SHADMIA'S WORLD

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Posts Tagged ‘Rape’

I Thought That Lady Was Dead

Posted by shadmia on July 2, 2011

Melvin L Jackson, 49, of Kansas City, certainly raises depravity to new heights. There are two quotes from this story that stand out and give a horrifying insight into the mind of Melvin L Jackson. Read more here

Melvin L. Jackson was arrested Wednesday for allegedly sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in broad daylight — then telling police, “I thought that lady was dead.”

and

When police tried to interview Jackson, 49, he allegedly blurted, “Did that lady say I did something to her?”

If Jackson was just trying to make himself bad, he did an excellent job. How can anyone try to morph a sexual assault charge into a case of necrophilia. His defense/excuse was that he thought it was okay to have a forced sexual encounter with this woman because he thought she was dead. This happened in broad daylight in a public place. I hope his lawyer tried to bring an insanity defense before the court. 

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Lesbian’s Attackers Caught

Posted by shadmia on January 5, 2009

Josue GonzalezHumberto Hernandez

An unidentified 28-year-old woman was brutally raped and beaten for 45 mins by a gang of 4 men. She was then thrown out of her own car and left naked on the street. During the attack the men told her she was targeted because she was a lesbian. See the initial report here.

It was announced that all four suspects are now in custody. Three of them had been arrested following tips from local residents and the fourth turned himself in. Charged in this brutal gang rape case are:

  • Humberto Hernandez Salvador arrested at his Richmond home. The 31-year-old was being held without bail on gang rape, kidnapping for a sex crime, carjacking and probation violation charges.
  • Josue Gonzalez, 21, known as “Pato” arrested on a $1 million arrest warrant for gang rape, kidnapping for a sex crime and carjacking.
  • A 15-year-old Richmond boy and
  • A 16-year-old Hercules boy going by the nickname “Blue“.

The 15 and 16 year old boys were being held on a no-bail status at the juvenile detention center in Martinez on similar charges as the adults. Their names were not released because of their juvenile status.

According to Lt. Mark Gagan of the Richmond police, Josue Gonzalez’ mother saw the announcement of the arrests of  Humberto Salvador and the two teen aged boys on TV and the family received numerous calls from inquiring relatives. It was around noon when Gonzalez walked into the Richmond police headquarters with his mother, stepfather and girlfriend and surrendered.

Humberto Salvador “had the most involvement and gave orders and directions to the other individuals,” Gagan said. “But they’re all responsible for the crimes that were committed against the victim.”

Authorities had offered $10,000 for tips leading to the attackers’ arrest. So far the police have not distributed any money, Gagan said, but the community did provide helpful information in the case.

“The crime had an immediate effect on our community,” Gagan said. “Locally people were very afraid to know that these people were out there.”

Gagan said the woman is recovering. Community Violence Solutions, a nonprofit rape crisis center, has opened a fund in the name of Richmond Jane Doe to help the woman pay for relocation expenses, police said.

“We know that being the victim of this crime has changed her for life. I can only imagine that knowing these people are in custody is a relief.”

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Posted in Gang Assault, Gay, news, Our World, sex, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Lesbian Rape Considered a Hate Crime

Posted by shadmia on December 21, 2008

An unidentified 28-year-old woman was brutally raped and beaten for 45 mins by a gang of 4 men. She was then thrown out of her own car and left naked on the street. During the attack the men told her she was targeted because she was a lesbian. Authorities are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to arrests and prosecution in the case.

“I’ve lost sleep over this. I am sickened,” said police Chief Chris Magnus. “While every sexual assault is a terrible crime, this particular case is especially horrific because multiple individuals acted together in the commission of this assault, and because of the hate-crime aspect.”

The victim, who police describe as openly gay, parked her car on the 1500 block of Visalia Avenue, Richmond, Ca., at about 9:30pm. While walking away from the car she was approached by four men on foot. “One of the suspects struck the victim with a (blunt) object,” Lt. Mark Gagan said. “There was very little interaction between the victim and the suspects. From that point, the physical assault turned into a sexual assault.”


She was beaten, she was robbed and she was sexually assaulted,” Gagan said. A few minutes into the sexual assault, one of the men told the group that someone was approaching and they forced the victim into her car. They took her to a desolate area near the Bay Area Rapid Transit tracks, about seven blocks away, to the 1300 block of Burbeck Avenue where they continued to rape her, both inside and outside the vehicle.

