The horror case took place in the Austrian town of Amstetten and surfaced on April 28, 2008. On that day, the Austrian police were to take Josef Fritzel in handcuffs. The reasons for the detention were unprecedented in Austrian history. Fritzl was to imprison his daughter Elizabeth in the basement of his house, with which he and his wife lived.
It had to be kept in the cellar for 24 years. He was to lock his then 18-year-old daughter in the basement on August 28, 1984. She was 42 the day she was freed by the police. As soon as these facts fell apart, the whole world learned of the affair. Josef Fritzl became infamous and hated in a day.
An ordained citizen who has served 12 months
Like many criminals, Josef Fritzl grew up in a single parent family. He was raised only by his mother and was an only child. He was born in Nazi-stricken Austria in 1935. The father left the family four years later, no longer coming into contact with his son. He might want to, but in 1944 he lost his life as a soldier in the Wehrmacht battle.
After graduating from high school, Fritzl decided to continue and fell in love while studying at the Technical University. He took on his future wife Rosemarie at the age of 21 and over the years they fathered seven children, two sons and five daughters, including Elizabeth who was born on April 6, 1966. After successfully obtaining an engineering degree in electrical engineering, he found a job in Linz.
And that’s where Fritzel’s criminal past began to unfold. In 1967, he only raped a 24-year-old nurse who broke into a house while she was home alone. Under threat of death, she was at his mercy. He was also suspected of attempted rape this year.
He was eventually found guilty of his rampage. The court granted him an 18-month stay behind bars, of which he only served one year. One can wonder if 12 months is really a sufficient sentence for rape. Despite these incidents, Rosemarie did not leave him and remained his wife.
After serving his sentence, he returned to his native Amstetten at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s, where he found employment with a local construction company. Later he became a salesman and, thanks to his good position, traveled all over the country.
As his career took off and he was financially successful, he and his wife invested in and bought a boarding house on Lake Mondsee in 1972, which they owned until 1996, a year after Fritzl retired.
Mr. and Mrs. Fritzl
Cellar – home for another 24 years
Fritzlov’s wrongdoings against his daughter date back to 1977, when he allegedly only abused then 11-year-old Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s puberty was a bit more acute than usual, which culminated when in 1983, she fled with a friend to Vienna, where she managed to live without parental controls for a few weeks. However, after three weeks the police tracked them down and Elizabeth was forced to return to the nursery. At the instigation of her parents, she trained as a waiter and worked in Linz.
However, her behavior was unacceptable to her father and that did not stop her from returning to school and starting to work. Elizabeth was about to leave the house. However, her father was definitely not going to release her from the family nest. On August 28, he lured her into the basement of their family home and overwhelmed her, saying she needed help fixing the door.
He then placed an ether-soaked towel over his mouth to stun his daughter. Once unconscious, he locked her in the bedroom. It should be noted that the mother had no idea.
After her daughter disappeared without a trace, she called the police, but of course their search yielded no results. Fritzl himself brought the first clue to the police. The clue contained a letter that Elizabeth was to write and send home, but as it turned out during the investigation, Elizabeth wrote these letters unwittingly under threat of death.
But there was no proof of that. Even the letter itself contained a postage stamp from another city. In the letter, Elizabeth wrote how tired she was of the life she had led with her parents. She had to stay in an unfamiliar place with a friend, while her parents had explicitly warned not to look for them. So Fritzl obviously thought of everything in detail.
As soon as the situation with the search for their daughter collapsed, everything only got worse. Rosemarie had no idea their daughter had been in the house all this time. It’s amazing that for 24 years Fritzel managed to hide Elizabeth’s presence. During these years, he visited her several times a week, providing her with food, water and other things necessary for her long-term survival. He also installed a toilet and a television in the basement.
He seems to have treated her pretty well, except for the imprisonment, but the opposite is true. He was repeatedly beaten and raped during regular visits, with up to seven children emerging from repeated incestuous relationships over the years. But not all of them stayed with their mother. Kerstin, Stefan and Felix were unlucky.
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