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Bad Mother’s Day | Josef Fritzl

Josef Fritzl; damaged goods?

Josef Fritzl kept his sick mother locked up in an attic, no daylight for twenty years.

• Treatment of mother was ‘revenge for abuse she inflicted’

“She never showed me any love, she beat me and kicked me until I was on the floor and bleeding,” he said. “I felt so weak and humiliated. I never got a kiss from her or even a hug although I tried very hard to please her. I had a horrible fear from her. She kept insulting me and told me I was a Satan, a criminal, a no-good.” This abusive relationship with his mother fed his life as a rapist.

German HumorReports revealed that Fritzl’s mother raised him alone after a bitter divorce. Fritzl claims he was isolated from other children and was an “alibi child”– his mother only had him to prove to her husband she was not sterile.

The confessions were made to Dr Adelheid Kastner, an Austrian prison psychiatrist who assessed the 73-year-old’s mental state during six in-depth sessions before Fritzl’s trial.

The happy couple

According to Fritzl, he moved into the Amstetten house in 1959 soon after he married his wife, Rosmarie. His mother moved into the house with them and Kastner was told how their roles gradually reversed with Fritzl’s mother coming to fear her son.

The only thing she ever did with me was go to church.

It is unknown how long his mother was kept in a room without daylight, but Austrian newspapers speculate it could have been for up to 20 years.

In the leaked confidential report, the psychiatrist declared Fritzl as sane and fit for trial despite suffering from a “severe combined personality disorder” and “a sexual disorder”.

Joey Fritzl - Rapist

In the first of the leaked accounts in Austrian newspapers, Fritzl said: "I have realised that I had a mean streak. For someone who was born to be a rapist, I have managed to contain myself for a relatively long period."

He allegedly hatched his plan to incarcerate his daughter, Elisabeth, while he was in prison for rape.

In 1967 he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for brutally raping a 24-year-old woman at knifepoint in her home.

Kastner writes that Fritzl devised the “ideal solution” to his deranged fantasies after he was released from prison. He decided to lock up his daughter in the cellar so that he could “live out” his “evil side” while leading a seemingly normal life in the flat upstairs.

Dr Adelheid Kastner_psychiatrist

Dr Adelheid Kastner, Psychiatrist

Reflecting on his childhood, Fritzl initially described his mother as “the best woman in the world” and “as strict as it was necessary”.

Later he expressed a negative opinion of his mother and claimed that “she used to beat me, hit me until I was lying in a pool of blood on the floor. It left me feeling totally humiliated and weak. My mother was a servant and she used to work hard all her life, I never had a kiss from her, I was never cuddled although I wanted it – I wanted that she would be good to me.” He later also admitted that he had locked his mother in her room without sunlight.

Fritzl Collage

In her report, Fritzl’s mother is described as unpredictable and abusive. Fritzl referred to himself as an “alibi” child, meaning that his mother only gave birth to him to prove that she was not barren and could produce children. He grew up as an only child without a father, who had left the family when Fritzl was four. Fritzl claims that his pathological behavior is innate. He admits that he planned to lock his daughter up during his prison stint for the earlier rape conviction so that he could contain and express his “evil side”.

“I was born to rape, and I held myself back for a relatively long time. I could have behaved a lot worse than locking up my daughter.”

The forensic psychiatrist diagnosed Fritzl as having severe combined personality disorder and a sexual disorder and recommended that Fritzl receive psychiatric care for the rest of his life.


Judges Helmut Weichhart and Andrea Humer deliver verdict during day four of Josef Fritzl trial at the country court of St. Poelten, Austria.

On 19 March 2009, Josef Fritzl was sentenced to life imprisonment in a secure psychiatric facility.


Judge Andrea Humer, who presided over the trial, stated medical experts reported Elisabeth Fritzl and her children in “relatively good health”.

Lawyer Christoph Herbst who represents Elisabeth Fritzl and family, said “fortunately, everything is going very well,” as they spend time to answer the hundreds of letters sent worldwide. Felix, 5, brought up underground, has been learning to swim. One of Elisabeth’s daughters, aged 15, attended a four-day summer camp organized by firefighters with 4,000 other young campers.

Other family members made day trips, including swimming outings, on which care was taken to keep them out of reach of the paparazzi and to protect their privacy.

Excerpts of Elisabeth’s diary were leaked to the media on 11 March 2009. Prosecutors confirmed that the diary was part of their evidence against Josef Fritzl.

Austria’s reputation

Austrian FlagDescribing the “abominable events” as linked to one individual case, then-Chancellor of Austria Alfred Gusenbauer said he planned to launch an image campaign to restore the country’s reputation abroad.

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  Viola wrote @

Thank you for this. It can be difficult to find a great deal of information about the current status of the family and also, Fritzl’s upbringing but as he quite readily admits…he was “born a rapist”…so knows the difference between right and wrong. Many ppl come from abusive backgrounds…but you don’t find them all acting so barbarically. There is NO excuse! And 18 months’ prison for his initial, obviously violent rape is absolutely ludicrous. I am glad they are being kept away from the media…they would be having a hard enough time as it is, I should imagine.


  Mr. Anonymous® wrote @

This story is so sad, on so many levels. I look at the pained faces of the two Judges in the last shot and wonder what must they be feeling… disgust, revulsion, PITY, and a countryman who has embarassed them COMPLETELY! – yet they must be JUST and mete out the appropriate remedy.

This man is seriously ill. The damage has been done. Glad to see you are following this horror story and not just brushing it under a rug as is the certain impulse of thousands of Austrians. My point was; Mama AND Papa are always frontline. RAISE YOUR FUCKING CHILDREN RIGHT. DON’T FUCKING BEAT THEM DOWN – BECAUSE SOME WILL RISE AGAIN – AS MONSTERS !!!!!!

’nuff said. Poor poor Elizabeth & Co.
They are their GRANDMOTHER’S victims.

NOBODY is “BORN” a rapist or killer.
Monsters are MADE.


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