During the attack, which lasted for about 45 minutes, the suspects made several statements about the victim’s sexual orientation. She also had a rainbow sticker on her license plate that identified her as being supportive of the gay community. After the attack, the suspects fled in the victim’s car, leaving her there naked in the street, Gagan said.

After the men left she was able to get help from a nearby resident, who called for the police and an ambulance. She was treated for her injuries at a hospital and released.

Although the four men participated in the attack to varying degrees, they are all being sought on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, carjacking, kidnapping and rape in concert with an enhancement for committing a hate crime.

“It’s rare to find four adults willing to condone behavior this extreme and violent. It’s clear that some of them behaved as followers, but all of them are responsible for what happened,” Gagan said. “They should know that their best chance (for leniency) would be to turn themselves in and cooperate with our investigation before we identify them and apprehend them on our own.”

The police have descriptions of the four suspects:

  • The first suspect, the leader of the group, was described as a Hispanic man in his 30s. He was about 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighed 180 pounds and had black hair, brown eyes and a mustache.
  • The second suspect was a black man in his early 20s. He was about 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighed about 170 pounds and had black hair and brown eyes. He goes by the nickname “Blue.”
  • The third suspect was described as a Hispanic man about 18 to 20 years old. He goes by the nickname “Pato.”
  • The fourth suspect was described only as a Hispanic man about 18 to 20 years old.

“The Richmond Police Department is pleading for the community to come forward and help us find the people responsible for committing this vicious crime,” Gagan said. “We are hoping that residents know who these people are. People need to pick up the phone.”

Anyone with information about any of the suspects is asked to call Detective Ysenia Rogers at (510) 672-1717.


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Posted in Gang Assault, Gay, news, Our World, sex, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

2 Daughters Raped by Their Dad

Posted by shadmia on November 28, 2008

A British man was sentenced to 25 life sentences – to run concurrently. His name was withheld in order to protect the identities of his victims: His 2 daughters and their 7 living children. This because he is the father of his daughters’ children. In a case that brings back memories of Josef Fritzl of Austria, this unnamed man had an ongoing sexual relationship with his two daughters for 27 years.

The two daughters were made pregnant 19 times; there were nine births, five miscarriages and five terminations. Seven of the children are alive but suffer genetic deformities.

After pleading guilty to 25 counts of rape, at Sheffield Crown Court, northern England, the presiding judge Alan Goldsack calling it “the worst (case) I have come across” in 40 years of judicial practice – said the man should serve a minimum of 19.5 years before being eligible for parole. South Yorkshire Police Chief Superintendent Simon Torr said:

“The victims of these terrible crimes have asked me to state the following: ‘His detention in prison brings us only the knowledge that he cannot physically touch us again. The suffering he has caused will continue for many years, and we must now concentrate our thoughts on finding the strength to rebuild our lives.’ “

Many questions abound as to how the crimes this man committed went unnoticed by the authorities. Despite visiting hospitals and meeting with social workers over the 27 years of abuse, no investigation was launched into the family. Authorities are investigating exactly how the rapist was never called to account by neighbors, teachers, doctors, social workers, police or his extended family. The 56-year-old man was only apprehended when his daughters finally broke their silence.

Prosecutors told the court that the man began raping his daughters in 1981, from the time they were 8 or 10 years old, beating them when they resisted. They described how the defendant used intimidation, fear and evasiveness to keep his secret. He warned his children to keep quiet and when they were older he beat them. Each daughter said she was unaware the other was being abused until the pregnancies began. “The defendant also ensured that his family were kept isolated and that there were very few visitors to the home,” prosecutor Nicholas Campbell told Sheffield Crown Court.

“The victims were too frightened to tell anyone, even their mother,” Campbell said. The court was told that the girls’ mother left their father in the early 1990s, more than a decade after the abuse began, and it is unclear whether she knew what was going on.

The girls would be raped up to three times a week, and the assaults would continue through pregnancies. Their only reprieve came after they had just given birth or when they were ill because of the abuse.
If either daughter tried to refuse their father’s attacks, they would be punched, kicked and or held to the flames of a gas fire, burning their eyes and arms, PA reported.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that people “will rightly want to know how such abuse could go on for so long without the authorities and the wider public services discovering it and taking action.

“If there is a change to be made in the system and the system has failed, we will change the system as a result of the inquiries,” Brown said.

