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Posts Tagged ‘Elisabeth Fritzl’

Josef Fritzl Gets Life Sentence

Posted by Shaun Dawson on March 20, 2009

Fritzl with Eyes ClosedFritzl EyesEyes Up

“I regret from the bottom of my heart what I have done to my family. Unfortunately, I cannot make amends for it. I can only try to look for possibilities to try to limit the damage that’s been done.”

Those were the last words spoken by Josef Fritzl before the court at St Pölten passed judgment on him. They found him guilty on all 6 counts: rape, deprivation of liberty, incest, coercion, slavery and murder. His punishment: Life imprisonment.

Court representatives said Fritzl appeared ‘composed‘ as his sentence was read out. He immediately accepted the sentence, as did the prosecution, meaning that it is legally binding and ruling out any right of appeal.

Fritzl’s defense lawyer, Rudolf Mayer, confirmed that Elisabeth had been present for part of the trial.

‘This is what triggered the agitation that led him to confess,’ Mayer told German N-TV news channel, referring to his client’s surprising change of heart.

Catch the story from the beginning in this 5-part video called The Josef Fritzl Story and read about developments in the case since being arrested and imprisoned on The Josef Fritzl Page.

The life sentence would entail a minimum of 15 years in prison, according to Franz Cutka, vice president of St Pölten courts. The 11 months he has already spent incarcerated would count towards that sentence. On the advice of Adelheid Kastner, the forensic psychiatrist who spent 25 hours evaluating Fritzl’s mental health, he will first be sent to the Mittersteig prison in Vienna for an evaluation. Afterward, Fritzl may then be transferred to another prison or psychiatric institution. Kastner told the jury that locking him up without therapy and treatment could be dangerous, and that there was a real risk he would try to take his own life. She also said that Fritzl had a serious personality disorder and would pose a threat to others if freed. He remains under a suicide watch.

“He has the right to voice an opinion on where he should be sent, but this wish has to tally with any expert opinion and with the directorate of the prison,” said Huber-Günsthofer the deputy director of St Pölten prison, where Fritzl has been held since his arrest last April.

There was never really any doubt of Fritzl’s guilt, even his lawyer, Rudolf  Mayer, admitted that Fritzl had raped his daughter 3,000 times, but his fate was sealed when Fritzl changed his plea to guilty on all counts, including the “murder by neglect” of his infant son, Michael. This was the most serious charge against him and it was this charge that earned him the life sentence.

“The life sentence was a consequence of his confession,” Mayer told reporters after the jury’s decision. “After confessing to 3,000 instances of rapes, 24 years of captivity in a cellar, plus murder, it’s obvious that such a sentence will be handed down.”

At a news conference after the verdict, court officials said Elisabeth could bring a separate civil case against Fritzl to seek damages for her suffering, adding there was no limit to what she could request. They said the Austrian government would join in on bankruptcy proceedings that Fritzl recently initiated, and said the process could involve selling his seven real estate holdings — including the house in Amstetten where he held his daughter. They also said Fritzl would have to secure permission from Austria’s Justice Ministry if he wanted to write and sell his memoirs.

Amstetten’s mayor verbalized the unspoken thoughts of the people of his town – and perhaps for most Austrians – who for almost a year came under the intense attention of the entire world when he said:

‘A dark chapter in the history of our town is now closed,’ said Amstetten Mayor Herbert Katzengruber after the guilty verdict was announced. ‘We all hoped it would turn out this way.’

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The Josef Fritzl Trial – Day 3 – Guilty!

Posted by Shaun Dawson on March 19, 2009

Rudolf MayerFritzl at CourtJudge Andrea Humer

“I recognize that I am guilty of all the charges presented,” he said. “I regret what I’ve done.” With those words, Josef Fritzl ended any further reason to continue with his trial. He uttered those words in front of  judge Andrea Humer at the beginning of the third day of his trial. Catch the story from the beginning in this 5-part video called The Josef Fritzl Story and read about developments in the case since being arrested and imprisoned on The Josef Fritzl Page.

Asked what had made him change his mind so suddenly, and prompted him to admit to the charges of murder and slavery that he had previously rejected, Fritzl said: “Because of the video testimony of my daughter.”


Under questioning by judge Andrea Humer with regards to the murder charge, Fritzl admitted that he was present when the twins were born and confessed he knew Michael had breathing problems. Baby Michael lived for 66 hours and Judge Humer told Fritzl that was more than enough time to see there was a severe health problem and seek medical help.

“I don’t know why I did not help. I was hoping he would get through it,” Fritzl told the hushed courtroom at Sankt Poelten, Austria. “I should have done something. I simply failed to do so. I was of the opinion the little one would survive.”

Before pleading guilty to all six charges against him: rape, deprivation of liberty, incest, coercion, slavery and murder Josef Fritzl did not even bother to inform his lawyer, Rudolf Mayer, but he did request to see a psychiatrist after leaving court the evening before.

