Elisabeth Naughton Biography & Facts
The Fritzl case emerged in 2008, when a woman named Elisabeth Fritzl (born 6 April 1966) told police in the town of Amstetten, Lower Austria, Austria, that she had been held captive for 24 years by her father, Josef Fritzl (born 9 April 1935). J. Fritzl had assaulted, sexually abused, and raped his daughter repeatedly during her imprisonment inside a concealed area in the cellar of the family home. The abuse resulted in the birth of seven children: three of them remained in captivity with their mother; one had died just days after birth at the hands of J. Fritzl, who disposed of his body in an incinerator; and the other three were brought up by J. Fritzl and his wife, Rosemarie, having been reported as foundlings.
J. Fritzl was arrested on suspicion of rape, false imprisonment, manslaughter by negligence, and incest. In March 2009, he pleaded guilty to all counts and was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Josef Fritzl was born on 9 April 1935, in Amstetten, Lower Austria. In 1956, at age 21, he married 17-year-old Rosemarie (born September 23, 1939), with whom he had three sons and four daughters, including Elisabeth, who was born on 6 April 1966. Fritzl reportedly began sexually abusing Elisabeth in 1977, when she was aged 11.After completing compulsory education at age 15, Elisabeth started a course to become a waitress. In January 1983 she ran away from home and went into hiding in Vienna with a friend from work. She was found by police within three weeks and returned to her parents in Amstetten. She rejoined her waitress course, finished it in mid-1984, and was offered a job in nearby Linz.
On 28 August 1984, after Elisabeth turned 18, Fritzl lured her into the basement of the family home, saying that he needed help carrying a door. In reality, Fritzl had been converting the basement into a makeshift prison chamber; the door was the last thing he needed to seal it. After Elisabeth held the door in place while Fritzl fitted it into the frame, he held an ether-soaked towel on her face until she was unconscious, then threw her into the chamber.After Elisabeth's disappearance, Rosemarie filed a missing persons report. Almost a month later, Fritzl handed over a letter to the police, the first of several that he had forced Elisabeth to write while she was in captivity. The letter, postmarked Braunau, stated that she was tired of living with her family and was staying with a friend; she warned her parents not to look for her or she would leave the country. Fritzl told police that she had most likely joined a cult.Over the next 24 years, Fritzl visited Elisabeth in the hidden chamber almost every day, or a minimum of three times a week, bringing food and other supplies, and repeatedly raping her. Elisabeth gave birth to seven children during her captivity. One child died shortly after birth, and three—Lisa, Monika, and Alexander—were removed from the chamber as infants to live with Fritzl and his wife, who were approved by local social services authorities as their foster parents. Officials said that Fritzl "very plausibly" explained how three of his infant grandchildren had appeared on his doorstep. The family received regular visits from social workers, who saw and heard nothing to arouse their suspicions.Following the fourth child's birth in 1994, Fritzl allowed the enlargement of the prison, from 35 to 55 m2 (380 to 590 sq ft), putting Elisabeth and her children to work digging out soil with their bare hands for years. The captives had a television, a radio, and a videocassette player. Food could be stored in a refrigerator and cooked or heated on hot plates. Elisabeth taught the children to read and write. At times, Fritzl would punish the family by shutting off their lights or refusing to deliver food for days at a time. Fritzl told Elisabeth and the three children who remained (Kerstin, Stefan, and Felix) that they would be gassed if they tried to escape. Investigators concluded that this was an empty threat to frighten the victims; there was no gas supply to the basement. He also told them that they would be electrocuted if they tried to meddle with the cellar door.According to Fritzl's sister-in-law Christine, he went into the basement every morning at 09:00, ostensibly to draw plans for machines which he sold to manufacturing firms. He often stayed there for the night and did not allow his wife to bring him coffee. A tenant who rented a ground floor room in the house for twelve years claimed to hear noises from the basement, which Fritzl said were caused by the "faulty pipes" or the gas heating system.
On 19 April 2008, Fritzl agreed to seek medical attention after Kerstin, Elisabeth's eldest daughter, fell unconscious. Elisabeth helped him carry Kerstin out of the chamber and saw the outside world for the first time in 24 years. He forced her to return to the chamber, where she remained for a final week. Kerstin was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, the Landesklinikum Amstetten, and was admitted in serious condition with life-threatening kidney failure. Fritzl later arrived at the hospital claiming to have found a note written by Kerstin's mother. He discussed Kerstin's condition and the note with a doctor, Albert Reiter.Medical staff found aspects of Fritzl's story puzzling and alerted the police on 21 April. The police broadcast an appeal on public media for the missing mother to come forward and provide information about Kerstin's medical history. The police reopened the case file on Elisabeth's disappearance. Fritzl repeated his story about Elisabeth being in a cult, and presented what he claimed was the "most recent letter" from her, dated January 2008, posted from the town of Kematen. The police contacted Manfred Wohlfahrt, a church officer and expert on cults, who raised doubts about the existence of the group Fritzl described. He noted that Elisabeth's letters seemed dictated and oddly written.
Elisabeth pleaded with Fritzl to be taken to the hospital. On 26 April, he released her from the cellar along with her sons Stefan and Felix, bringing them upstairs. He and Elisabeth went to the hospital where Kerstin was being treated on 26 April 2008. Following a tip-off from Reiter that Fritzl and Elisabeth were at the hospital, the police detained them on the hospital grounds and took them to a police station for questioning.
Elisabeth did not provide police with more details until they promised her that she would never have to see her father again. Over the next two hours, she told the story of her 24 years in captivity. Elisabeth recounted that Fritzl raped her and forced her to watch pornographic videos, which he made her re-enact with him in front of her children in order to humiliate her. Shortly after midnight, police officers completed the investigation. Fritzl, aged 73, was arrested on 26 April on suspicion of serious crimes against family members.During the night of 27 April, Elisabeth, her children and her .... Discover the Elisabeth Naughton popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Elisabeth Naughton books.