By Kyle Robison
The story of the Austrian man who kept his daughter imprisoned in a dungeon beneath his home for 24 years, where he repeatedly raped and abused her has been makingheadlines worldwide.
In 1984, Josef Fritzl reportedly drugged and handcuffed his 18-year-old daughter Elizabeth and lead her to a dark, sinister underground bunker. Elizabeth states that she was kept shackled to the wall for a long period of time. For the first five years of her imprisonment, Elizabeth was left completely alone, except for the father’s visits to sexually abuse her. After reporting her daughter missing, her mother was instructed by Fritzl to write to the police and tell them to give up the search.
Between 1992 and 2002, Elizabeth bore seven of her father’s children, one of whom died aged three. Only after one of the children, Kerstin, suffered multiple organ failure and was rushed to hospital did the horrific story emerge.
“If it weren’t for me, Kerstin wouldn’t be alive today,” said Fritzl. “It was me who made sure she was taken to hospital.”
A police investigation has revealed the in-depth planning that went with the operation. Fritzl had planned the bunker since Elizabeth was 12. When there were four children, he added another room to the 35 square metre space. There were eight secured doors separating the dungeon from the house and even a timer that would open the doors after a period of time if anything happened to him.
“It became completely matter of fact for me that I had a second life which I led in the cellar of my house,” said Fritzl.
The inhabitants of the dungeon have suffered extreme psychological defects, as well as having difficulties with light and conceptions of distance. Meanwhile, Fritzl’s lawyer says he is preparing to plead insanity. “I am not a monster,” said Fritzl.