Father Admits To 24-Year Abuse of Daughter
By CHRISTEL KUCHARZ
“A 73-year-old man confessed he built a dungeon in the basement of the family’s home in downtown Amstetten. He says he kept his own daughter locked up for almost 24 years in order to prevent her having access to the local drug scene,” Austrian prosecutor Gerhard Sedlacek told ABC News.
At a press conference today with local law enforcement officials and medical staff present, Sedlacek called the case “a unique crime of such proportion I haven’t seen in 32 years of my career, a terrible crime, which is beyond imagination.”
Elisabeth Fritzl, who was reported missing in 1984 when she was 18, was found by police last weekend and told investigators her father, Josef Fritzl, had held her captive for almost 24 years in a small space in the basement of the family home in downtown Amstetten.
He repeatedly raped her and fathered her seven children, three of whom were never allowed outside of the basement, according to police.
At the time of Elisabeth’s disappearance, her father told acquaintances and relatives that she had joined a cult.
“The woman, now 42 years old, clearly shows signs of her unspeakable martyrdom,” Franz Polzer, head of the Lower Austrian Bureau of Criminal Affairs, told reporters.
“She’s never been outside of her prison, and she was never allowed to see the light of day since her father abducted her. She’s very pale and she looks a lot older then she is. The woman and her children are now in psychiatric care along with the grandmother of the children, who is said to know nothing of the terrible crime.”
Sedlacek confirmed that Josef Fritzl, who was arrested Sunday on suspicion of incest and abduction, has admitted partly to the crime and is now said to be cooperating with investigators, who are still trying to piece together the full details of this horrendous crime.
Sick Teen Leads to Discovery
The case unfolded last week after a gravely ill teenager was found unconscious in the apartment building where the Fritzls live.
The young woman, Elisabeth Fritzl’s 19-year-old daughter, Kerstin, with was taken to a hospital in Amstetten unconscious, suffering terrible cramps and was considered to be in life threatening condition.
When authorities were told that the girl’s mother was missing, they publicly appealed for her to come forward to provide details about her medical history.
The hospital doctor who treated the teenage girl called police when he grew suspicious neglect. Police then picked up the Elisabeth Fritzl near the hospital on Saturday, bringing the family’s unbelievable plight to light.
Elisabeth, who agreed to talk only after authorities assured her that she would no longer have to have contact with her father and that her children would be cared for, reportedly told investigators that her father had sedated and handcuffed her in August 1984 and then locked her in the basement of the family’s apartment building behind a steel door.
For almost 24 years, she said, he kept her down there, repeatedly raping her. She eventually gave birth to seven children. She said that she and her children got food and clothing only from her father and that her mother, Rosemarie, was not involved.
Over the years, Josef Fritzl secretly enlarged the narrow space to add sanitary facilities and small hot plates for cooking. Eventually he gave them a TV set.
Three Children Raised by Grandparents
Police said that Josef and Rosemarie Fritzl raised three of Elisabeth’s children in their apartment. The couple registered those children with authorities, saying they found them outside their home in 1993, 1994 and 1997, at least one with a note from Elisabeth saying she could not care for the child.
Three other children apparently remained in the cellar with Elisabeth and were never allowed to leave the basement.
Elisabeth told investigators she gave birth to twins in 1996, but one died several days later because it was not properly cared for, and her father took the infant’s body away to burn it in the furnace, a detail which reportedly was confirmed by Josef Fritzl today.
It was only after Kerstin, the oldest child, was hospitalized that Josef Fritzl freed Elisabeth and the remaining children from their captivity.
He told his wife that Elisabeth and the children had come back to live with them and then took Elisabeth to the hospital so she could discuss her child’s medical details with the doctors treating the teenager.
Shortly after the pair had returned to the family home, police officers came to the house to question Elisabeth about neglecting her children. The officers did not take long to persuade Elisabeth to reveal the whole story.
The case is reminiscent of that of Natascha Kampusch, the Austrian girl who was kidnapped when she was 10 years old and held captive in a tiny underground dungeon in her kidnapper’s house in a Vienna suburb for more than eight years.
Kampusch escaped her ordeal in 2006, and her kidnapper committed suicide just hours after her dramatic escape.
While police are not connecting the two cases, many Austrians are now asking how such horrific incidents could remain uncovered for so long.
Neighbors in Amstetten told Austrian TV ORF, “They were totally normal, nice next-door neighbors. There was never anything negative about them. How in the world is this possible?” UNQUOTE
From “ABC NEWS”: By CHRISTEL KUCHARZ
Austria Reacts With Shock and Disbelief
The woman who was held captive in her father’s basement for 24 years has been reunited with five of her children and her mother in a meeting that astonished hospital staff for the ease with which they got along.
