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The Case of Elisabeth Fritzl

Updated on October 30, 2018
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I love writing and researching about criminals and so here we are

Elisabeth Fritzl, was born on April 6, 1966 to parents Rosemarie and Josef Fritzl. Elisabeth was born and raised, if you could call it that, in Amstetten, Austria with six siblings.

Josef (21) married Rosemarie (17) in 1956. Rosemarie had two sons and five daughters, one being Elisabeth. Josef started abusing and raping Elisabeth at the age 11 which went on for her entire captivity as well.

At age 15 Elisabeth started a course to become a waitress, then in January 1983 Elisabeth ran away from home. She went to Vienna and stayed with a friend she worked with. After about three weeks police had found her and brought her back home.

Then on August 28, 1984, at 18 years old, Josef called Elisabeth downstairs to the basement to help with putting up a door to the new renovated cellar, which little did Elisabeth know that this cellar is where she'd be held captive for 24 years. After Josef put the door in place and the hinges on, he swung the door open and pushed Elisabeth inside the cellar and knocked her out using an ether soaked towel.

Elisabeth's mother was worried and filed a missing person report immediately. Josef, of course knowing where she was, wasn't worried at all and didn't try to fake it either. He told the police and everyone that she probably ran off to join a cult which she had previously talked about doing. As time went on the case went cold as the police had no idea and no clue as to Elisabeth's whereabouts.

Every morning at 9 Josef went down to the basement, the family just thought he was working on plans for machines that he had sold, but he would go down to check on Elisabeth bring her food or torture her more. He would sometimes spend the night down there to which Rosemarie thought he was just working really hard and didn't question it.

After being raped numerous times Elisabeth ended up being pregnant in 1988 and gave birth to a girl who she named Kerstin. Two years later she had another baby this time it was a boy and named him Stefan. Both of her kids stayed with her the rest of her captivity and Josef would bring them food weekly. Elisabeth attempted to educated her children as best as she could and tried to give them the most normal life they could have.

Over the rest of her captivity Elisabeth had five more children, one sadly died shortly after birth. Josef only allowed one more child to stay with Elisabeth, the rest he and his wife raised themselves. Josef had pretended to find the babies outside on the doorstep or in the bushes along with a letter from Elisabeth stating that the children are hers but she cannot take care of them.

In 2008, Kerstin, Elisabeth's oldest fell ill at 19 years old. She needed medical attention immediately and Elisabeth begged Josef to bring her to the hospital in fear of her dying. Josef eventually complied and called an ambulance, he claimed Kerstin was left with a note from her mother, explaining her horrible condition.

The police were notified by the hospital and they questioned Kerstin for a week and then with no information from her they went to the public for help about her or her family to which they received no reply.

Police grew suspicious of Josef and reopened Elisabeth's case. They read over all the letters from "Elisabeth" and found multiple inconsistencies. With the police getting closer, Josef felt pressured and let Elisabeth go. She went immediately to the hospital where they notified police of her suspicious appearance. The police took her into custody that night and questioned her, once they told her she never had to see Josef again she opened up and told them about everything.

Police arrested Josef that night and the children left in the cellar were freed. Rosemarie claimed to know nothing about Elisabeth's captivity and Josef backed her up on that.

Currently Elisabeth is living under a new identity, in a secret Austria village known as "Village X" with police and CCTV surveillance watching over her. As for Josef, he is serving a life sentence in prison, when interviewed the interviewee said that he showed no remorse and had no regret for doing it.


Thank you everyone for reading my first True Crime Story!



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