Fritzl Chooses Luxury Prison – Where’s the Outrage?

Timesonline reports that per Austrian law Josef Fritzl, who was convicted of rape, murder, false imprisonment and other atrocities which he committed during the 24 years that he kept his daughter Elisabeth and the 6 surviving children that he forced her to bear in while confined in a windowless dungeon, will get to pick his poison … I mean prison. (I apologize for the long sentence but, after all, I am a lawyer and we tend to be verbose). 

Associated Press Video

Can this horrific story get any more bizarre?  73 year old Fritzl, a creature who has no right to call himself a human being, was sentenced to life in prison but will be eligible for parole in 15 years.  I am disgusted by the fact that he was allowed to choose to spend his incarceration at Garsten,  prison for the "psychologically abnormal" where, according to Timesonline, "he will be able to improve his English or study other foreign
languages, as well as singing in the choir or training in a gym that is
better-equipped than those of many hotels. As an inmate, he will be offered
a wide variety of hobbies and entertainment, including tennis, darts and art
classes."

Where is the outrage?  This treatment calls for reform.  Garsten is set in the foothills of the Alps and boasts of one of the largest prison libraries in Austria so that Fritzl won't be deprived of the ability to indulge in his passion for reading.  What about Elisabeth's passion for, well, anything?  Even though she's been freed from her prison, common sense dictates that she will never be freed from the memory of the horror that was her life.

Details of Elisabeth Fritzl's Abuse at the Hands of Her Father, Josef Fritzl

Fritzl's fellow inmates include such dignitaries as a former TV presenter, Helmut Frodl, serving
life for murdering a rival and dismembering his body with a chainsaw. Frodl
is working on a PhD and is allowed out twice a month with an escort to
discuss his thesis with a professor.

Although in theory it's commendable that, per a spokesman for the Austrian prisons, “The Austrian penal system aims not only at enforcing punishment, but also
attempts to bring the inmate back within the norms of society,” the inhuman wrongs that this man committed against his daughter and the children that he begat with her, can never be made right.  Every day of the rest of his life should be filled with the same fear, terror, frustration and horror that he bestowed upon his family.

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Josef Fritzl Sentenced To Life in Mental Hospital

Fritzl Croaking Voice
Joseph Fritzl, the monster who imprisoned, raped and tortured his own daughter, Elisabeth, for 24 years while forcing her to bear 7 of his children, has been sentenced to life in a mental hospital — a mental hospital of HIS own choosing. 

In general, I'm not a punitive person.  However, in these circumstances, this man should be afforded absolutely no choice as to any aspect of his life, not the least of which is where he will spend the rest of his days.  He should be afforded the same choice he gave to his daughter – none.

According to Timesonline:

Josef Fritzl barely quivered when he was sentenced yesterday to life in a
prison for psychologically disturbed criminals. He was found guilty of
murdering a boy, one of seven children fathered with his daughter, of
enslaving her, incarcerating her, beating her and raping her 3,000 times in
the cellar of the family home.

Fritzl, 73, said in a croaking voice that he accepted the verdict — there will
be no appeal — and he was marched off by a phalanx of policemen to a cell
that lets in more sunlight than his daughter Elisabeth saw in almost a
quarter of a century.

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Joseph Fritzl Pleads Guilty to All Charges – He’s Still a Monster

In spite of the fact that Josef Fritzl pled guilty to ALL charges today, he remains one of the great monsters of all time.  Click here, here, here, here and here to read previous, detailed postings of his horrific crimes.

Please watch the CNN Video News Report below for greater details of today’s guilty plea.

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Details of Elisabeth Fritzl’s Abuse at the Hands of Her Father, Josef

Josef-Fritzl-arrives-for--001
I am sickened by the account of Josef Fritzl’s treatment of his daughter, Elisabeth Fritzl, during the 24 years that he imprisoned her in a purposefully built cellar. 

This Josef Fritzl calls himself a man, a human being.  I don't perceive him as human.  The horrors that he bestowed upon his daughter beginning with drugging her at age 18 in order to imprison her in the dungeon that became her 24 year torture chamber and the deceit that he so brazenly perpetrated to friends and family during that time boggle the mind and shock the conscience. 

Here is, in part, what the indictment states:

  • He chained his daughter up, strapping up her arms and tying her hands behind her back with an iron chain, which he then secured to metal posts behind her bed. She could only move approximately half a metre either side of the bed.
  • After two days he gave her more freedom of movement by attaching the chain around her waist. Then around six to nine months into her imprisonment, he "removed the metal chain", because "it was hindering his sexual activity with his daughter".
  • He forced her to endure sexual abuse and rape at his hands sometimes several times a day, from the second day of her incarceration right up until her release last April. During the first nine months he kept her on a lead and "constantly covered her mouth and prevented her from breathing".
  • He repeatedly threatened her with the statement: "If you do not do as I say, your treatment will get worse and you will not escape from the cellar anyway."
  • He repeatedly beat and kicked her.
  • Subjected her to humiliating sexual abuse, including forcing her to reenact scenes in pornographic films with him as well as inserting objects into her in a violent manner.
  • Fritzl threatened Elisabeth and her children, warning them that if they tried to escape they would be killed. "He told them he had installed a system so that the doors would give them electric shocks if they tried to open them and that poison would be released into the cellar if they tried to escape, killing them all instantly."
  • He would punish her by switching off all the power to the cellar for days at a time "so she was left alone in total darkness".
  • The jury will hear three expert testimonies including the psychiatric assessment of Fritzl, and evidence from a technical expert and an electrical engineer who have inspected the dungeon prison, including its complex locking system and the eight doors which separated Elisabeth and her family from the outside world.

