(The Independent) Whatever became of Elisabeth Fritzl?
Her 24-year ordeal of captivity and rape in that cellar in Amstetten is beyond belief. But Josef Fritzl’s daughter is fighting back
She lives in a brightly painted house in a tiny hamlet which the Austrian media, when they mention it at all, refer to as “Village X”. The two-storey family home is kept under constant CCTV surveillance, and any strangers caught lurking nearby can expect to be picked up by the police within minutes.
The concern about security, above all the fear of an all-pervasive, ruthlessly prying media does not end there. In addition to security guards, the citizens of “Village X” have formed a sort of Dad’s Army to keep journalists and other sensation seekers at bay. “There are only a few villagers and they are all in with the police,” recalled a photographer who was unfortunate enough to be sent on a mission to “Village X” last month. “I was quickly surrounded by people who told me: they don’t want to talk to you, they don’t want to see you – please get out of here,” he said.
A family fortress in a village whose name can never be mentioned is the home Elisabeth’s Fritzl today shares with her children. Except nobody calls her Fritzl anymore. She has been given a new identity. She is 44, but the only photographs of her ever published show her aged 16 and under. “Village X” is only a few kilometres away from the almost inadequately named “House of Horror” across the Danube in the nearby Lower Austrian town of Amstetten. It was at Amstetten’s Ybbsstrasse number 4 that Elisabeth Fritzl spent 24 years of her life being held like a caged animal in an underground cellar where she was raped an estimated 3,000 times by her father, “Incest Monster” Josef Fritzl.