Austrian Father Soaked Up in the Sun While His Children Were in the Dungeon

by Gopalan on  May 6, 2008 at 11:42 AM Lifestyle News
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Austrian Father Soaked Up in the Sun While His Children Were in the Dungeon
Evermore shocking revelations of Josef Fritzl are surfacing every passing day. He had been convicted of raping a woman, had sun-tanned himself when his children were held incommunicado in the dungeon and he had planned the sound-proof cellar for years.

A holiday video shows Fritzl soaking up the sun on holiday 5,000 miles away, in Thailand in 1998, 14 years after he enticed his daughter Elisabeth to the cellar.

A podgy Fritzl is seen in the video - revealed by German newspaper Bild - having a massage from a beach girl.

Holiday-loving Fritzl was a sun-worshipper, but of course he never let three of the seven kids he fathered by his sex-slave daughter see daylight.

Fritzl — always desperate to be pictured frolicking in his tight-fitting trunks — spent up to three weeks at a time on his exotic jaunts.

He would gorge on Thai food after leaving his secret family to starve on meagre rations.

Fritzl stockpiled food in the dungeon where Elisabeth and her three children were being held.

And while he soaked up the sun, they made do with an electric bulb.

Meantime a woman who was raped in October 1967 by Fritzl has relived those traumatic moments.

"When I saw his picture, I knew, yes, that is him.

"Those eyes. That is how I recognised him. I could barely sleep."

She went on: "I was newly-married, my husband was working night shifts. I woke up and realised someone was taking the bedclothes off me.

 "He had wrapped a dishcloth around the handle of a kitchen knife from my kitchen.

"Then he pushed it against my neck and said, 'If you scream, I will kill you'. Then he raped me.

"Before he left he said he would kill me if I said anything."

Fritzl was jailed then for 18 months. The woman said: "It came out in the court case that he was a voyeur. He would ride around the area on his bike and watched everything.

"It was said he had four children, one was still very young. That must have been the poor woman locked up."

In a related development, Austrian investigators are checking if there is a link between Fritzl and the murder of Martina Posch, 17, in Voecklabruck, where his wife Rosemarie ran a guesthouse.

Posch's bound body was found on a shore of the Upper Austrian lake of Mondsee, 10 days after she disappeared in 1968.

The police have also revealed the sound-proof cellar in his home was in the making for years.

Their assumption is Fritzl planned the dungeon, which has eight separate doors, from 1979, when she was 13.

Fritzl had lodged a planning request in 1979 for an extension that became the centre of the secret dungeon.

At a news conference in Amstetten, west of Vienna, police said the planning application showed Fritzl may have had an "obsession" before 1984 to carry out the imprisonment and was able to deceive the family and others around him.

There was a section of the extension which served as the dungeon that was not known to the planning authorities.

The dungeon had at least two access points but even someone with keys would need to open eight doors with electronic locking devices for the last three. One of the doors was 1.5 tonnes of reinforced cast iron.

The police said they believed Fritzl had acted alone.

The head of the Lower Austria criminal investigation department, Franz Polzer, said, "If we look at the factual evidence, Fritzl appears to have done this all by himself. Anything else is speculation. We can only say that what this man did is beyond comprehension."

Meantime the family rescued from the house are getting to know each other again in their hospital quarters, police said, BBC reports.

Elisabeth and the freed children are being treated together in a hospital clinic.

Berthold Kepplinger, the director of the clinic, said the family members had been brought things they were used to, such as an aquarium and toys for the children.

"The family is finding each other again and those who did not know each other are getting to know each other," he said.

"The children make their own beds and the family have lively conversations."

Dr Kepplinger said those who were kept in the cellar had become more accustomed to light but Elisabeth and one child were wearing sunglasses.

Elisabeth lived with her first three children in the cellar. Fritzl took the other three to live upstairs with his wife, who says she knew nothing of the dungeon.

Dr Kepplinger said: "Time must have passed very slowly in the dungeon. This slow-moving time is something we want to maintain in the clinic.

"The children who lived upstairs are used to a different speed of life and we have offered them more to do.

"The mother needs to have rest every now and then - she has a nap in the afternoon to recover from activities."

The condition of the eldest child, Kerstin, 19, whose admission to hospital with a serious illness brought the alleged crimes to light, is fast deteriortating. She is on life support, reports say.

Prosecutors will have their first meeting with Fritzl this Wednesday or Thursday.

They said Mr Fritzl had been examined by a doctor and had been checked for illnesses - both physical and mental.

Fritzl's lawyer, Rudolf Mayer, said on Sunday his client should not go to jail as he was mentally ill.

The director of the prison holding Mr Fritzl, Guenther Moerwald, told the Austrian news agency APA he was an "unproblematic inmate... calm, collected and alert".

But he was refusing daily exercise.

"He doesn't want to go out," Moerwald said.

Fritzl shared a cell with one other inmate and "it's working very well", Moerwald added.

Source: Medindia

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