Josef Fritzl’s wife’s name is Rosemarie Fritzl (née Schmidbauer). She was born on April 15, 1939, in Austria. Rosemarie and Josef Fritzl got married in 1957 when she was 17 years old, and Josef was 21. They lived in the town of Amstetten, Austria, where they raised their seven children together.
Rosemarie Fritzl was largely unaware of the horrifying secret that Josef Fritzl kept hidden from her and the rest of the world for many years. From 1984 to 2008, Josef had imprisoned and sexually abused his daughter, Elisabeth Fritzl, in a concealed basement beneath their family home. During this time, Elisabeth gave birth to seven children, three of whom were raised by Josef and Rosemarie as their own. The other three children were confined to the basement with Elisabeth, while one child died shortly after birth and was incinerated by Josef.
Rosemarie reportedly had no knowledge of the basement and the atrocities committed by her husband. According to Elisabeth’s testimony, Rosemarie was deceived by Josef, who claimed that their daughter Elisabeth had run away to join a religious cult and left the children on their doorstep. Rosemarie believed this story and cared for the children as her own, unaware of their true parentage and the circumstances of their conception.
In April 2008, the horrific truth was finally revealed when Elisabeth and her children were freed after one of the children fell seriously ill and needed medical attention. Josef Fritzl was arrested and later sentenced to life imprisonment in 2009 for charges including rape, incest, false imprisonment, and murder due to the infant’s death.
Throughout the trial, Rosemarie Fritzl was not charged with any crimes as there was no evidence to suggest her involvement or knowledge of Josef’s actions. She was regarded as a victim of Josef’s deception and abuse. The media coverage of the case highlighted her as a woman who had been completely unaware of the horrifying events occurring within her own home.
Following Josef’s arrest, Rosemarie reportedly distanced herself from him and began divorce proceedings. She has since lived a private life away from the media spotlight, attempting to rebuild her life and recover from the traumatic events that unfolded within her family.