As a young mum-of-three, Josefina Rivera was determined to get her troubled life back on track. But then she met Gary Heidnik and the next four months became a living nightmare.
Along with five women Josefina was held captive in a cellar where she was starved, beaten, and repeatedly raped to fulfil Heidnik’s desire of creating a ‘family’ of ten children.
Cellar Girl is the shocking but ultimately inspiring story of how one brave, young woman saved herself and others from a life worse than hell.
With My Story, Elizabeth tells of the constant fear she endured every hour, her courageous determination to maintain hope, and how she devised a plan to manipulate her captors and convinced them to return to Utah, where she was rescued minutes after arriving. Smart explains how her faith helped her stay sane in the midst of a nightmare and how she found the strength to confront her captors at their trial and see that justice was served.
In the years after her rescue, Smart transformed from victim to advocate, traveling the country and working to educate, inspire and foster change. She has created a foundation to help prevent crimes against children and is a frequent public speaker. She and her husband, Matthew Gilmour, now have two children.