The poison that ran through this man's veins is incomprehensible.  I'm speechless.

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Fritzl Trial Media Frenzy

The trial begins.  From CNN:

One of Elisabeth Fritzl’s brothers, Harald, also testified by
video, a court spokesman said. The media and public have been barred
from the courtroom for sensitive parts of the trial.

Fritzl has pleaded guilty to incest and other charges, but denied murder and enslavement.

He pleaded “partly guilty” — an option in Austrian court — to
multiple charges of raping his daughter, Franz Cutka, a spokesman for
the court in Landesgericht St. Poelten, said. A verdict is expected on
Thursday, Cutka said.

Elisabeth testified on an 11-hour
videotape. Portions of the tape were played Monday, and Fritzl was
asked about it. The remainder of the tape was played Tuesday, officials
said.

Authorities have said Elisabeth and her children were given new identities and are in a secret location.

Will there ever be justice for this family?  It doesn’t seem possibleto me that Elisabeth Fritzl and her six surviving children can ever lead normal lives.  However, their new found freedom may send them on their way to integration and reintegration into society especially with the assumption that Josef Fritzl will be locked away for many years to come.  It’s daunting, though, to know that his plea deal may include incarceration in a resort-like prison where the inmates are given the luxury of daily activities such as classes, tennis and other recreational sports.

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Josef Fritzl: Evil Father Goes on Trial for Crimes Against Daughter, Elisabeth

Fritzl 2009-03-10 005
You may recall the horrific story of Elisabeth Fritzl, the Austrian woman who was held captive, raped and tortured by her father for 24 years.  So many of you were incredulous at the horrific story that captured the world's attention and sympathy.  I blogged on it here, here, here and here.  Many of my blog postings include videos and photos of the crime (thus far) of the century.  There was also a link to a photo album containing nine photos of, among other things, the victim and her father.

Well, the outrage continues.  Josef Fritzl has admitted to his acts.  He is going on trial next week for murder, incest, unlawful imprisonment and enslavement.  His attorney, Rudolf Mayer, says "He is not a monster.  He loved his daughter in his own way."  This is love?  I don't know about you but I'm deeply offended by the callous disregard for the lives of his daughter and the 7 children (the product of repeated rapes by her father) that she bore from the depravity that defined her existence.  One of the children died in infancy, in the dungeon that was their home, while turning blue in her arms.   Josef Fritzl incinerated the body and, although it is believed that he won't be so convicted, this death is the subject of the murder charge against him.

It is quite possible that, under the current Austrian laws, Fritzl could get out of prison in less than 10 years (rape has a maximum sentence of 15 years and, with good behavior…).  To add insult to injury, it is rumored that his attorney has made a deal where Fritzl gets to choose the prison in which he will be held to pay for his crimes and that the chosen location will provide mediation, tennis, football and darts as well as cooking lessons. 

Elisabeth Fritzl has filmed 11 hours of testimony wherein she describes being assaulted by her father for the first time at age 11.  She tried to defend herself against his rape by kicking and screaming.  She became his captive at the age of 18 when he locked her in the dungeon that he purposefully built beneath their house (I'm loathe to call it a home) and, in an effort to cover up his perverted acts, forced her to write a letter saying that she had run away to join a cult.

The father's defense: He was protecting her from smoking, drugs, sex and drinking.  Oh, did I mention that he gave his captives a bird?  Oh, yes, the bird was able to live down there so it proves that he provided them with good air quality.  In addition to the bird, the police found whips and handcuffs.

The details of the upcoming trial and Elisabeth Fritzl's diary of her 8400+ days of captivity are plentiful on the Internet.  In particular, I found the following three articles which lay it all out:

Fritzl Daughter Tells of Fight to Save Children: Timesonline

Evil Father Goes on Trial: Babble.com

Fritzl Girl's Dunegon Diary Leaked: Ninemsn.com

And, of course, a Google Search on Elisabeth Fritzl or Josef Fritzl will yield a plethora of information.

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Elisabeth Fritzl, Josef Fritzl Videos

I’ve been scouring the Internet and found a zillion video reports about the Fritzl Horrors.  Below are links to many of the videos that come up.  This story becomes more chilling by the day.