“He asked to see a psychiatrist afterwards, so crushed was he. The testimony which he saw for the first time had a profoundly devastating effect on him and led to the change of direction in this trial.”

Rudolf Mayer’s client had not informed him in advance of his decision to plead guilty, he said:

“I was indeed surprised, not least because someone with such a personality disorder as he has – which involves keeping up appearances and giving the impression that he’s the one with the power – finds it difficult to drop his trousers in front of the world.”

Until his confession, Fritzl had stubbornly refused to admit that he had caused Elisabeth much suffering, arguing instead that he had saved her from a life of ruin and debauchery when he lured her into the cellar at the age of 18.

Fritzl will face a sentence of between 20 years and life imprisonment. But it is possible that his confession will lead to a reduced sentence. “It all depends on whether the jury and the judges take the confession to be a mitigating circumstance,” said the vice-president of the court, Franz Cutka. The verdict and sentencing are expected in tomorrow’s session.

Fritzl is on a suicide watch, meaning at the end of each day’s court sessions guards remove his tie and belt to ensure he cannot use them to harm himself. There were unconfirmed reports that Elisabeth was in court and that Fritzl made eye contact with her the day before he changed his plea. The pair had not met since Fritzl’s reign of terror was exposed and he was arrested last April at his home in Amstetten.

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The Josef Fritzl Trial – Day Two

Posted by Shaun Dawson on March 18, 2009

Fritzl's FaceFritzl at CourtFritzl and the Police

Josef Fritzl’s trial is in its second day. On the first day he pleaded guilty to: Incest, Coercion, Rape and Deprivation of liberty. He pleaded not guilty to: Murder and Enslavement. See The Josef Fritzl Trial – Day One for all the details. Catch the story from the beginning in this 5-part video called The Josef Fritzl Story and read about developments in the case since being arrested and imprisoned on The Josef Fritzl Page.

The second day of the trial that has been dubbed Austria’s Trial of the Century began about 9:00 am with Josef Fritzl once again entering court holding a blue folder in front of his face, and holding it up for 10 minutes until cameramen were ordered to leave the courtroom. This time however a photographer was able to take some still pictures of him during his appearance.

This day was not about Josef Fritzl; it was about Elisabeth. It was about how she suffered at the hands of the man who held her captive for 24 years during which she bore him 7 children. It was the day that Josef Fritzl came face to face with the crimes he had committed. It was the day that Elisabeth Fritzl became an avenging angel. During 11 hours of recorded testimony she told the court and the world who her father really was – a rapist, a murderer and a monster who allowed one of their children, Michael, to die without trying to help.

For a man who had been accustomed to being in control, it was his day of reckoning. Fritzl watched the tape, that could very well send him to prison for life, with full attention. As Elisabeth recounted her litany of humiliations, the tape was stopped and Fritzl was cross-questioned. The main aim of the proceedings was to address the most serious charge against Fritzl, that of murdering one of the seven babies fathered in the mouldy fetid cellar of his sprawling house in Amstetten.

Michael, the first born twin, was in trouble. “The accused could see that Michael’s situation was getting worse,” says the charge sheet, “Fritzl was fully aware of this. Instead of calling for emergency medical care for the newborn and securing help for the baby, Fritzl simply told Elisabeth ‘what will be, will be'”.

The baby died two days later. Fritzl is said to have burned the body in a stove in the cellar. Fritzl denies being in the cellar at the time of death, and considers himself not guilty of “murder by neglect”. Elisabeth’s version — which forms the basis of the indictment — was clearly essential.

Fritzl Hides FaceCourtElisabeth Fritzl

The taped testimonial provided the basic material for the indictment which describes a history of sexual abuse from the age of 11. Elisabeth recorded her testimony last summer, three months after her release from the cellar of the family home. The memories of her ordeal were still fresh and state prosecutor, Christiane Burkheiser, remembers the occasion — the taping was held over several days, in the presence of psychiatrists and Fritzl’s defense lawyer Rudolf Mayer — as being particularly grueling.

“This was much more emotionally difficult than questioning Mr Fritzl,” said the 33-year-old state prosecutor in an interview.

The taped testimony had been introduced to spare Elisabeth the need to be in the same room as her father, she vows that she never wants to see him again. She tells how she had to give in to her father’s daily demands for violent sex because she knew he had the power of life and death over her. She described how her father not only raped her thousands of times but humiliated her by forcing her to re-enact scenes from pornographic films he made her watch.

The sexual abuse often took place in front of the three children who grew up in the cellar. She described how Fritzl would bring boxes of pornographic videos into the cellar, where he had set up a TV and video recorder, then order his daughter to re-enact scenes with him. Elisabeth gave her evidence looking straight into a camera with no-one else in the room, while lawyers asked her questions from neighboring rooms.

