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

Elisabeth Shares All
Elisabeth leaves the hospital with her family, guarded by police

When Elisabeth arrived at the hospital, she was questioned by police. For two hours she detailed her story of captivity, and the police arrested Josef, now 73, for “suspicion of serious crimes against family members.” DNA evidence eventually confirmed that Elisabeth was telling the truth about the rapes, and the case went to trial. Elisabeth prepared a testimony that ran for 11 hours, and many jurors were horrified at the details. Josef pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in a psychiatric hospital. He will be eligible for parole in 2024.

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