There were, however, telltale signs of the abuse:

  • A school asked questions about burn marks on one girl’s arm, but it was attributed to bullying.
  • In 1997, the daughters’ brother went to police to report the incest. But his sisters refused to cooperate and the investigation stalled.
  • Medical staff also had concerns about the high number of abnormalities in the women’s pregnancies. One doctor even asked one of the women whether her father was the father of her children. She denied it.
  • in 1998 one daughter rang Childline, a charity to help abused kids, and asked for assurances about being able to keep her children if she came forward. When Childline could not make that guarantee, the daughter did nothing more to raise her plight.

“Where were the medical professionals? Where were the social workers? What were they doing for the last 20 years?” said Nick Clegg, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrats, who represents a district of Sheffield.

In June the two women finally reported their abuse to social workers leading to the arrest, trial and conviction of their father.

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Joseph Duncan Must Die says Jury

Posted by shadmia on August 28, 2008

Joseph Edward Duncan III, 45, was sentenced to death by a jury in Boise, Idaho for the 2005 kidnapping, torture and murder of a 9-year-old boy, Dylan Groene.

“We’re happy with the verdict, but it’s a shame — this should have been limited to one death,” said Steven Groene, the father of the children. “He should have had the courage and the guts to kill himself before killing anyone else.”

In his closing arguments the prosecutor reminded the jury of the many crimes committed by Duncan and summed up by saying:

“This defendant is dangerous. He is a predator who takes pride in his work,” prosecutor Traci Whelan said. “He earned this day. His actions … call out for the death penalty.”

The heinousness of the evidence in Dylan’s murder made it particularly difficult for the jurors to remain impartial as they deliberate, said Art Patterson, a jury consultant and senior vice president of the trial consulting firm DecisionQuest.

“Generally, for human beings, it’s pretty hard to maintain impartiality when confronted with such horror,” Patterson said.

“How could any juror not want to see this person removed from our list of living human beings? How could you live with yourself as a juror if there’s any chance this human being could escape from jail and do something like this again?” Patterson said.

After 3 hours of deliberation, the jury agreed with the prosecutor and returned a unanimous verdict of death.

“The jury speaks the mind of the community,” U.S. Attorney Tom Moss said. “By the verdict today, they have given voice to the victims.”

Joseph Duncan had a long history as a violent sexual predator. He had spent time in prison for the gunpoint rape of a young boy in the 1980’s. He gained national notoriety, and spot on the FBI’s most wanted list, for his involvement in the kidnappings and murders that eventually lead to his death sentence. He was also featured on the TV program America’s Most Wanted.

Duncan kidnapped Dylan Groene and his sister Shasta from their home, after brutally murdering their mother Brenda Groene, her boyfriend Mark McKenzie and their older brother Slade Groene. He had tied them up and mercilessly bludgeoned all three of them to death with a hammer. He took the two children and for the next 6 weeks repeatedly raped and sexually molested both of them in various campgrounds before shooting Dylan in the head and burning his body in front of his sister. Duncan was so perverted that he made a videotape.

At his trial jurors viewed horrifying video Duncan made of him sexually abusing, torturing and hanging Dylan until the boy lost consciousness.

Duncan was arrested and Shasta rescued weeks after the kidnappings when a waitress at a Denny’s in Coeur d’Alene called police after recognizing the two as they ate. He pleaded guilty in December to 10 federal charges involving the kidnappings and the murder of Dylan. He pleaded guilty to the other three murders in state court, where he also could be sentenced to death.

With multiple murder convictions and a death sentence hanging over his head, the law is not yet finished with Joseph Edward Duncan III. Prosecutors in Riverside County, California say they know of Duncan’s murderous past. Duncan is charged in the 1997 murder of 10-year-old Anthony Martinez, and they are still waiting to put Duncan on trial.

Duncan is suspected of abducting Martinez at knife-point from his front yard. Fifteen days later, Martinez was found dead. At the time of Martinez’s murder, Duncan was wanted for violating his parole in Washington, as he failed a drug test and fled the state. Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco said he’s glad juries in Idaho are holding Duncan accountable, but now it’s time for him to face justice in California. Despite the potential cost of a death penalty case, Pacheco says the Martinez family deserves to see Duncan tried.

“It’s not something where you go, well, you can wait a couple years. We can’t wait,” Pacheco says. “We need him today. I understand Idaho needs to finish their stuff, but we need him as soon as possible. I can’t wait.”

For complete coverage of the Joseph Duncan case see KXLY.COM and also True Crime Report.Com.