In addition to her testimony, another recording was made by her brother, Harald, in whom she was said to confide. His testimony was also played for the court. He was the only other family member who was willing to testify against Fritzl. The jury also listened to a statement from a neonatal specialist who testified on whether Michael’s death was preventable.

Josef Fritzl has been put on a suicide watch. He is being accompanied by a doctor to whom he had access during breaks in the trial, part of routine psychological and “suicide prevention measures“, said Erich Huber-Guensthofer, deputy director of Sankt Poelten prison, where the defendant is being held. The prosecution has requested that Fritzl be placed in a psychiatric institution after the trial.

Prior to these alleged crimes, Fritzl had been arrested three times in connection with sex offenses — he was never charged in the cases of attempted rape and public exposure, but he served a sentence for a rape conviction in the late 1960s. As well as the possible life sentence for murder, Fritzl faces 20 years behind bars if found guilty of enslavement, up to 15 for a rape conviction, and one year for an incest conviction. The trial continues tomorrow.

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The Josef Fritzl Trial – Day One

Posted by Shaun Dawson on March 17, 2009

Fritzl HidesFritzl in CourtFritzl and Binder

The trial of Josef Fritzl, 73, – who for 24 years incarcerated and raped his own daughter who bore him 7 children, 6 of whom survived – has begun. Catch the story from the beginning in this 5-part video called The Josef Fritzl Story and read about developments in the case since being arrested and imprisoned on The Josef Fritzl Page.

On the first day of the trial news organizations from around the world descended on the Austrian town of St. Poelten to witness what some have called Austria’s trial of the century. Cameras were only allowed in the courtroom for the beginning of the proceedings.

Josef Fritzl is charged with 6 crimes: rape, deprivation of liberty, incest, coercion, slavery and murder. In court he pleaded guilty to 4 of those charges and not guilty on the other two:

MurderNot Guilty
EnslavementNot Guilty
Deprivation of libertyGuilty
IncestGuilty
CoercionGuilty
RapePartially Guilty

On the rape charge he entered a plea of partially guilty, which is permissible. Fritzl could plead guilty to the rape charge in general but dispute the prosecution’s claims as to the degree of violence he used. Austrian law differentiates between the severity of rapes and levels of coercion, and takes into account the degree of violence used and the consequences for the victim. His lawyer, Rudolf Mayer, is expected to clarify Fritzl’s plea on this charge.

CourtFritzlFritzl House

The trial began with the prosecution pressing for life imprisonment in an institution for the criminally insane. Chief prosecutor Christiane Burkhauser described Fritzl’s crimes as inconceivable.  He “showed no sign of regret or any consciousness of wrongdoing,” she said.

In her opening statement, prosecutor Christiane Burkheiser described how, on 29 August 1984, Fritzl sedated his then 18-year-old daughter by putting a cloth over her nose and mouth and dragged her into the cellar. He then secured a chain around her stomach so she had no chance to escape. The next day he raped her. As she bore his children over the next 24 years, he repeatedly raped her in front of them, the court heard. She went towards the eight jurors with a box of musty objects and scraps of cloth, from the cellar where Elisabeth and her children had lived to give them an idea of the conditions in which they were locked up. “Smell these things,” she urged the jury, who flinched back in their seats.

“It was his playground. He used her like a toy,” said Burkheiser.

She told the jury to imagine living underground in a damp space just 11 metres square (118 sq ft) – the same size as the jury bench – kitted out with just “a wash basin, a sleeping corner, no warm water, no shower, no heating, and worst of all, no daylight” she said, adding it was also “incredibly humid” and the air was moldy and stale.

They had to crawl on their knees in order to get around the dungeon,” she told the court. “It was damp and mouldy. The dampness crept into their backs and into their bones.” Only after nine years was the cellar expanded.

At other times, she said, Fritzl punished his daughter by shutting off the electricity _ plunging the dungeon cell into darkness for days at a time. “Josef Fritzl used his daughter like his property,” Burkheiser said.

Christiane Burkheiser, who is 32 and conducting her first major case since being made chief prosecutor, said that he had treated his daughter as a toy – an allegation linked to the enslavement charge, which Fritzl denies.

The defense lawyer, Rudolf Mayer, appealed to the jury to be objective and not be swayed by emotions. He insisted Fritzl was “not a monster“. Before the trial got under way, Mayer said his client was nervous. “He told me, ‘I’m scared, Mr Mayer’.”

Addressing the jury, Mayer said: “You need to keep emotions out of this. Even with someone like him who has been described as a monster, it’s irrelevant if he is an unsympathetic character or a monster.”

Mayer described how Fritzl had managed to care for “two families” – “you cannot call someone who does that a monster”. He added: “If you only want your daughter for sex you don’t want children. You would let them starve.

As if to try to explain his actions Fritzl told the court that he had had a very difficult childhood. He told the three judges and eight jurors that, at the age of 12, he had made it clear to his own mother that he would not tolerate being beaten any longer and would defend himself.

