He had a secret room in the basement of his home. The room not only is sound proof but also enclosed from the outside world by an electronic concrete door. The things you are about to read sound like a vicious plot for a horror movie, but they are sadly, true.
Growing up there was a series of books called “Flowers in the Attic” where an embittered mother holds her daughter and her grandchildren captive in the home’s attic. Joseph Fritzl held his daughter, and six of her children born in captivity in a hidden basement room for 24 years. How can this be possible?
Elizabeth Fritzl was 18 in 1984, when she disappeared. Her father said she ran away. She wrote several letters over the years telling her parents not to look for her. Those letters she wrote under duress, her father forced her to write the letters to deter a mother from searching for a daughter.
The horrors Elizabeth Fritzl endured in a small underground room are unimaginable. While held captive Elizabeth under went repeated rapes, sometimes three or more times a week. She bore seven of her father’s children. In essence, the children’s father and grandfather is the same person. One child, a boy, died within days of birth, he has a surviving twin. The baby’s body incinerated in the furnace to destroy evidence he ever existed.
The couple Joseph and Rosemary raised three of the grandchildren in their home. Joseph told his wife that their daughter had abandoned the children on their doorstep. The notes Elizabeth wrote at her father’s insistence verified his story. The other children and their mother, 42-year-old Elizabeth Fritzl never saw daylight for 24 years.
Elizabeth told a judge she did not fight her father when he wanted sex, because he threatened to harm her children if she denied him. The children lived in fear of dying be poisonous gas if they ever tried to overpower the man who completely ruled their lives. It was not until one of the three girls became ill, and was hospitalized that hope for an escape seemed possible.
The hospital began a news campaign asking for the parents of the abandoned child to come forward for medical history information. Elizabeth refused to talk to police or hospital employees until she received confirmation neither she nor her children would be required to return to the father’s dungeon.
Joseph Fritzl confessed to kidnapping, raping and holding his own daughter captive for 24 years. While three of the children lived in the home of his wife and himself, three other children never left the dungeon. The fear of abandonment takes on new meaning when you must trust another individual to provide for all of your physical and emotional needs.
The children three boys and three girls, as well as their mother Elizabeth Fritzl are under going ongoing medical and psychological treatment. The children range in age from five to nineteen years of age. The three children held captive were 19, 18 and 5. While the other three attended, school and lived upstairs.
How this does happen in today’s world without someone finding out something is wrong. This is one reason no parent can give up looking for a missing child. There are no answers until a child turns up. Never give up hope, and never stop looking.