Crimes Committed by Josef Fritzl
Abduction and Imprisonment of Elisabeth Fritzl
Josef Fritzl abducted his daughter Elisabeth in 1984 when she was only 18 years old. He imprisoned her in a purpose-built, windowless basement in his house in Amstetten, Austria. Fritzl forced her to live in a cramped, dark, and damp room with no access to sunlight or fresh air. Her only source of light was an electric bulb that was turned on for a few hours each day.
Sexual Assault and Rape of Elisabeth Fritzl
During her 24-year captivity, Fritzl repeatedly sexually assaulted and raped Elisabeth. He fathered seven children with her, one of whom died shortly after birth. Fritzl forced Elisabeth to write letters to her family, pretending that she had run away and joined a cult. He threatened to kill her and her children if she tried to escape or tell anyone about their situation.
Fathering Children with Elisabeth Fritzl
Fritzl forced Elisabeth to give birth to all of their children in the basement, with no medical help. He provided her with only basic supplies and food, which were often inadequate. Fritzl took three of their children upstairs to live with him and his wife, Rosemarie Fritzl, while the other three remained in the basement with their mother.
Treatment of Captive Children
Fritzl treated the children born in the basement as his property and subjected them to physical and emotional abuse. He refused to let them leave the basement or have any contact with the outside world. The children were only allowed to watch TV and listen to the radio for a few hours each day. Fritzl also installed an electric fence around the basement to prevent anyone from escaping. In 2008, Elisabeth and her children were finally rescued after one of the children, Kerstin, fell seriously ill and Fritzl allowed her to be taken to the hospital. Fritzl was arrested and charged with a range of crimes, including rape, incest, false imprisonment, and murder by negligence. In 2009, he was found guilty on all charges and sentenced to life imprisonment