Law enforcement authorities confirmed [on this day] that DNA test results prove Josef Fritzl, 73, to be the father of the six surviving children born to his daughter Elisabeth during her imprisonment in the Austrian town of Amstetten.
The man, [who is this girl’s father has been] dubbed a “monster” by the Austrian press and the world, at large.
Elizabeth Fritzl was reunited Sunday with her mother and the three children whom Fritzl allowed to live upstairs with him. Two of the children who were confined to the basement were also present. Another child, 19-year-old Kerstin, remains in a medically induced coma at another facility, where she is being treated for a life-threatening illness.
Fritzl had allowed three of the children to live above-ground with him and reportedly told his wife and authorities that his daughter had run away, but sent him the children because she couldn’t care for them.
Despite the decades of abuse and separation, the three generations had a smooth reunion, officials said.
“It astonished us how easy it was for the children to come together, and how easy it was for Elisabeth and her mother to come together. We’re trying to keep them together for as long as possible,” Dr. Berthold Kepplinger said.
While the family may be coping, this Alpine country is struggling to come to terms with what one Austrian paper called “the worst crime of all time.”
What has rattled the country even more is that this is the third such incident in the last two years.
“How on Earth was it possible for this man to hide this horrendous crime for so long? How could authorities fail to uncover this tragedy?” one of the neighbors in Amstetten asked.
“He and his wife were totally inconspicuous, just a nice couple, always very friendly,” added another man.
Another stunned neighbor expressed disbelief. “It’s unbelievable something like this could happen in your neighborhood,” said Guenther Pramreiter, who runs a bakery shop next door to “the horror house,” as some media dubbed the family home.
A woman who lives across the street told TV reporters how much she admired Mrs. Fritzl “for bringing up and educating her grandchildren. You could always see the kids playing in the swimming pool in the summer time, and you could hear them laugh. How could it be that we never noticed anything wrong?”
A woman identified only as Gertrude A. told Austrian TV ORF, “I’ve known him for so long, and he’s always been a nice guy. He was a caring grandfather. I’ve been to that house often. No way can I believe that this was going on in the cellar. ”
Austrians, meanwhile, are wondering what is going on in their country. They are still getting over the shocking story of Austrian schoolgirl Natascha Kampusch, who was kidnapped and hidden in a windowless cell for over eight years until she escaped in April 2006.
The following year three girls emerged from their seven-year captivity at the hands of their mother.
The girls, ages 7, 11 and 13 when their ordeal began, had been isolated for so long in a dark filthy room in the city of Linz that they developed their own language. When they were eventually freed, they had problems coping with the sunlight.
“The nation has hardly digested the notorious kidnapping of Austrian schoolgirl Natascha Kampusch, who was hidden by her kidnapper in a windowless cell for over eight years until she escaped in April 2006, when another dramatic case is shaking the nation — as if the entire country is under a curse,” wrote the German newspaper Die Zeit.
These cases have prompted the Austrian newspaper Der Standard to demand that “the whole country should ask if there’s something wrong with our society.”
There’s a lot of soul-searching under way and there seem to be no easy answers.
“Amstetten is in a state of shock,” wrote Mayor Herbert Katzengruber on the city’s Web site. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims.” UNQUOTE.
FROM WIKIPEDIA – The Free, Online Encyclopedia
As a medical diagnosis, pedophilia or paedophilia is a psychiatric disorder in persons 16 years of age or older typically characterized by a primary or exclusive sexual interest toward prepubescent children (generally age 11 years or younger, though specific diagnosis criteria for the disorder extends the cut-off point for prepubescence to age 13). An adolescent who is 16 years of age or older must be at least five years older than the prepubescent child before the attraction can be diagnosed as pedophilia. It is a form of child sexual abuse born out of an unnatural sexual interest in prepubescent children.
The term has a range of definitions, as found in psychiatry, psychology, the vernacular, and law enforcement. The International Classification of Diseases (I.C.D.) defines pedophilia as a “disorder of adult personality and behaviour” in which there is a sexual preference for children of prepubertal or early pubertal age. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), it is a paraphilia in which adults or adolescents 16 years of age or older have intense and recurrent sexual urges towards and fantasies about prepubescent children that they have either acted on or which cause them distress or interpersonal difficulty.
Psychopathology and personality traits
Several researchers have reported correlations between pedophilia and certain psychological characteristics, such as low self-esteem and poor social skills. Cohen et al. (2002), studying child sex offenders, states that pedophiles have impaired interpersonal functioning and elevated passive-aggressiveness, as well as impaired self-concept. Regarding disinhibitory traits, pedophiles demonstrate elevated psychopathy and propensity for cognitive distortions. According to the authors, pathologic personality traits in pedophiles lend support to a hypothesis that such pathology is related to both motivation for and failure to inhibit pedophilic behavior.
