When She Ran Away at Age 18, Her Parents Thought She’d Joined a Cult. The Truth Was More Horrible.

Josef’s Threats
Josef Fritzl, the “family man” with a dark secret

Josef told Elisabeth and the children that the door would electrocute them if they messed with it, and that it would also omit a gas. The fear of dying kept them in line, but health problems continued to plague the children. The few times they did try to get free, Josef would refuse to bring them food or would cut off the power, frightening the children. Elisabeth knew she had to listen to her father. After all, he alone knew where she was…and nobody else did, right?

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