Lowell Steiger

Cellar horror father due in court (ITV News)

"

Josef Fritzl Confesses

>

Fritzl Family Fotos (with a few creative additions)

"

More Video Links

Joseph Fritzl Vacations in Thailand While Kids are Locked Up (1998)

Sister-in-Law Speaks Out; Interview with Clinical Psychologist (MSNBC)

Elisabeth’s Lawyer Investigates Possible Compensation (Reuters via New Zealand Herald)

Fritzl Had Prior Rape Conviction (Yahoo! Video Australia)

Fritzl’s Chilling Confession (CNN)

Google Search for Fritzl Video Reports

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The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

Elisabeth Fritzl: How She Looks Today, Drawing, Photos and What Crimes Josef Fritzl Committed

This Is London Elisabeth_fritzl_facepublished an interesting article, along with photos, of Elisabeth Fritzl then and now and other related photos.  In their article, it is reported that police say that Elisabeth looks more like her 67 year old mother’s sister than daughter.  Her teeth are horrifically decayed,   "After an emotional reunion last weekend, both sides of the family apart from Kerstin are all now living in a special, isolated room in a psychiatric unit near their home.

"Doctors are said to have placed a cargo container outside so that Fritzl’s captives can retreat there if they feel too traumatised by daylight and the open space.

"Further details of Elisabeth’s time in the cellar have also now emerged. She has apparently told police she was so scared of her father that she submitted herself to him entirely.

"’I don’t know why it was so, but my father simply chose me for himself,’" she told officers, according to the Independent.

"It is thought Fritzl first began abusing her when she was 11, in the cellar, his car and on country walks."  Read the entire This Is London article here.

What Crimes Did Josef Fritzl Allegedly Commit?

If I were prosecuting this matter, with what crimes would I charge Fritzl for the heinous acts allegedly committed?  Among other things, kidnapping, rape, false imprisonment, assault & battery, incest, gross sexual imposition, sexual offenses in general.

Related Sites

Fritzl Photo Album, Lowell Steiger’s Los Angeles Law Blog

Reader Comments and Interaction, Digg.com

Josef Fritzl, A Shrewd Liar and Obsessive Tyrant, Scott.net with photo of 16 year old Josef Fritzl

Josef_fritzl_youth

Former Friend Calls Fritzl a Funny Man, Mpelembe Network

Evil Personified, Say Anything Blog with photo of Elisabeth age 9

Elisabeth_and_josef

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The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

Josef Fritzl, Elisabeth Fritzl: Rape, Death Threats, Incest, Accomplice

Elisabeth_fritzl_color The horrifying story of the unspeakable acts inflicted upon Elisabeth Fritzl and the children fathered by her father, Josef Fritzl, just goes on and on.  The New Zealand Herald reports that he was a "despot" who, in addition to keeping his daughter locked up for 24 years while sexually abusing her and fathering 7 children with her, took great pleasure in humiliating his wife with whom he hadn’t had marital relations in years.  "Sepp," as Josef Fritzl was known, would humiliate his wife of 51 years with "crude, dirty jokes" as well as "tell[ing] her off in front of the others." 

Sepp would go down to the basement every morning at 9 am to, allegedly, complete technical drawings of machines.  He would sometimes spend the entire night in the dungeon.  Fritzl, a retired electrical engineer, allegedly threatened his captives, his own flesh and blood, with being gassed to death if they disobeyed him. 

There is some speculation that he had an accomplice.  View the BBC video news report here.  Read the BBC News Report here.

In a ghoulish twist, he called his wife in 1994 and faked his daughter Elisabeth’s voice asking her to look after the baby that she had left on the doorstep. 

Investigators reveal more details in this Reuters News Video.

Other Related Links

In Pictures: Austria Abuse Scandal, BBC News

New Video of Josef Fritzl On Vacation While Daughter Locked in Cellar

Austria: Police Questions as Josef Fritzl Clues Suggest Accomplice, Times Online

Austrian Teen Held Captive Since Birth in Critical Condition, Associated Press

Austria: DNA Tests Confirm Josef Fritzl Fathered Imprisoned Children, Times Online

Police Delve into "Horror Father’s" Dark Past (Suspect in Unsolved Murder?) Inquirer.net

In another video, Dungeon Dad May Have Planned to Free Daughter (Associated Press)

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The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

Austrian Man Confesses to 24 Years of Abuse of Daughter

Josef_fritzl The most shocking story I have heard in years, maybe in my entire life!  A 73 year old Austrian man, Josef Fritzl, has confessed to holding his now 42 year old daughter captive in a cement, soundproof basement for the last 24 years.  During that time he fathered 7 children with her, one of whom died at child birth. 

                          According to the BBCElisabeth_fritzl "The woman, Elisabeth (childhood picture to left), disappeared aged 18 on 28 August 1984 when, according to her testimony to police, her father lured her into the cellar, drugging and handcuffing her before locking her up.

She is reported to have been made to write a letter which made it look as if she had run away. "  Read the rest of the story here.

Austrian ‘admits daughter abuse’ (BBC News Report Below)

Several fascinating links are listed below:

Photos of Josef Fritzl and the Dungeon

Coming to Terms With The Horror, BBC News

Austrian Detectives Study Cellar, BBC News

Timeline: Australian Cellar Case, BBC News

Video of Josef Fritzl At Police Station, BBC News

Profile of Joseph Firtzl, BBC News

Austria: Incest Father Has Sex Assault Conviction, Times Online

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The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at (323) 852-1100

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com