It turned out that for years, Ming had been keeping a list of his favorite actresses. He had been writing fantasies in which he raped them, and then they begged for his sexual favors.
But at least one of the women in Ming's fantasies was not an actress. Right in the middle of his list was the name Mary Stauffer, his compassionate and caring ninth-grade math teacher.
By the time Mary and Beth Stauffer had been missing for 48 hours, the hunt for the kidnapper had swelled to 300 officers and volunteers. But their searching was fruitless.
With Mary still bound and gagged in his living room, Ming boasted that he'd pulled off the perfect crime. Finally, he revealed a method to this madness. Mary recalled him telling her about his three-step plan.
"The first part was to find me, the second part was to get revenge, and, he said, the third part -- 'Well that sort of depends on you,'" Mary said. "And I said, 'What are you going to do for revenge?' And he began to re-, remove my slacks and my clothing, put my shirt up over my face and he said, 'I think you can guess.'"
May did not know it at the time, but Ming was videotaping the sessions.
"I think any, any women who, who has been raped, knows just the, the physical horror of having some person touch you that isn't your husband," Mary said. "I just had to turn my emotions off because it was just too horrible to think about."
Over time, Mary said, the sexual attacks escalated --but she managed to keep them hidden from her daughter.
"Every night and it got worse and worse," Mary said. "And he said to me, 'You have to show me more affection.' And I said, 'I'm sorry, I cannot do that. I love my husband and I've promised to be true to him until death and what you ask I cannot do.'"
At which point Ming introduced a mind game.
"He said, 'Have you ever watched anybody die by suffocation?' I said no," said Mary. "He said, 'You're going to watch your daughter die by suffocation.' And he took a big, clear plastic bag, put it over Beth as she sat in the closet, tucked it in underneath her.
"And he said, 'Takes four to five minutes, you'll gradually breathe up all oxygen in the bag. The bag will contract around her face, she'll lose consciousness and die.'
"He said, 'If you're stupid enough to let your daughter die, I'm going to go and kill your husband and son as well.' And I said, 'Lord, I am going to lose my whole family.' And finally as I watched the bag get closer to her, I couldn't stand it anymore. I went to him, I gave him a peck on the cheek. He said, 'That's not enough.' I gave him a peck on the lips and that was enough to get the bag off Beth.
Mary was raped daily. She and her daughter were fed twice a day. It was not until day 10 that Ming allowed them to take a shower. Then, Mary said, he began to loosen up a little bit.
"We had some times of very normal conversation about the Bible, about God, about ordinary topics as well," she said.
Ming, who owned an electronics store, returned to his daily routine.
"He ran a business," said Biernat, the author. "He paid payroll. He went to the supermarket. He got his oil changed. ... Life went on as normal." Even his employees didn't have a clue.
T. Kenneth Lewis is a former employee of Ming's. "I would say he was a pretty decent boss," Lewis said. "Ming was very intelligent. As far as his electronics were concerned, he had a good business going."