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Lifetime’s “The Girl Locked Upstairs: The Tanya Kach Story” Explores the True Story of a Woman Imprisoned for a Decade



Lifetime Movie Network

Lifetime is set to air a new film, “The Girl Locked Upstairs: The Tanya Kach Story,” based on the harrowing true story of Tanya Kach, who was held captive for ten years by her middle school security guard, Thomas Hose. The film, premiering this summer, will be executive produced by Elizabeth Smart, a kidnapping survivor and advocate herself, and stars Robert Baker and Jordyn Ashley Olsen.

Tanya Kach’s ordeal began when she was just 14 years old. After her parents’ divorce, she moved to McKeesport, Pennsylvania, with her father and his then-fiancée. Tanya struggled with the upheaval, bullying at her new school, and a troubled relationship with her mother, who she described as violent and abusive. Feeling isolated and unloved, she turned to drinking, smoking, and drugs as a form of escape.

It was during this vulnerable time that she met Thomas Hose, a 38-year-old security guard at her school. Hose befriended Tanya, buying her cigarettes and candy, and offering her a listening ear. However, their relationship took a sinister turn when Hose lured Tanya to his home, where he held her captive for the next ten years. He manipulated and psychologically abused her, threatening to kill her and her family if she resisted or tried to escape.

During her captivity, Tanya was confined to a hidden room within Hose’s house, using a bucket as a toilet and only allowed to shower occasionally. She was forced to change her name to “Nikki” and dye her hair. Hose even created a new identity for her as “Nikki Allen,” introducing her to his parents as his girlfriend. For the first four years, she was not allowed outside the house at all.


Eventually, Hose began to grant Tanya limited freedom. He allowed her to leave the house for short periods and, in 2000, she was permitted to work at a local convenience store. It was through this job that Tanya finally found the courage to escape in 2006, with the help of a grocery store owner in her neighborhood.

Hose pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, and child endangerment. He was sentenced to a maximum of 15 years in prison and was released in 2022, registering as a sex offender.

The impact of Tanya’s ordeal extended beyond her captivity. Upon her escape, she faced challenges in reconnecting with her family, particularly her father, who she felt partially blamed her for the kidnapping. She also encountered difficulties in reclaiming her identity and rebuilding her life. Despite these struggles, Tanya has demonstrated resilience and a determination to help others. She wrote a bestselling book, “Memoir of a Milk Carton Kid,” and continues to share her story to raise awareness and help others who have experienced similar traumas.

The Girl Locked Upstairs: The Tanya Kach Story” delves into the disturbing reality of Tanya Kach’s decade-long imprisonment, shedding light on the abuse and manipulation she endured. The film also highlights the failures of the system, including the school and the police, to protect Tanya and prevent her prolonged captivity.


Following the film, Lifetime will air a special documentary, “Beyond the Headlines: The Tanya Kach Story with Elizabeth Smart.” This documentary will feature Smart meeting with Kach, providing a platform for Kach to share her experiences and the challenges she faced during and after her captivity, including the victim-blaming she endured.

Through this powerful combination of a feature film and a documentary, Lifetime shines a light on the harrowing story of Tanya Kach, giving voice to her trauma and her journey of resilience and survival.

Hey there! I'm Riley, the US TV Previews editor at I may have failed as a musician, but my love for Jeopardy knows no bounds. And let me tell you, The Wire is hands down the greatest TV show ever made. I've been writing about the entertainment biz since (mumble mumble). Stay tuned for all the latest TV news and previews!

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