1. Raven
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    Raven Banned

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    Man admits 24-year abuse of daughter

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Raven, Apr 28, 2008.

    Austria (Reuters) - A 73-year-old Austrian electrical engineer has confessed to holding his daughter captive in a secret, windowless cellar for 24 years and fathering seven children by her, police said on Monday.

    The case, centred on a nondescript two-storey building in the small industrial town of Amstetten, bears chilling similarities to that of Austrian Natascha Kampusch who spent eight years locked up in a basement before escaping in 2006.

    Some parts of the 60 square metre basement in which the family were kept were no more than 1.70 metres (5 ft 6 in) high and officials said the basement even contained a padded cell.

    "This is an appalling crime. I know of no comparable case in Austria," Franz Prucher, head of security for Lower Austria told a news conference.

    Elisabeth Fritzl, 42, says her father, Josef Fritzl, lured her into the basement of the block in 1984 and drugged and handcuffed her before imprisoning her.

    Three of her children, aged 19, 18 and 5, had been locked up in the basement with her since birth and had never seen sunlight, police said, raising worries about their physical and mental state. The younger two were boys, the eldest a girl.

    The victims are receiving medical treatment, said police.

    Three other children -- two girls and one boy -- were brought up by Josef and his wife.

    As well as confessing to locking up his daughter for 24 years and siring the seven children, Fritzl admitted to burning the body of the seventh child in the heating system when it died soon after birth, said Franz Polzer, head of criminal investigations in the state of Lower Austria.

    Investigators spent the day combing through the cells where the victims had been held captive. Forensic experts in white uniforms and gloves carried out boxes of evidence from the house which is on a busy street with shops.

    AUTHORITARIAN

    Fritzl, whom police described as "dynamic, bossy and authoritarian", had hidden the entrance to the cell behind shelves and only he knew the secret code for the reinforced concrete door, said officials.

    Photographs showed a narrow passageway leading into other rooms which included a cooking area, with children's drawings on the walls, a sleeping area and a small bathroom with a shower.

    The victims' only sources of information from the outside world were a television and radio.

    Amstetten, located in rolling hills about 130 km (80 miles) west of Vienna, is an industrial town of about 22,000 people.

    The case unfolded when the 19-year-old girl became seriously ill and was taken to hospital, prompting doctors to appeal for the girl's mother to come forward to provide more details about her medical history.

    Fritzl then brought Elisabeth and her remaining two children out of the basement, telling his wife -- who thought their "missing" daughter had chosen to return home, police said.

    Elisabeth agreed to make a thorough statement to the police after receiving assurances she would have no further contact with her father, who she said abused her from the age of 11.

    SHAME

    The case has raised questions about how authorities and neighbours failed to notice anything unusual in the "house of horrors", not least because officials said Fritzl had over the years built extensions to the secret cellar.

    "The community of Amstetten should drown in shame ... The neighbours are turning a blind eye," the Oesterreich newspaper wrote in an editorial.

    The daily Der Standard wrote: "The whole country must ask itself what is really, fundamentally going wrong."

    Polzer said Fritzl had led a "double life" for 24 years.

    "He deceived us all," he told reporters. "This man, who already had a family with seven children by his wife, had in this cellar seven more children by his own daughter," he said.

    Another puzzle is how Josef's wife Rosemarie could have remained ignorant.

    Police have said they believe Rosemarie did not know what happened to her daughter when she disappeared in 1984. It was assumed Elisabeth had left voluntarily when her parents received a letter from her saying they should not search for her.

    After Elisabeth disappeared, Fritzl said Elisabeth had joined a sect and that she had left the children on the doorstep. He forced Elisabeth to handwrite letters to prove his claims, said the police.

    Psychiatrist Max Friedrich, who treated Kampusch, said the children were undergoing tests in hospital, in particular for problems with their eyes and skin due to the lack of daylight and that they would need trauma therapy.

    "And socially ... the (children) could not develop any sort of sense of community which they would get from going to school or playgroup," Friedrich told Reuters.

    By contrast, the children raised by their grandparents were integrated into the community, said officials, noting they were members of the police sports club and voluntary fire brigade.

    Kampusch, who spent her teenage years in captivity, offered to help the victims and told ORF radio she might talk to them.

    "I can imagine that it is very difficult both for the mother of the children as well as for the wife of the perpetrator to get through this," she said.
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    This is actually sickening...
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm curious, raven... why do you post all these news articles, but don't add any comment of your own?... what's the point?

    besides, most of us will have seen the news items already...
     
  4. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I believe he's trying to spark discussion.
     