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Posted in Children, news, Our World, Rape, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault, Sexual Predator | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Guards Guilty in Teen Jail Rape Case

Posted by shadmia on August 16, 2008

It was a snowy day on Feb. 13, 2003. School at Pendleton County High School was canceled that day. An 18-year-old teen borrowed his Dad’s car to visit a friend. On his way home he was arrested for speeding and fleeing from the cops. Little did he know at the time, but before he would see his family again he would be assaulted, raped and forced to perform sexual acts on prison inmates.

Two prison guards, Jack Powell and Clinton Sydnor, pleaded guilty in the case. Two other guards, Wesley Lanham and Shawn Freeman, stood trial….and were found guilty. They both face the possibility of being sentenced to life in prison when they face the judge again on Dec. 8.

The jury of nine women and three men deliberated for about five hours Thursday, Aug. 14th before announcing their verdict. Wesley Lanham, 30, of Dry Ridge, and Shawn Freeman, 35, of Irvine, were found guilty of conspiring to violate the teen’s civil rights by allowing other inmates to sexually assault him in the 2003 attack. They were also found guilty of obstruction of justice because the jury also found there was aggravated sexual abuse.

“I just want to go home,” Freeman cried as about 12 family members and friends of the defendants wept in the courtroom following the verdict.

“We will appeal. You can quote me on that,” Lanham’s attorney, Dan Dickerson, said.

The convictions are a result of a five-year investigation by the U.S. Justice Department, which concluded that the jail was violating inmates’ civil rights. The case was prosecuted by Forrest Christian and Kristy Parker of Washington, D.C. The presiding judge was U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves.

The teen’s ordeal began when the guards at the jail where he was being booked on the traffic violation decided to teach him a lesson. He was of slim build weighing only about 120 lbs. They made fun of the blond highlights in his hair, they made fun of his satin boxers, they told him he would make a good “girlfriend” for some of the inmates. Instead of putting him a holding cell, as was customary in such situations, he was put in a cell with 14 convicts.

The victim, now 23, graphically described being stripped, hit with jail-issued flip-flops, raped in a shower and then paraded around half-naked. He said the attacks ended only when he bit an assailant. He told the jurors that he thought the risk of being killed was better than continuing to be sexually molested.

“I was thinking, ‘Oh, God, here it goes,’ ” the teen said. “I’m going to die tonight.”

Upon learning about the rape assistant jailer Greg Wells, told the youth that he could take care of the molesters for a pack of cigarettes. “That wouldn’t be enough,” the teen recalled saying to him. All the teen said he asked for was medical treatment from the jail’s nurse. His request wasn’t granted.

“I told the nurse everything that happened, and I wanted to be checked for any kind of diseases, you know, any cuts or bruises or anything, and she didn’t, she didn’t do anything.”

The jail’s former nurse, Sandra Cook, testified that her attempt to get the teen medical treatment for the assault was stopped by former Assistant Jailer Greg Wells. She said she called the FBI to report the jail staff’s actions when Wells said he would take care of the teen but instead just released him. Greg Wells, was never charged with a crime. It wasn’t until the teen was released that he was able to get to a hospital.

In September 2005, the victim settled a lawsuit he filed against Grant County for $1.4 million.

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Trial Starts in Teen Jail Rape Case

Posted by shadmia on August 13, 2008

This story began on Feb.14, 2003 (Valentine’s Day). An unidentified 18-year-old boy was caught and arrested after trying to flee from a state trooper. The teen was clocked doing 35 mph over the speed limit on a narrow, two-lane road (U.S. 27 in Pendleton County, Ky). He was taken to the Grant County Detention Center to be booked on traffic violations.

While being processed at the jail a number of guards began to tease the teen about his appearance. He was about 5′ 10″ and weighed 125lbs. They said he would make a “good girlfriend” for inmates locked up in Cell 101, part of a 300-bed facility housing some very dangerous inmates, located in a far flung corner of the jail. Jail protocol called for the teen to be locked up in a holding cell just off the booking room.

However, the shift supervisor, Clinton Shawn Sydnor, 29 of Falmouth, decided that the teen needed to be scared and taught a lesson so he ordered two of the guards, Wesley Lanham, 30, of Dry Ridge and Shawn Freeman, 35, of Irvine, to tell the group of 14 inmates in Cell 101 to expect some fresh meat.

