PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With a new book coming out this week, local woman Tanya Kach is revealing new details about her decade in captivity.
She’s been featured on Dr. Phil and also recently sat down with KDKA’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland to talk about her past and her future.
Her book is called “Memoir of a Milk Carton Kid.” It is being released today, and is the story of what started as a very troubled teenage girl from McKeesport.
This is her story.
“My home life was a mess and I was very vulnerable,” said Kach. “You know, my mother wasn’t in my life at that point. My dad forgot he had a daughter and we were living under the same roof, and I was running around with the wrong crowd.”
Looking back, Kach told KDKA’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland that she has a new perspective on how and why she ended up falling prey to a security guard at Cornell Middle School when she was just 14-years-old. Her parents had split up; she was looking for a place to belong; and Thomas Hose made her feel special.
“He was an authority figure, wearing a uniform and a badge,” she said. “Someone you would trust and he befriended me, but now I know that he lured me in.”
Lured, abducted or seduced – the relationship between Hose, who was 39 at the time, and Kach, who was 25 years his junior, began under a stairwell at the middle school and lasted 10 years.
She became a runaway and believed Hose would protect her. She says she ended up hidden away in his bedroom in the McKeesport home he shared with his parents and son.
“Looking back on it now, it was horrible. Horrible. Sitting, stuck in a room, being led down a hall, maybe once a week, to get a shower. The isolation,” Kach said. “When I look back on it now, it’s horrible.”
In her book, Kach says she would stay in the bedroom, at times 24 hours a day, not allowed to even use the bathroom.
“He put a bucket in there and said, that’s your bathroom. I was so brainwashed. I feel humiliated now absolutely,” she said. “It is humiliating to say I went to the bathroom in a bucket. Who wouldn’t?”
But she stayed. At first because she thought she was in love with Hose – later out of fear.
“You do not make that man angry,” said Kach. “You don’t disobey him. His parents did not disobey him. His son didn’t disobey him. Nobody did.”
So Kach says she adjusted to life in a cramped second floor bedroom – learning to be careful not to reveal her existence to his parents who lived in the house the whole time she was hidden away there.
Lynne Hayes-Freeland: “In the book, you talk about figuring out which floor boards not to step on?”
Kach: “He had me memorize them, where they were at so I didn’t walk on them when he wasn’t home. He literally walked me around the room and showed me which ones creaked and which ones don’t. So I just followed his orders.”
Kach says after a while, she became brainwashed. Taking orders and following orders just became a way of life for the teenage girl who lived in a bedroom and sometimes in a closet.
“He would just point. I was like a dog. I did what my master told me,” Kach said. “I went to the closet. I felt like a dog waiting for my master to come home looking back on it now.”
But Kach would eventually grow weary of staying in the room and the house.
Hose would allow her out in small increments, changing her hair color first, and then her name – all the while still concealing her true identity.
In time, she would confide her “secret” to a nearby store owner who contacted police. She looks back now on the man who she says stole her teenage years with contempt.
“He’s an absolute monster. There’s no words to explain him, an absolute monster. Just horrible. I don’t even like to think about him. He’s an evil, sadistic person. Period,” she said of Hose. “I’ve told people, if he ever does an interview, whenever, let me know what day, what time, what station, so I know not to watch it. I don’t want to hear what he has to say. I don’t want to hear his voice; I don’t want to see his face.”
Hose, who eventually entered into a plea agreement, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He will be eligible for parole in February. As for Kach, she’s looking ahead to her future with a new fiancé and finishing her education.
“I just look forward. I never take one day for granted, never,” Kach added. “I still walk outside and breath the fresh air and still touch the grass. I never take anything for granted.”
Hose did plead guilty to abducting Kach. She doesn’t know exactly what her reaction will be when he comes up for parole in a few months, but she is hoping he won’t get it.
KDKA’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland did go back to the Hose home recently, and his parents declined to comment on the book or any of Kach’s allegations.