“From that point on, I was Satan personified for her,” he said. She never showed him any affection and his father appeared only “rarely and sporadically”, he said.

Josef FritzlElisabeth FritzlFritzl Hides

In the afternoon session the court was said to have begun watching an 11-hour video testimony in which Elisabeth recounted her ordeal. The video was stopped at points for Fritzl to respond, said Franz Cutka, a court spokesman. The court will continue to watch it tomorrow.

Four expert witnesses are ready to give evidence if necessary: a doctor who specializes in newborns, a psychiatrist, an electrical engineer and a surveyor who inspected the dungeon.

Neither Fritzl’s wife, Rosemarie, nor any of his other children will give evidence at the trial because they have refused to do so.

Central to the trial is the ­accusation that Fritzl murdered, through neglect, a baby twin called Michael born to his daughter in the cellar in 1996. The boy had breathing difficulties and died when he was three days old. Prosecutors will argue that Fritzl could have saved his life if he had got medical help. Instead the baby died in his mother’s arms and Fritzl disposed of the corpse in an incinerator in his back yard.

If convicted of murder Fritzl faces life imprisonment. If not, the maximum sentence he could expect to receive would be 15 years. According to legal experts he could potentially be out of prison in six and a half years, having already served a year in prison.

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Elisabeth Fritzl to Receive Interview Money

Posted by Shaun Dawson on March 12, 2009

elisabeth-fritzl-2fritzl-and-lawyer-rudolf-mayer

Josef Fritzl goes on trial March 16,2009. He is charged with multiple crimes including:  abuse, incest, rape, false imprisonment, slavery and murder – arising from his 24-year imprisonment and rape of his own daughter, Elisabeth. Catch the story from the beginning in this 5-part video called The Josef Fritzl Story and read about developments in the case since being arrested and imprisoned on The Josef Fritzl Page.

In the upcoming trial Josef Fritzl is expected to plead guilty to most of the charges against him. His lawyer, Rudolf Mayer, said his client would admit to deprivation of liberty, rape, incest and coercion and fully expects to spend the rest of his life in prison. Fritzl has however indicated that he will contest the charge that he is guilty of the murder of one of the 7 children that Elisabeth bore him.

Rudolf Mayer told the Austrian news agency APA his client was a deeply disturbed character. But, referring to newspaper headlines, he denied Mr Fritzl was a “sex monster” and said he loved his daughter Elisabeth “in his own way“.

The trial will be held at Sankt Pölten criminal court on 16 March under tight security. Court officials have pledged to have 30 police officers on duty as well as prison guards after Fritzl’s legal team demanded they provide protection for him – and for them. In addition, Frank Cutka, deputy head of the court of Sankt Poelten said the court ditched initial plans to locate the jury – eight people and four substitutes – at the nearby army base.

Cutka admitted the court realized it would be “unbearable” for the jury to stay there because facilities are so primitive. It has now been decided that the jury members will stay at a secret place from where they will be transported to the court everyday.

The court has already handed in a request to air traffic control authority “Austro Control” to declare the airspace over the courtroom a no-go zone for the duration of the trial to avoid news helicopters.

Regardless of the outcome of the trial Josef Fritzl is officially broke. He has been declared bankrupt and liquidators have been called in to carve up his assets including his estate of seven properties – once worth millions of dollars. The sale of the properties will barely cover Fritzl’s debts to local banks and the Austrian taxman leaving nothing for his abused daughter and her six children.

Elisabeth herself has refused offers of millions of dollars for interviews and books about her 24 years locked in the cellar prison under the family home. She had hoped to stake a claim on her father’s estate as compensation for her ordeal. His bankruptcy has made those plans unrealistic.

However, Josef Fritzl has agreed to do one interview after the conclusion of his trial. In a show of solidarity towards Elisabeth and her kids, it has been agreed that she will receive all the income from that interview. The agreement worked out between Josef’s legal team, officials handling the liquidation and other creditors stipulates that all the money goes to Elisabeth and her family. The firm handling the details of the contract, Central European News, has also agreed to waive any fee. News editor David Hill said:

“If the banks can waive their share then it has to be possible for us as a news agency to also do this for nothing. We respect Elisabeth’s wishes not to be forced to give up her right to privacy – and have the chance to rebuild her life without the need to sell her story to the media. She wants to be able to go out with her children without everybody pointing and knowing who she is.”

“The court has already drawn up documents guaranteeing any money we make from selling this interview will go to Elisabeth and her family, and not a penny of it will go to Josef Fritzl.

“Under normal circumstances no respectable media organization would pay a criminal for their story, especially one like Josef Fritzl, but given the very unusual circumstances here and the fact that every penny will be going directly to the victims as compensation – I’m hoping that we will have a lot of interest,” he added.

