Real Life

Austria's house of horror

**By Jenny Brown For 24 years, 42-year-old Elisabeth Fritzl has been shut away in a tiny cellar with three of the seven children she had to the monster who imprisoned her — her own father.** Elisabeth Fritzl was white-haired, starving, pale and deeply traumatised when she finally, mercifully emerged into the clear light of day. Drugged, imprisoned and repeatedly raped by her own father — who made her pregnant seven times — she had somehow survived in a secret dungeon for 24 years, together with three of her children. Until their rescue last week, the youngsters — a 19-year-old girl and boys aged five and 18 — had never been to school, played with friends or stepped outdoors. Police are now investigating the 42-year-old Austrian's chilling story of incest and depravity, which sent shockwaves around the world, and have her 73-year-old father Josef in custody. The outwardly respectable engineer has confessed to seizing, drugging and handcuffing his daughter soon after her 19th birthday, and locking her in a cellar beneath the three-storey family home in small-town Amstetten. Behind a hidden door, detectives discovered a complex of small, windowless rooms, less than two metres high, where Elisabeth claims she was imprisoned for almost a quarter of a century. There she gave birth to seven children fathered by Josef — who also acted as midwife at each birth — and who it's claimed has been sexually abusing her since she was 11 years old. For the full story, see this week's Woman's Day (on sale May 5). Save our kids:
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