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Willowbrook State School: 30 years later

PIX11 looks back 30 years after the infamous “snake pit” that warehoused children with developmental disabilities shutdown in 1987.

It was in that school that abused, neglected children were kept naked and afraid of the people who were supposed to be their caretakers.

Thousands of young people with developmental disabilities were kept locked away for decades, living in a state-funded hell -- and it happened right here in New York, at Willowbrook State School in Staten Island.

In the 1960s, Bobby Kennedy called it a snake pit. In the '70s, Geraldo Rivera exposed it as a real-life horror story.

Tamsen Fadal speaks with Rivera, a surivor and witnesses to the nightmare that finally came to an end three decades ago.