According to Wilson and Cox (1983), “The paedophiles emerge as significantly higher on Psychoticism, Introversion and Neurotocism than age-matched controls. [But] there is a difficulty in untangling cause and effect. We cannot tell whether paedophiles gravitate towards children because, being highly introverted, they find the company of children less threatening than that of adults, or whether the social withdrawal implied by their introversion is a result of the isolation engendered by their preference i.e., awareness of the social approbation and hostility that it evokes”
Studying child sex offenders, a review of qualitative research studies published between 1982 and 2001 concluded that pedophiles use cognitive distortions to meet personal needs, justifying abuse by making excuses, redefining their actions as love and mutuality, and exploiting the power imbalance inherent in all adult–child relationships. Other cognitive distortions include the idea of “children as sexual beings”, “uncontrollable of sexuality”, and “sexual entitlement-bias”.
Child pornography is commonly collected by pedophiles who use the images for a variety of purposes, ranging from private sexual uses, trading with other pedophiles, preparing children for sexual abuse as part of the child grooming process, or enticement leading to entrapment for sexual exploitation such as production of new child pornography or child prostitution.
Pedophile viewers of child pornography are often obsessive about collecting, organizing, categorizing, and labeling their child pornography collection according to age, gender, sex act and fantasy. According to FBI agent Ken Lanning, “collecting” pornography does not mean that they merely view pornography, but that they save it, and “it comes to define, fuel, and validate their most cherished sexual fantasies”. An extensive collection indicates a strong sexual preference for children and the owned collection is the single best indicator of what he or she wants to do. Researchers Taylor and Quayle reported that pedophile collectors of child pornography are often involved in anonymous internet communities dedicated to extending their collections. Pedophile online community bulletin boards often include technical advice regarding encryption and other measures from experienced child pornographers to assist new perpetrators from detection from law enforcement. UNQUOTE.
Whatever you might consider as constituting the existence of Chronic Evil on our Planet and whatever you might feel about Satan commanding his massive army of powerful “whisperers” – the simple and undeniable fact of the matter is that we really ought to understand the essence of evil well in order to become better and more responsible and mature citizens of any given nation in the world today. It is the prefect comprehension of Evil and the active, disciplined avoidance of the various vices and sins that make up the very nature of evil that have brought about the birth of virtues. You ought to respect the existence of evil, if only for this reason. We can appreciate goodness and benevolence because we know how the shadow of evil can blight its warmth and eternal glory.
People have tended to fear fighting openly against evil ways because they lacked the powerful guidance of a strong and courageous leader. Well, you have a leader now, don’t you? So what exactly is stopping you now? Contemporary stress of academics and cut-throat competition has robbed a child of the “golden days” of his/her childhood – “the good, old days” of fun, frolic, games and laughter that we have taken so much for granted – just because we enjoyed it ourselves. If the human race continues to make the ignoble choice of robbing our own children, infants and minors of their adolescence, youth and the best years in their growth towards adulthood, what is left for us? If we willingly rob them of their innocence, unstinting trust and “joie de vivre”, what hope is there for a better generation to come? Is this the Legacy we hope to leave to the next generation? Surely you can do better than that! Aren’t we voluntarily paving the way for more and more disappointments, more and more disillusionment and a lifetime of trauma, pain and suffering by not protesting loudly against such flagrant injustices? Don’t the silent cries and pleas for justice from countless victims touch our hearts at all – or are we as dead and lifeless as “the whisperers” themselves? IF WE DON’T REACT STRONGLY NOW, WE WILL ONLY SUCCEED IN WATCHING OURSELVES DROWN IN A BOTTOMLESS ABYSS OF DESPAIR. GOD GAVE US UNLIMITED REASONING POWERS – IT IS WHAT DISTINGUISHES HUMANS FROM THE ANIMAL KINGDOM. Let us make use of this invaluable gift to eradicate the perverted face of evil from our lives, once and for all!
Oh, didn’t I mention this fact before, did I? If Satan has a massive army of staunch followers, then Shiva has an answer to that too. Shiva believes that “Two can Play at the Same Game.” This is the Apocalypse – the War of the Worlds and a Call for Doomsday and an Armageddon – “People of the World, unite! I look forward to meeting you as forming part of my unified, loyal band of soldiers on the Battlefield of Life. We will crush Evil TOGETHER. UNITED SHALL WE STAND AND UNITED SHALL WE FALL! Benevolence and Peace shall Rule our World Once Again! Glory be to the Supreme Being!
- goodness in the face of evil (listentolori.wordpress.com)
- The Narrative Of Evil (wordsbylucasflanagan.wordpress.com)
- Faces of Evil That Rule the World ! (12160.info)
- Doctor Who: The Face of Evil (Review) (them0vieblog.com)
- The Smiling Face of Evil (loveforgrace.org)
- In the face of evil, an eloquent plea (theglobeandmail.com)
- Evil in the Driveway. (talk2suemac.wordpress.com)