More details are coming out of the cellar in the horrifying imprisonment/incest story — despite the Austrian government's efforts to minimize one of the most bizarre cases in recent memory. After Josef Fritzl was arrested for imprisoning his daughter in a windowless room for over 24 years and forcing her to conceive seven children, Austria's chancellor, Alfred Gusenbauer, said “it’s not Austria that is the perpetrator. . . we won’t allow the whole country to be held hostage by one man.” Austria is actually planning to hire image consultants to restore the nation’s image.
The horror of Josef Fritzl might not end at the cellar door. The Amstetten police are now looking into the murder of a 17-year-old girl whose body was found 22 years ago. The police are looking into the possibility of a connection between her murder and Josef Fritzl, as his wife owned an inn on the other side of the lake where the girl's body was found. To see the most bizarre twist in the story, read more.
In what could only be a terrible family reunion, the three “above-ground” grandchildren of the gruesome procreation were reunited with the three “basement” grandchildren for the first time since the capture and arrest of their father. Fritzl had kept three of the surviving six children underground where they were never allowed to see daylight, while raising the other three as his own grandchildren in the apartment.
The director of the clinic where the reunion took place said, “it was astonishing how easy it was.” She then reported that even Elisabeth (the daughter who was held captive and forced to conceive) and her mother (Fritzl’s wife) “interacted very naturally." DNA tests have proven that Fritzl is the father of all of the children.
Does this case tarnish Austria's image, or is it an isolated story? Are you surprised that the government is focusing on this aspect? Does it seem odd given that the family was allowed to interact together? Are you following this story, or are you put off by its tabloid nature?