Josef Fritzl has indicated that he is prepared to do the interview in either English or German and has asked for a copy of the questions in advance.

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Posted in Child Abuse, Incest, news, Our World, Rape, sex, world | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

The Fritzls and The Money

Posted by Shaun Dawson on February 10, 2009

Rosemarie Fritzl Josef Fritzl and wife RosemarieJosef Fritzl

The trial of Josef Fritzl will begin March 16, 2009. He is charged with multiple crimes – including: abuse, incest, rape, false imprisonment, slavery and murder – in relation to his 24-year imprisonment and rape of his own daughter, Elisabeth, who bore him 7 children. Catch the story from the beginning in this 5-part video called The Josef Fritzl Story and read about developments in the case since being arrested and imprisoned on The Josef Fritzl Page.

It seems like Josef Fritzl is broke. The Österreichische Verband Creditreform, which is the Austrian agency that monitors details of people filing for bankruptcy and informs creditors so they can stake a claim, made the announcement that Fritzl was insolvent. In other words he is bankrupt.

The Österreichische Verband Creditreform, acting on behalf of creditors, filed the application to make Fritzl insolvent and made the following announcement:

Those who believe they have a claim on the Fritzl assets are invited to contact the court at Sankt Pölten by 24 March – three days after Fritzl’s trial is scheduled to end.

Josef Fritzl, who once had a very prosperous property rental business, has been in jail since his arrest. During this time his businesses have collapsed and he is said to have debts of almost $6 million. It is reported that he plans to sell his house. The very house where he built a dungeon to imprison his daughter. He may be able to get as much as $2 million for it. There has been considerable speculation that the house could be turned into a museum and opened to the public. With interest in what happened at the house still very high, an investor might be able to make money by charging for tours of the place. Under Austrian law Fritzl is free to sell the home  for an inflated price. According to the mayor of Amstetten, Herbert Katzengruber, the house will be put on sale after the trial.

In the meantime, Josef Fritzl’s wife Rosemarie, has successfully sued two Austrian publications over breaching her privacy. The court found that the weekly magazine News and the monthly magazine Woman, were guilty of breaching her privacy with stories “that only satisfied readers’ craving for sensation.”

Judge Bettina Koerber ordered the magazines’ parent company, News Publishing Group, to pay Rosemarie Fritzl about $14,000 in damages over the articles, which appeared in both publications. News Publishing Group has already said it will appeal the decision. Rosemarie had originally sued the magazines for $332,000. However Rosemarie is not quite finished suing. She has filed several other lawsuits, including against German weekly Der Spiegel and Austria’s biggest daily Kronen Zeitung.

Austrian and International media have tried to answer the question how the woman could not have noticed that her husband Josef had kept their daughter in a dungeon under their house in Amstetten for 24 years.

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Posted in Abuse, Child Abuse, Incest, news, Our World, Rape, sex, world | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

The Fritzl Drama Continues

Posted by Shaun Dawson on January 30, 2009

Elisabeth Fritzl 15-years-oldJosef Fritzl and WifeJosef Fritzl

Josef Fritzl, 74, is in jail. He belongs there. He is the monster that kidnapped his own daughter, Elisabeth, imprisoned her for 24 years and raped her continuously resulting in 7 children — six of whom are still alive. The five part video documentary –  “The Josef Fritzl Story” – shines a light on the dark side of human nature and gives us a peek into the world of a truly evil person. For more about Josef Fritzl and family find all the posts here: The Josef Fritzl Page.

His trial date has been set for March 16, 2009 in St. Poelten, Austria where he is currently being held in jail. According to Franz Cutka, deputy head of Sankt Poelten criminal court, the initial proceedings will be open to the public and media but later access will depend on further developments in the case, he added. Fritzl has been charged with murder, rape, sequestration, incest, grievous assault and slavery. If convicted, he could face life in prison.

Previous problems in getting a jury together seem to have been overcome. According to Austrian law, the jury consists of eight members, with two substitutes. Thirty police officers and prison warders will be on duty to keep order in what is regarded as the most shocking crime in modern Austrian history. Over 250 media representatives have requested permission to attend the trial.

Meanwhile, Josef Fritzl has been making some news for himself. He has announced that he has converted to Buddhism. According to reports he spends most of the 23 hours a day in his cell studying the peaceful Far Eastern philosophy.

Speaking through his lawyer Rudolf Mayer, Fritzl said that he has found a lot of comfort in reading Buddhist literature and finds the religion “fascinating”. Fritzl first discovered Buddhism on a family holiday in Thailand but has only started studying the religion in depth while behind bars.

He hopes to be reincarnated as a decent person in his next life if he can help stop other weirdos copying his crimes. As if to reinforce that notion, Fritzl has invited criminal psychologists to study his warped mind. He wants experts to quiz him to work out the root of his evil. Fritzl told his lawyer: “They should look at what makes me tick and learn from it to stop anything like this happening again. “

Fritzl said: “I realize now that I am not normal, and I see that somebody who did what I did cannot be regarded as normal.  With the help of therapists I want to know what the real reasons are for why I behaved like I did and I want to get treatment, I want to be healthy again at some point.”

