House Of Horrors

Illustration for article titled House Of Horrors

More news is coming out about Josef Fritzl, the Austrian man who imprisoned his daughter in a windowless dungeon for 24 years. Firstly: DNA tests confirm that Fritzl is the father of the seven children birthed by his daughter, Elisabeth. (Three of whom recently emerged from the dungeon to see natural daylight for the first time.) The eldest of the children, 19-year-old Kerstin, is in a coma at the hospital. Her condition is the result of a lack of oxygen. As for Elisabeth, one police officer who saw her says of the 42-year-old woman: "She has been so starved of sunlight that her skin and hair were pure white and she had to shield her eyes from the light." There are many more details, including pictures of Fritzl's underground lair, with its sad tile and creepy/tragic kiddie animal stickers. [Times, Telegraph, Telegraph, Guardian, BBC, Daily Mail]

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@tailfeather: One of those articles has a diagram of the house. It's not a typical suburban American house with the steps down to the basement. It was three stories, attached at both sides, family lived on top floor with the lowest floor rented out to tenants.

The daughter was hidden in a soundproofed cell behind a storage wall in the basement. She was also forced to write notes home explaining her absences. I think it possible the mother didn't know. I also think it's possible the mother was abused or controlled somehow. Either way, she hardly seems to be the one to blame here.