina, without you and your actions, all five women would be long dead by now, and you probably saved countless others that would have come later, too. The world should be thanking you, putting you up on a pedestal and giving you the largest solid gold medal ever made. You were smart enough and brave enough to get on the good side of a monster. You were smart, brave and strong enough to wait until the perfect time presented itself, so that not only YOU would be safe, but so that the other remaining women would live, and the monster would be locked away until his death. It also took countless strength and bravery to face your attacker from the witness stand, and to stand up to all of the people who tried to shoot you down, tried to make you look like a monster instead of the hero that you are.
You ARE a hero, Josefina”

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60. Anonymous said... on Oct 17, 2014 at 11:36AM

“Obviously josefina is not Black! She's Hispanic. Hispanic people come in all colors. The ignorance of black people, always trying to claim someone because they have dark skin.”

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61. Anonymous said... on Oct 17, 2014 at 11:36AM

“Obviously josefina is not Black! She's Hispanic. Hispanic people come in all colors. The ignorance of black people, always trying to claim someone because they have dark skin.”

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62. Dale said... on Oct 17, 2014 at 12:09PM

“Josefina is Puerto Rican. I've never understood why people just assumed she was African - American.”

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63. Valentina said... on Oct 17, 2014 at 12:16PM

“Josefina was the most cunning, and by far the most beautiful of the six victims. That's probably why he picked her as his favorite.”

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