‘I am aware I will spend a very long time in prison. I would like to be examined by as many profilers, psychologists and psychiatrists as possible, preferably the most renowned in the world. They should look into the deepest depths of my soul and learn from it for future cases.’

Professor Reinhardt Haller, an Austrian forensic psychiatrist mentioned by Fritzl, said:

‘It would be in the service of science to examine this unique case as thoroughly as possible. From the point of view of both medicine and criminology his personality is most certainly worth examining.’

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Posted in Incest, news, Our World, Rape, Scandals, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault, world | Tagged: , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Joseph Fritzl says “I was Born to Rape”

Posted by Shaun Dawson on October 23, 2008

Joseph Fritzl, 73, is truly a living monster: After incarcerating his own daughter and brutally raping her for 24 years – fathering 7 children in the process – he now claims in interviews with a psychiatrist that he was born to rape. He is also under the delusion that what he did was not so bad and he should be commended for his restraint:

“Bearing that in mind I controlled myself for quite a long time.” He added: “I could have behaved a lot worse than locking up my daughter.”

Learn how this monster was finally caught and his daughter freed from captivity in a series of videotapes entitled: The Joseph Fritzl Story.

A court in St Poelten, Austria, which will be handling his eventual trial, commissioned Dr Adelheid Kastner, 46, of the Wagner-Jauregg psychiatric clinic in Linz to provide a psychiatric examination of Josef Fritzl, 73. Her report, conducted over six interviews, was compiled in a 130-page document. She concluded that although he was fit to stand trial, he would be “highly” likely to re-offend if he had the opportunity.

“He was not only incredibly able to lead a double life but also managed to maintain a triple life without any problems,” Dr Kastner wrote, indicating that Fritzl played down the gravity of his crimes in his mind.

“Mr Fritzl resembles a volcano; under the surface that appears almost banal there is an evil streak. He is torn apart by his desires that he cannot master,” Dr Kastner wrote.

The report declared Fritzl clinically sane and fit for trial, but also diagnosed a “severe combined personality disorder and a sexual disorder”.

“It is to be expected that Mr Fritzl would perpetrate deeds with severe consequences also in the future,” Dr Kastner concluded.

On the basis of her report the prosecution has demanded from the court that Fritzl be tried and sentenced, then committed to an institution for the criminally insane, where he would receive psychiatric care and therapy including, if deemed necessary, medication.

The psychiatric report also shed some light on the life of Fritzl and some of the factors that may have influenced him from childhood. His mother, who was strict, neglectful and abusive, beat him and isolated him from other children until he started school. He said he was an “alibi child,” and his mother only had him to prove to her partner, who was apparently cheating on her, that she was not sterile. He explains:

“I grew up in a poor family. My father was a no-good scoundrel who always cheated on her and my mother threw him out of the house when I was four – and she was quite right to do so. After that, it was only the two of us.”

However, according to the report, he was ignored by his mother, sadistically mistreated and constantly left neglected. Dr Adelheid Kastner said:

“As a child he suffered from a condition that sometimes affects boys and left him in incredible pain every time he urinated. His mother only bothered to take him to a doctor when a neighbour discovered how much the child was suffering and forced her to take him for treatment.”

It also seems as if he had an Oedipus Complex with regards to his mother. In a previous interview he said:

“My mama was a strong woman. She taught me discipline, order and diligence. She enabled me good education and job training and she constantly worked hard and would take difficult jobs only to support the both of us. She was as strict as it was necessary. She was the best woman in the world. And I was her husband, in some way. She was the boss at home, but I was the only man in the house.”

When asked whether he was sexually abused by his mother, he said: “No, never. My mother was decent, most decent. I loved her over everything. I have admired her. I admired her very much. But I have naturally not done anything. There was nothing there.”

When asked whether there were any fantasies about her mother, he said: “Yes, probably, but I was strong, almost as strong as my mother, and I have therefore managed to suppress my urges.”

Dr Kastner says Fritzl spoke of humiliating and unprovoked attacks by his mother in childhood.

“His childhood made him susceptible to an emotional handicap,” she writes, creating the need for him “to possess an entire human being”.

Fritzl said that he had tried to escape from the horror of his childhood by burying himself in books. As an adult he said he had thrown himself into his work as a way of suppressing his sexual desires. He described himself as a “volcano” who felt “torn” and had come to the conclusion that he possessed a “mean streak“, and a “flood of destructive lava that was barely controllable“.

Shortly after puberty Fritzl began sexually attacking girls and at the age of 32 in 1967 he broke into the flat of a 24-year-old nurse and brutally raped her at knifepoint. He spent 18 months in prison for that crime.