As the teen was being escorted to the cell in the 300-bed jail, inmates screamed, “He’s such a cutie” and “Bring him to me.” As Sydnor pushed the scared teen youth into the cell yet another inmate yelled “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

In civil litigation, the teen says he was carried overhead by a mob of inmates and led to the showers.

The teen was stripped naked, beaten with jail slippers, forced to perform sexual acts and raped. The brutal attack was carried out right through the night with multiple inmates participating in raping the youth.

“This is a case of a 10th-grader’s worst nightmare,” said Federal Civil Rights prosecutor Forrest Christian.

After the victim told his father he was raped, Sydnor began organizing a cover up, according to court papers. He lied to investigators when he said the victim was locked up with felons because the floor drain was clogged in the drunk tank. He also fabricated shift logs to make it appear guards under his watch were checking on the victim’s welfare but victim wasn’t let out of the cell until the first shift came on duty the next morning. He also threatened a female guard who was considering telling the truth.

All three former guards are facing federal charges of conspiracy, violating civil rights, falsifying records and aiding and abetting. Sydnor is additionally charged with one count of witness tampering. All three guards were fired shortly after the rape. In addition Deputy Jailer Jack Powell of Covington, Ky., was charged with conspiring to obstruct a federal investigation into a civil rights offense. Both Jack Powell and Clinton Sydnor have both pleaded guilty.

Powell pleaded guilty to conspiring with Clinton Shawn Sydnor to obstruct the investigation. He acknowledged signing a typewritten statement that contained both a false justification for the placement of the pre-trial detainee in a general population cell and false statements concerning the completion of cell checks by GCDC personnel. Powell agreed to testify against Wesley Lanham and Shawn Freeman.

Sydnor admitted in court that he conspired with the other officers and with the inmates to violate the teenager’s civil rights, that he knew the teen faced a threat from the other inmates, and that he deliberately ignored that danger. Sydnor also admitted that he had other officers falsify reports relating to the incident. He also agreed to testify against Wesley Lanham and Shawn Freeman. Sydnor faces a possible sentence of 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on Dec. 8, 2008.

A state grand jury sitting in Grant County declined to indict any guard on duty the night of the attack or the elected jailer, a retired state trooper formerly assigned to the post that investigated the assault.

The trials of Wesley Lanham and Shawn Freeman are now underway with their lawyers claiming that they are scapegoats. Lanham’s attorney, Dan Dickerson, said his client “denies any criminal involvement in this incident and expects to be completely exonerated.”

Freeman’s attorney, Randy Blankenship, said the men on trial are not the culpable ones, adding they didn’t lock the teen in the cell with the convicts. That was done by the sergeant on duty, Clinton Shawn Sydnor. Blankenship said the jail provided little training to Freeman when he was hired a few months before the attack. Freeman is now a firefighter and emergency medical technician living in Erlanger.

He is a man who saves lives, not harms them, Blankenship said.

Freeman wasn’t even at the jail when the attack happened, Blankenship said. He was driving home a female guard who had a seizure at the jail. The woman’s seizure was brought on by the stress of knowing what the convicts were doing to the teen, the prosecutor said. Yet when a trooper showed up to investigate, the woman didn’t immediately come forward with what she knew because the trooper was a friend of the jailers’, Christian said, and she figured there would be a coverup. If convicted, the defendants Lanham and Freeman face maximum sentences of life imprisonment and fines of $250,000.

The teen survived the ordeal and reached a $1.4 million settlement with the county in 2005. The traffic violations against the teen were ultimately dropped. A total of three inmates were also convicted in the sexual assault.

The victim, who is now 23, leads a very non-social life, said lawyer Don Nageleisen, who sued the jail on behalf of the teen. “It is a day-by-day thing for him,” he said. “He stays to himself. He doesn’t go out in public.”

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Posted in news, Our World, Scandals, Sexual Abuse, Sexual Assault | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Kerstin Fritzl Reunited with her Family

Posted by shadmia on June 20, 2008

Kirsten Fritzl, 19, of Amstetten, Austria who had been in a medically-induced coma for several weeks, has finally been reunited with her mother and siblings. Her father, Josef Fritzl, remains in jail having being accused of repeatedly raping his own daughter, who bore him 7 children (including Kristen) and holding them captive for 24 years in a cellar. See the Fritzl story here.

Kerstin’s doctor, Dr Albert Reiter said: It was an extraordinary moment when Kerstin, holding my arm, and I were able to walk through the door into a new home, crossing the threshold into a new life.The entire family is very happy that they are all together for the first time.“ See the press conference here. The Fritzl family now lives in an apartment on the grounds of the clinic where they are being taken care of.