  5. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    That is sick... I mean wow. This guy is a serious wack job.

    BTW. I like Raven's news casts. He's like our own CNN :p and of course, the media is neutral... or it should be
     
  6. Frost
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    Frost Contributing Member

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    do you enjoy killing any thing we do that makes this community exactly that?

    besides, you'd be surprised how many of us actually miss the latest news from austria.

    and in regards to the news...heart wrenchingly horrific. how a man could get to that point of perversion is beyond my comprehension.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Easy... Let's steer clear of any flaming...
     
  8. Kit
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    Kit Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow, how this sort of thing can go on is beyond me... I really don't know what to say. I suspect that those children are going to have serious issues when it comes to adapting to society, as would the mother (SEVEN!!). I do feel quite sorry for the wife if she really didn't know but... there had to have been signs.
     
  9. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I don't think the wife could not notice her own daughter being imprisoned in the cellar for 24 years, and having seven children. And I agree about the children and mother. It's going to be a long and painful readjustment.
     
  10. Kit
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    Kit Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah that's what I mean, all those people hidden down in a cellar and she neither heard them nor noticed her husband slipping off down there? Never questionned why her daughter ran away or dumped 3 random kids with them?

    He obviously supplied food and such somehow, she didn't notice this either? Nor the television/radio down there.
     
  11. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Impossible not to notice. I mean, I've heard of the elephant in the room, but that's ridiculous. She obviously turned a blind eye to it, which is almost as bad as the abuse really.
     
  12. Frost
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    Frost Contributing Member

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    Definitely. She should go to jail for as long as he should.
     
  13. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I think that's how it works... If she's an accessory to the crime, she gets the same sentence. That's how it works in the UK, at least.
     
  14. Serendipity666
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    This has been all over the news,m day and night, its the same story over and over again, and everytime i hear it, it makes me sick. The three that were locked up just had the worst possible introduction the world, imagine what theyre in for.
     
  15. Bluemouth
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    Bluemouth Contributing Member Contributor

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    The mother was obviously threatened very severely by the psychopathic individual. Even so, she must be sentenced with equal punishment.

    This story is up there with the German cannibal and the man who wanted to be eaten.
     
  16. Serendipity666
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    Serendipity666 Member

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    a man wanted to be eaten? do you have a link to that story? ive not heard that one before? gross
     
  17. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Really? You haven't heard of that?

    It was all over the news a while back. I'll try and find it for you.
     
  18. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Here it is :D
    Clicky :D
     
  19. Kit
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    Kit Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know... I don't see how she could genuinely not know that there was something wrong. It seems almost impossible to me.

    I hadn't heard about the man who wanted to be eaten either. Strange...
     
  20. silverfrost
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    Yeah... I heard this story on NPR, but I had no idea that the wife "did not know." What the hell...
     
  21. Raven
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    Raven Banned

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    I post news articles because Somethings I find on the daily news spark a good discussion and an interesting debate. And I kinda like posting up the news from time to time.


    Sometimes I post my thoughts. But of late My Moderator Duties are taken doing other things behind the curtains so to speak.
     
  22. CDRW
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    How could she not notice? We actually learned about that in a law class I had a couple years ago when we had a segment on mass murderers. It all boils down to the fact that no wife would expect her husband to do that kind of thing. The signs are there, but the thing they are pointing to is so far out there that the possibility never even enters into her head. You might think about the possibility that your spouse is cheating on you, but who thinks that their husband might just have a secret basement where he keeps family locked up so that he can practice perversions and torture?

    Do you think that your husband is killing dozens of people, chopping them up into little pieces and hiding them under the floor in the barn, or do you think that an animal gets under the floor and dies every month?

    You wouldn't think that of a person regardless of whether they were respectible or a rampant wife beater.
     
  23. Mr Sci Fi
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    Mr Sci Fi Senior Member

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    It's interesting you brought this up, and I see this kind of thing all the time. I was watching "The Steve Wilkos Show" and this father that molested his daughter was on, denying it as usual, even though he failed a polygraph. Anyway, the mother comes out to DEFEND HIM. The fact was, she knew it was going on, but did nothing to stop it because she didn't want to admit her own husband was at fault. This is YOUR daughter, lady. Your daughter.

    I can't believe that I just admitted I watch daytime TV.
     
  24. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    That might be the most heinous thing in your statement, Mr Sci Fi :p
     
  25. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow, that is so weird. One thing my mam mentioned earlier is that how could the daughter not escape after so many years, has there never been an oppertunity for her to escape after 24 years?

    I'm not sure what to say about it really, it is just ... weird.
     

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