Final defendant in barbarous 'Basement of Horrors' case sentenced to 27 years

Victims rejoice: "I don't have to be scared no more."

Kristen Johanson
September 13, 2018 - 4:03 pm
Victims who survived years of starvation and torture, known as the "Basement of Horrors" case, express relief after their captors have been imprisoned. "I don't have to be scared no more."

Kristen Johanson | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Seven years after they were first rescued by investigators, the group of victims in the "Basement of Horrors" case sat in federal Judge Cynthia Rufe's courtroom to see the fate of the last defendant, Eddie Wright.

Wright was sentenced in federal court Thursday after pleading guilty to his role in the starvation and torture of several physically and mentally handicapped people.

"I'm just relieved and happy," said one victim.

"I am happy 'cause these people, they treat me wrong," echoed another.

These are just some of the people Wright admitted to imprisoning, starving and assaulting over a number of years, at the order of mastermind Linda Weston, who also stole more than $200,000 in Social Security checks from them. The conspiracy spanned over a decade and in three states: Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia's Tacony neighborhood.

RELATED: Man sentenced to 27 years for role in 'Basement of Horrors' case

One of the victims, Tamara, spoke in court, describing how Wright would beat and assault her while Weston watched from the doorway.

Wright responded to the judge: "I can almost feel what they feel, and it hurts. It's constantly ripping me apart. I pray every night."

But Judge Cynthia Rufe chided Wright, saying what he feels now is nothing compared to what those victims suffered, and "you must pay."

She sentenced Wright to 27 years behind bars.

"I was really emotional for the victims," said Tamara's mother, Peggy. "The man didn't even say he was sorry." 

Choking back tears, the judge told the victims she admired their resilience.

Outside the courthouse, one of the victims, Herbert, explained how he felt happy to be over the ordeal. 

"They beat me in the basement. I don't like them," he said.

Tamar threw her hands in the air in jubilation. "Justice is served!" she screamed.

"Free, and I just can live my life," said Beatrice, another victim. "I don't have to be scared no more."