Kerstin’s recovery has truly been remarkable. She was rushed to hospital in April after she fell desperately ill and was placed on life support systems including a respirator and dialysis machine. Her condition became worse and she was eventually put into a medically-induced coma to help her organs recover. In May her doctors began reducing her medication and she was brought out of the coma in June. Elisabeth, her mother, was at her bedside regularly encouraging her to fully come back into the world.

As she lay in bed, medics gradually started to help her to use her muscles again – including teaching her how to eat and speak again because of problems caused by the length of time she was connected to the respirator. Finally she was allowed out of intensive care and was taken by ambulance to start a new life with the rest of her freed family.

She is still suffering from symptoms associated with prolonged bedrest, including muscle waste and deterioration of her bones. But she has already managed to walk and received vaccinations to prepare her body for the outside world.

The Fritzl family is now all together: Kerstin; Elisabeth, her mother; Rosemarie, her grandmother; her brothers (Felix, 6, Alexander, 12 and Stefan, 18); and her sisters (Monika, 14 and Lisa, 16);

Family lawyer Christoph Herbst said Elisabeth, 42, is now determined to keep the family together.

“The family all want to live together. There is a real desire to be with one another. To be together is something very precious indeed. Everyone involved couldn’t anticipate that this could happen so quickly and so positively.”

But he said their freedom of movement was severely restricted by media besieging the clinic and appealed to journalists to respect family members’ privacy.

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The Wounds of Elisabeth Fritzl and Family

Posted by shadmia on June 2, 2008

Elisabeth Fritzl’s mental, physical and emotional wounds will require a network of case managers. So says Jeff Dolgan, senior psychologist at Denver Children’s Hospital, adding that he had never heard of a case this horrific.

“It’s beyond creepy,” he said. “This takes the cake. Trauma is like throwing a big rock into a pond. The waves go out and we are all sadly traumatized. She will need a system of care, not just one person but an adult psychiatrist who will coordinate the rehabilitation. Her world has been this basement. It’s like our waking up 500 years from now. This is all she’s known.”

Elisabeth Fritzl was incarcerated in a basement cellar for 24 years by her own father. She was repeatedly raped by him and bore him 7 children, one of which died shortly after birth and was incinerated in a furnace to get rid of the body. Elisabeth and her children were freed from their prison after a police investigation, prompted by the hospitalization of her eldest daughter Kirsten, 19, discovered their dungeon. Read the entire story here.

Physical Exam

After living for so long in the cramped, low-ceiling dungeon, called home for 24 years, Elisabeth and her kids have developed some serious physical problems. In her first medical exam after she was found, Austrian doctors said Elisabeth’s teeth were horrifically decayed. She and her three children have a myriad of medical problems, including vitamin D deficiency, anemia and bad posture.

Vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets, a disease of malnutrition caused by lack of sun exposure that is rarely seen today. Her bones are weakened and deformed. Because of the cramped space, low ceilings and little opportunity to exercise, Elisabeth may also have problems with movement. She looks haggard, hunched over, lined and gray. The 42 year-old looks more like the sister of her 67-year-old mother than her daughter. Because of the scarce oxygen supply in the cramped quarters, Elisabeth and her kids had to spend long spells sitting or lying down. Kerstin, her 19-year-old daughter, is in an induced coma after collapsing. She is still in a critical condition and fighting for her life.

According to Dr. Stuart Goldman, a psychiatrist at Harvard University’s Children’s Hospital in Boston, “This case is so unique, we can only look for approximations.”

“If you don’t use muscles and stretch them out, your motion is limited,” said Goldman. Muscles can be retrained, but senses like vision and hearing could be permanently impaired. He continued “All our senses are trophic. You have to use nerves for nerves to develop. If you patch an eye, you eventually go blind, even if the eye is mechanically normal.”

Mental and Emotional Problems

Aside from the physical challenges facing the family, also of concern is the mental and emotional damage their incarceration may have caused. Although the Austrian doctors are worried about the three children, Elisabeth may have suffered the worst.

“She was older when it started happening, but at the same time, she had years and years of deprivation and limited stimulus,” said Jay Reeve, associate professor of psychology at Florida State University and executive vice president of the Apalache Center for Mental Health. “It’s exactly as if she was held in captivity in jail……She had some period of her life when, presumably, she was able to interact with others and be in school and have some social interchange,” said Reeve. “But the rape and sexual abuse that she experienced was a pretty stark betrayal of trust.”

