Fritzl children to get new IDs
By STAFF REPORTERS
Published: 29 Apr 2008
THE illegitimate children of evil dad Josef Fritzl will have their identities changed, a police spokesman said today.
Cops said the three kids who were locked in a dungeon in an Austrian home would have their names changed so they can live new lives.
Today DNA tests on the 73-year-old Austrian, who has confessed to locking his daughter in a windowless cellar for 24 years, confirm that he is the father of her seven children.
And Austrian hospital officials said members of the Fritzl family were reunited on Sunday and the scene was �astonishing.�
Fritzl appeared before a judge in St Poelten, the provincial capital of Lower Austria, today.
The judge ordered that police keep him in detention while inquiries continue.
Officials said Fritzl said nothing on the advice of his lawyer.
He was calm when he arrived yesterday and was put in a cell where he can be monitored in case he tries to commit suicide, said Guenther Moerwald, head of St Poelten prison.
According to reports, Fritzl has a previous conviction for sexual assault and arson, and he allegedly spent time in prison in the late 1960s.
Austrian prosecutors said that they were aware of the allegations and were trying to trace the records in court archives.
As Fritzl continues to be questioned by Austrian police today, a leading question was how what went on in the house passed unnoticed for so long, particularly as Fritzl built extensions to the cellar.
"This is an appalling crime. I know of no comparable case in Austria," said Franz Prucher, head of security in Lower Austria.
ritzl built a secret concrete and steel hatch — beyond which lay a world of unimaginable evil for his sex slave daughter and three of the seven kids he fathered by her.
The gateway to hell — operated by a coded electronic lock and a motor — was hidden behind shelving in a basement storage area.
Cops who found it were stunned by the terrible secrets it guarded.
The tiny door led to a cramped dungeon — where for 24 years daughter Elisabeth was NEVER allowed to see daylight as brutal Fritzl repeatedly raped her.
She gave birth seven times — with Fritzl delivering her babies.
When one, a twin, died at just three days old he callously tossed the corpse into a furnace.
The wealthy engineer spared three of the surviving youngsters — Lisa, 16, Monika, 14, and Alexander, 12 — the nightmarish existence of their siblings.
He adopted them as infants — telling his wife that Elisabeth had run off to join a cult and had sneaked back to leave them �abandoned� on the doorstep because she could not cope.
Each was up to a year old.
The youngsters wanted for nothing and were sent to private school. They had no idea that below their feet a sister and two brothers had become children of the damned.
Oldest Kerstin was 19 — and had never been touched by sunlight.
Like Stefan, 18, and five-year-old Felix she knew only the flicker of an electric bulb — or pitch darkness.
And there was NO escape.
Police in the Austrian town of Amstetten — 80 miles west of Vienna — had to negotiate a string of electronically locked iron trapdoors to reach the dungeon.
The first pictures of the warren beneath 73-year-old Fritzl’s house at 40 Ybbs Strasse showed the children’s pitiful attempts to make it a home.
Octopus stickers and glittery stars adorned the white-tiled walls of a windowless �bathroom�.
On a cabinet above a grim sink stood a toy elephant.
Tragic ... Elisabeth, left, saw no daylight in 24 years while her mum Rosemarie, right, knew nothing of the horror
Fritzl, a retired engineer who was remanded in custody by a court yesterday after confessing all to police, kept carving out more rooms in his secret dungeon as his subterranean �family� grew.
The floorspace eventually reached 60 square yards — extending under the garden.
He is believed to have used his bare hands, making frequent visits to builders for materials. Foam insulation was used for sound-proofing.
But the passages linking the rooms were stiflingly narrow.
And horrifically, the rooms were barely 5�ft high — meaning that as the children grew they could never even stand up straight.
Mercedes-driving Fritzl, who rented out ground floor rooms at his main house, was seen as a pillar of respectability despite having been jailed in the 1960s for sex assault and arson.
As a strict disciplinarian there were rumours he beat his children. But neighbours were dazed as the extent of his sadism emerged.
Fritzl was arrested after Kerstin — the oldest of the dungeon children — fell ill and Elisabeth begged that she be taken to hospital.
Medics baffled by the teenager’s condition pleaded for her mystery mother to come forward to give a medical history.
By this time Fritzl — realising his depravity was about to be exposed — had finally freed his captives.
He and traumatised Elisabeth, 42, were said to have been picked up near the hospital.
Frantic Fritzl had told his wife Rosemarie — a PTA member at their adopted children’s school — that their daughter had suddenly decided to come home.
But Elisabeth was giving appalled police a version of events they could scarcely believe.
She told them how her father began abusing her at the age of 11 — then in 1984 reported her missing. In reality, Elisabeth — then aged 18 — had been drugged, manacled and taken to her new life in the dungeon.
Last night it was unclear why she alone among the seven children Fritzl had with Rosemarie was targeted.
Police said the wife was blithely unaware of what was happening.
She was seen as the perfect mum to her own children and those who later turned up on the doorstep.
Police have not quizzed her as a suspect — and last night she was comforting family members over the collective trauma.
Asked if Rosemarie could have known anything, Austrian police chief Franz Polzer said: �Do you think any wife in the world would be able to accept that kind of behaviour?�
A source close to the inquiry said: �The story is one of the utmost depravity. It defies belief.
�Fritzl had two families — one respectable above ground and another living in the dark like animals in his dungeon.�
The source added: �He exercised an astonishing level of control over his own family to fulfil his terrible desires.�
The three children apparently abandoned were all well-adjusted, normal kids who played in a local ice hockey league.
They used to call gran Rosemarie �Mami� and locals believe they did not even know she was not their real mum.
Meanwhile the dungeon children — taught to talk, read and write by Elisabeth — were fed through a hatch by Fritzl.
A TV was one of their few luxuries. As forensic teams spent yesterday crouched in the gloomy dungeon, police described it as a �Hobbit’s lair�. It was said to include a padded torture room.
Specialist teams were called in to check for booby traps — because Fritzl warned his captives his trapdoors were wired with explosives.
Police also scoured his garden for the ashes of the baby he burnt. Top cop Franz Polzer said of Fritzl’s vile lust: �He was an extraordinarily sexually potent man.�
How could a father be so evil? Has Freud's sexual irrationalities gone too far? Why should a lovely young girl suffer so much from his asshole of a father? And why the hell am i picking this up from The Sun?