The report says Mr Fritzl believed incarcerating his daughter, Elisabeth, meant he would have someone “just for me”. He said he had deliberately never looked his daughter in the face while he was raping her. Kastner said it had been his way of distancing himself from the situation. He said he stopped having sex with his wife, Rosemarie, on the day he allegedly sedated his daughter and took her into the cellar. “Finally I had someone who was just for me,” he said. He also believed having children with her would mean she would have to stay with him as she would “no longer hold any attraction for other men“.

“I only had so many children with her so that she would always stay with me, because as a mother of six she would no longer hold any attraction for other men.”

He was said to have a thin grasp of the gravity of his crime, after expressing a belief that he would spend his final days with his wife and pleading for a short prison sentence so that he could continue running his property business to enable him to provide for his family.

In the report, Dr Adelheid Kastner writes: “Mr Fritzl was born as a disadvantaged child, which will have consequences for his entire life. His domestic situation was uncertain and he had to suffer a mother who demotivated him, denigrated him and was prone to violence – a home situation which was absolutely devoid of security and lacking in understanding of the basic needs of a child. It was a childhood that left him emotionally crippled. The degradation left his personality “severely deformed” and he has almost no ability to empathise with others.

Because of his anger at his mother, he developed a permanent need to dominate women. Because of this loneliness that he felt, he developed a need to “own a person” and to “have that person totally for myself” and create a “totally inseparable and irremovable connection“.

His daughter Elisabeth was the terrible victim of the crippled person that he grew up to be.

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Elisabeth Fritzl Talks About Her Dad

Posted by Shaun Dawson on September 12, 2008

Elisabeth Fritzl, 42, imprisoned and repeatedly raped for 24 years has begun to describe her life as a sex slave, kept alive only to serve the depraved sexual desires of her own father, Josef Fritzl. She bore him 7 children (6 of whom survived) while she was his captive in a dungeon built under his house. She and 4 of her 7 children had no contact with the outside world; they had no friends; they never once were allowed outside; they never even saw the sun; in fact nobody but Josef Fritzl even knew that they were alive.

On the 28 August, 1984, Josef Fritzl locked his daughter Elisabeth in the cellar of the family home in Amstetten, Austria. Her indescribable pain, suffering, humiliation and degradation would last 8,516 days until her release on the 26th April, 2008. See the complete story of their captivity and rescue in a 5 part video documentary entitled The Josef Fritzl Story.

As prosecutors prepare the case against Josef Fritzl, which will hopefully go to trial before the end of the year, his enslaved daughter, Elisabeth Fritzl, has given her testimony to Austria’s top female judge, Andrea Humer, excerpts of which were published in the Sun. In her interview with Ms Humer, Elisabeth said that her father threatened to leave them to rot in the cellar, which had no windows and was sealed by an electronically-locked door.

“He said he could close the door whenever he wanted and then we would soon see how we survived,” she said.

The judge asked: “Did you take these threats as real?” Elisabeth replied: “Yes.”

Elisabeth told the judge that she was raped up to three times a week by her father. She said that it was useless to resist because if she refused him, he would take it out on herself and the kids. He also threatened to leave her and the children to die in the cellar if they did not follow his commands.

“He was very brutal against me, and when I did not agree to have sex, then the kids would suffer. We knew he would kick us or be bad to us.”

Elisabeth said she tried to give her children as normal a life as possible in their captivity, locked away in the dungeon. Whenever her father was not around, she would entertain them by singing to them and telling them stories. But when her father came to visit, the entire atmosphere dramatically changed.

“When he went away we led our own lives. When he was down here it was all silence. When he came down to the cellar we just tried to survive. He was just all-powerful.

She said her father regularly bullied them into subdued silence, punishing them if they dared to answer back.

“He wouldn’t let the kids develop their own personalities. He didn’t like them to talk back. At the beginning, when they were small, it wasn’t such a problem. But as they got bigger and started developing a personality it was more of a problem. He did not like it and he tried to stop it. He would not allow the kids to have their own will.”

It has been reported that the children are unwilling to testify against their father, but with the detailed description provided by Elisabeth of her experiences, their testimony may not add anything of value to the prosecutor’s case.

Josef Fritzl himself gave an interview earlier to try and defend his actions. Fritzl maintains he acted out of love in imprisoning Elisabeth when she was 18 and keeping her in his cellar dungeon, where she was tortured and raped, giving birth to seven children.

“I grew up in the Nazi times, and that meant the need to be controlled and respect authority. Yet, despite that, I am not the monster that I am portrayed as in the media.”

Josef Fritzl would be hard pressed to find anyone who agrees with him. Along with his own admission of having sex with his daughter and her testimony to judge Andrea Humer, prosecutors are hoping to bring as many as 3,000 counts of rape against the 73-year-old Josef Fritzl. In fact they are also looking into adding manslaughter charges for Fritzl’s role in the death of one of his children, Michael, who died shortly after birth in 1997 and whose body Fritzl burned in an incinerator.