Initially, her father Josef Fritzl, reportedly handcuffed Elisabeth to a metal pole and kept her in total darkness, returning only to bring her food or to rape her. She told police she was kept in a single room for the first nine years of her captivity where their children had to watch as her father repeatedly raped her. Often she had to decide whether to have sex or starve. She told officers how she quaked with fear every time she heard the door click as her dad came down for his vile sex sessions. He beat her if she struggled, so she soon stopped putting up a fight.

Police chief Franz Polzer said: “The man is evil beyond words. The misery he has inflicted on his family is unimaginable. It will take (Elisabeth and) the children years to recover.”

With the complexity of her trauma, Elisabeth most likely has shut down emotionally as a way to cope with the pain and may need myriad therapies and time “to handle her memories and make sense of how why this happened,” said Reeve.

Since being rescued, the family has been living in an isolated room in a psychiatric unit near their home. Doctors have placed a cargo container outside so that Josef Fritzl’s captives can retreat there if they feel too traumatized by the daylight and the open space.

“She needs reassurance that she has not lost everything,” said psychologist Dolgan.

On the video-sharing website Youtube there is a 5 part documentary on the discovery of the “House of Horrors” that Elisabeth and her children lived in. It is full of details about the experiences that she endured. Below is the first part of this documentary entitled The Josef Fritzl Story. Click here to see the entire series.

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Elisabeth Fritzl and Family say “Thanks”

Posted by shadmia on May 15, 2008

Elisabeth Fritzl was held captive by her father Josef Fritzl for 24 years in a cellar. She bore him 7 children while in captivity. It was only when one of her children Kerstin, 19, became very sick and had to be taken to the hospital, that Elisabeth was found and freed by the police. Josef Fritzl is in jail facing a multitude of charges. Elisabeth and her children have been placed under psychiatric care. To read the entire rescue story click here.

With the backing and encouragement of her doctors, Elisabeth,42, and her kids (Stefan 18, Lisa 16, Monika 14, Alexander 12 and Felix 6) made a huge ‘Thank You’ poster to express their gratitude for the support and concern from the public. The 8ft x 5ft illustrated poster features a thank you note with the family members’ hands surrounding it, each with personal messages written inside. It is on display in a shop window in their hometown of Amstetten. The main message reads:

“We, the whole family, would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your sympathy for our fate.

“Your compassion is really helping us get through this difficult time and shows us that there are good people out there who care for us.

“We hope that the time will soon come when we can find our way back to a normal life.”

Each person wrote an emotional individual message containing their wishes for the future. A heart shape marks their sister Kerstin, 19, who is still seriously ill and has been placed in a medically induced coma.

Here is a closer look at some individual messages

Stefan 18, who until his release two weeks ago had never seen the sun, or stood fully upright, wrote: “I like the sun, the fresh air and nature.

Lisa, 16, who was not locked in the dungeon but who lived with Fritzl and his wife upstairs, wishes for “love, happiness, health” and “that everything turns out well again”.

Felix, 6, said he is dreaming of going by car again and by sledge, and he wants to play with other children and “run across a meadow”. He had his first ride in a car when he was collected by police and officers spoke of his delight at the trip.

The doctors taking care of the family say that they will need time to adjust to the real world. Berthold Kepplinger, who runs the clinic, said it was becoming more apparent how much time the family needed to heal. He said that the Fritzls would “need to remain here for several more months”.

He continued: “They all need to be very carefully protected and very slowly reintroduced to the real world, and to each other. In particular, Elizabeth and her two children from the cellar need to have further therapy to help them adjust to the light after years in semidarkness. “They also needed treatment to help them cope with all the extra space that they now have to move about in.

In an appeal to the public to respect the privacy of the family, Berthold Kepplinger also said:

“If the treatment is to work properly, then it is especially important that we get respect for their privacy, the need to this cannot be underestimated.”

He added that the family reunion had “gone extremely well. The children were playing and enjoying activities such as painting. They had also been given a computer. However, balancing the needs of each family member was complex, he said. For example, the two cellar children and their mother needed peace and quiet and were being kept inside, whereas the three children that had normal lives until now were suffering from the enforced isolation.

Natascha Kampusch, the Austrian girl abducted as a 10-year-old and held captive in a basement for more than eight years until she escaped in 2007, also offered her help to the family, but questioned the decision to move them from the cellar into psychiatric care.

