On this Podcast we look at a modern monster, a master of deception that for 24 years tortured his captive daughter and the children he fathered with her. It was a story that would rock the sleepy Austrian town of Amstetten. A story that would go on to horrify the world when in 2008 the shocking truth of murder, kidnapping, slavery, rape and torture were finally revealed. For decades before Josef Fritzl had carefully crafted the facade of a successful businessman and dedicated, loving father with a daughter who had runaway, and who cared for the children she abandoned.
The Making of a Monster
We’ll look at his unusual early life in a Nazi occupied Austria. His chaotic upbringing, shadowed by the specter of World War 2, leading to the unhinged relationships with his mother Maria and absent father. Then on to the controlling and abusive marriage to wife Rosemarie and their young family in the nearby town of Linz. His whole life a descent down into a disturbing dungeon of sexual perversion, leading to violent crimes and eventually, time in jail.
It was this time that Josef Fritzl would use to prepare his horrific and depraved masterplan to encarserate someone and use them as a sex slave.
Behind the cellar door
It was 1984 when Josef trapped his daughter Elisabeth in the cellar below the family home. A cellar he had spent years converting into a windowless, airless cell for the sole purpose of imprisoning and raping his teenage daughter. Over the next 24 years countless appalling acts of horror were perpetrated by Josef Fritzl on his own children and grandchildren. We’ll discuss the true darkest depths of the human condition and debate the merits of guilt and responsibility for all those involved.