House of Horrors
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In April 2008, in the quiet Austrian town of Amstetten, a truly horrifying vision of hell was discovered by police in the cellar of a seemingly normal suburban home. Undoubtedly the worst case in Austrian criminal history, this appalling story of incarceration and sexual abuse quickly became international news. On August 28, 1984, Josef Fritzl lured Elisabeth, the youngest of his seven children, into the cellar of their family home where he drugged and handcuffed her in a windowless dungeon. For 24 years Josef held his daughter captive in unimaginable circumstances and repeatedly raped her. Elisabeth gave birth to seven of her father's children, three of which were imprisoned alongside her, never seeing the light of day until they were released in April 2008; three others were taken to live as the adopted or fostered children of Josef and his unwitting wife Rosemarie. One infant died soon after birth and was incinerated by its monstrous father. It was only when the eldest captive child, Kerstin, was admitted to hospital with multiple organ failure that Josef’s sickening web of incest and abuse was uncovered by the authorities. Millions of people across the world have been shocked, sickened, and fascinated by this horrifying crime, and as it unravels gossip has become merged with fact. Now for the first time the truth is revealed through the investigative talents of author Nigel Cawthorne.
- John Blake, August 2008
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