“Pulling them abruptly out of this situation, without transition, to hold them and isolating them to some extent, it can’t be good for them,” said Kampusch, now 20, in an interview. “I believe it might have been even better to leave them where they were, but that was probably impossible. This case is not like mine, where that was not my environment. They were born there and I can imagine that there is a strong attachment to that place.”

Elisabeth’s lawyer, Christoph Herbst said: “Elisabeth is very happy to be rediscovering the world. She is very keen to go outside and feel the rain on her skin. But it is important for them to adjust slowly.” He also said that Elisabeth and her children who lived in the cellar have no concept of time and of the future. However, rumors that she has no teeth and cannot talk are not true.

Elisabeth’s sister Gabriele Helm, 36, says she is surprised at how well her sister has endured the ordeal of being locked in a cellar with her children for 24 years.

“None of us can believe how normal Elisabeth seems. She is healthy and very chatty and doing very well. Every day she gets a bit stronger. I can’t say what the family is going through. It’s more than anyone can believe. It has devastated us.”

“We are working together to support Elisabeth. She is overjoyed to see her children. She told them they were beautiful and she is spending all the time getting to know them.”

Elisabeth tells her family that all she longs for is a normal life – or as normal a life as they can get. That’s her only wish. One of her children, Felix, is keeping the family in good spirits says her lawyer: “They are all happy and there is a lot of laughter, which you might not expect. Felix makes everyone laugh. They are teaching him to run because inside the cellar he could not run. Elisabeth is really an impressive person. She is very strong. She’s happy now for the first time.”

Josef Fritzl,73, who imprisoned and raped his daughter for 24 years claims he is not a monster and blamed both Hitler and his mother for making him the way he is. He said he did not have sex with Elisabeth until she was older than 12, which is when she claims he first abused her. “I am not a man that has sex with little children.”

“I knew that Elisabeth did not want it, what I did with her. The pressure to do the forbidden thing was just too big to withstand.”

Fritzl would visit Elisabeth every few days, delivering food and repeatedly raping her. “It was an obsession with me,” he said. Fritzl also described the amazing planning and secrecy behind his crime, admitting he had thought about it for years. Fritzl claimed he had kidnapped the teenage Elisabeth to “rescue” her from alcohol and bad company. He said he got into a “vicious circle“:

“My situation just got more crazy. I was scared of being arrested, and that my family and everybody that knew me would know my crime … I always knew over 24 years what I did was not correct, and that I must be mad.”

“I am not a monster,” Fritzl said. “I could have killed all of them and no one would have known. No one would have ever found about it.”

In a bizarre admission, Fritzl said he had incestuous feelings for his mother, whom he described as the greatest woman in the world. “She taught me discipline.”

He went on to complain that the coverage of his daughter’s abuse was one-sided. He remains in jail under tight security. His attorney said Fritzl was a “broken man” who belonged in a mental hospital rather than prison.

Reinhard Haller, a leading forensic psychiatrist in Austria, disagreed with claims that Fritzl was insane: “His main motivation was the exercise of power. It is not a sign of mental illness but rather of an extreme personality disorder.”

And Fritzl may be in more trouble. The Austrian authorities have revealed that there are more rooms in the underground dungeon that have yet to be examined, which Fritzl is believed to have sealed off years ago. Fritzl has a history of sex crimes including a conviction for rape and attempted rape as well as being investigated for an unrelated murder, and now police fear the extra rooms may contain evidence of further crimes.

Police are set to break down walls in the cellar to get to the hidden rooms this week and plan to investigate the electrics and plumbing to ascertain whether Fritzl – an electrical engineer – could have built the dungeon, or whether he had help. They will also scan the ground surrounding the cellar to check if more rooms exist or if there are any objects buried in the garden. The dogs and radars being used can detect human body parts underground.

Meanwhile, the murky depths of Fritzl’s mind are being examined by Austria’s leading forensic psychiatrist, Dr Adelheid Kastner. Prosecutors want Dr Kastner, 46, to determine whether he is fit to stand trial.

“I am conducting exploratory conversations to get to know every possible part of the defendant’s personality. The court wants me to probe several questions and has given me a deadline. But if I need longer, then the court will have to wait” said Dr Kasner.

It remains a mystery as to how Fritzl managed to smuggle two beds underground unnoticed as well as a large washing machine and supplies for Elisabeth and the children.

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