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Elisabeth Fritzl Kicks Mom Out

Posted by Shaun Dawson on August 1, 2008

Elisabeth Fritzl, 42, has had a terrible life. Raped by her father, Josef Fritzl, 73, since age 11 and incarcerated by him for 24 years. She bore her father 7 children, six of whom are still alive, while being held captive in a dungeon cellar. For a detailed look at the abuse Elisabeth suffered at the hands of her father click here for The Josef Fritzl story.

It now appears that a rift has opened up between her mother, Rosemarie Fritzl, 69, and herself. According to reports, Elisabeth has asked her mother to leave their home. She, Elisabeth, appears to have mixed feelings about her mother:

She is said to find it hard to understand why her mother stayed with her father even though he was a convicted rapist who spent time in jail in the 1960’s.

She also has a hard time understanding why her mother did not stand up to her father, who began raping her when she was only 11 years old. She finds it hard to believe that her mother knew nothing at all about the abuse. Also, when Josef told his wife that Elisabeth had run away from home, she wonders why her mother did not do more to try and find her, especially when Josef produced three of her children who were supposedly left on her doorstep.

Elisabeth is also upset that the three children who grew up with her mother are still calling Rosemarie “Mom” and not “Grandmother”. The children: Lisa, 16, Monika, 14, and Alexander, 12, were all raised by Josef and Rosemarie in their home, while the other children: Kerstin, 19, Stefan, 18, and Felix, 5, were forced to live in the cellar with Elisabeth.

In the meantime, Rosemarie Fritzl was seen collecting some personal items from her old house. Christoph Herbst, the lawyer for the Fritzl family, said: “No-one from that family will ever want to live in that house again.” It is believed that she has moved in with one of her relatives, possibly one of her own sons. Rosemarie is said to be “shattered” that she had to leave her family. Doctors fear she could be the most severely disturbed member of the family. Christoph Herbst, the family’s lawyer, said after Elisabeth was freed in April:

“Rosemarie has lost the centre of her world. Her life was never that good but she always had the children and she had to be strong and be there for them no matter how bad things were at home.

“Now she is no longer the key figure in the children’s lives because their mother has returned and she also has to deal with the awful revelations of what had happened to her daughter Elisabeth over all these years.”

After being asked to leave her family, Rosemarie announced that she would be divorcing her husband Josef. She had married him at age 17 and had spent the next 52 years of her life as his wife. She is reportedly doing all she can to distance herself from her husband. She will take back her maiden name after the divorce. Not having worked since her early youth, Mrs Fritzl is only entitled to meager benefits payments.

In other developments Elisabeth Fritzl has finished giving testimony against her father. She spent 4 days talking to prosecutors. While details of her testimony have not been made public, it is believed that she accused her father of rape and psychological torment, as well as for the death of her child, who is thought to have died three days after birth because of conditions in the cellar.

However there seems to be some reluctance on the part of the adult children to give testimony against their father. Prosecutors want to use the testimonies of Kerstin,19, and Stefan,18, to reinforce the charges against their father.The prosecution spokesman, Gerhard Sedlacek, said:

“We still have not fixed a date for the questioning of the two adult children but it has now emerged that they could make use of their right not to speak to the authorities and refuse to give evidence against their father.

“The matter will be discussed between their lawyer and the judge in charge, but it has been suggested that they decline to give any statement.”

Josef Fritzl, a retired engineer, has made a partial confession and is facing charges of manslaughter for the death in 1996 of Michael, who was the twin brother of 12-year-old Alexander, as well as rape, coercion, deprivation of freedom and incest. However, prosecutors said that the first two charges would be very difficult to prove because of the lack of scientific evidence and because they were relying to a large extent on the testimonies of the children to strengthen their case.

“There is no direct forensic evidence due to the time elapsed and there is no body, since he allegedly burnt the baby in an oven. The charges could therefore only be based on the testimony of his daughter. In addition, in order to stand up the charges of manslaughter, one would need to attain evidence that there was premeditation, as well as evidence that the child would have survived had it received medical attention.”

The allegations of rape, which carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, would also be difficult to prove because of lack of corroborating evidence, and the charges would only be based on the testimony of Elisabeth.

If his adult children refuse to give evidence, Mr Fritzl could be facing a ten-year prison term as Austrian law does not allow for multiple convictions. This means that even if he is found guilty of several crimes, he will only serve one punishment, for the offense that carries the longest prison sentence, which in this case is likely to be deprivation of freedom.

A jury of eight will decide whether Mr Fritzl is guilty. If he is convicted they will confer with a panel of three judges to determine his sentence. The trial is set to start sometime in the fall.

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Posted in Incest, news, Our World, Rape, Scandals, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault, world | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 28 Comments »

 
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