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

A Cellar of Horrors
Elisabeth Fritzl’s bed in the cellar

Josef Fritzl wanted his daughter for his own and he took advantage of her captivity, visiting her every three days. He forced her to write the letter in her own hand, and would bring her supplies. He would also force himself on her, brutally raping her over and over. The basement had been sound-proofed so Elisabeth’s cries went unanswered. Josef had thought of everything, and had begun making preparations several years before Elisabeth turned 18, even enlisting his brother-in-law to help prepare the space.

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