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plusSecond level tier imageS&S NightmaresSeason 1

The Hole

32 min 04 s
2.2k Listeners
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A brilliant psychopath traps multiple women in his secret basement and begins plans to create the perfect family.

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2.2k Listeners
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A brilliant psychopath traps multiple women in his secret basement and begins plans to create the perfect family.

The harrowing and chilling true crime story of Gary Heidnik's criminal acts unfolds with a detailed account of his abductions and the subsequent torture of several women in the confines of his Philadelphia home. This narrative delves deeply into the traumatic experiences of Josephina Rivera and the other captives who were held against their will in a nightmarish basement that served as their prison. These women were subjected to unspeakable acts of extreme suffering, enduring not only physical abuse but also severe psychological torture as Heidnik pursued his perverse goal of creating a distorted version of a "family."


Despite a history marked by mental illness and a deeply troubled past, Gary Heidnik exhibited a chilling level of cunning and manipulation, targeting individuals who were particularly vulnerable due to their circumstances. The story reaches a critical juncture with the brave escape of Josephina Rivera, whose actions were pivotal in bringing to light the atrocities occurring within Heidnik's house of horrors. Rivera's escape ultimately led to the liberation of the remaining victims and the apprehension of Heidnik by law enforcement.


The account of these events is a stark reminder of the depths of human depravity that can exist, juxtaposed with the incredible resilience and strength displayed by the survivors. The detailed recounting of these events serves to honor the victims' struggles and the triumph of their spirit over the darkness they faced. It also serves as a sobering examination of the failures in societal and mental health systems that allowed a predator like Heidnik to perpetrate such crimes.