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

A Tight Space
The tiny cellar

The cellar was tightly designed with a ceiling that only measured 1.7 meters or 5.5 feet, while the room itself was 4.5 metres squared or 15 x 15 feet. This tight space would be Elisabeth’s entire world: it was her home and his prison in one. Josef would open the door to the cellar using a special remote control and he would be the only one who could enter or exit. There, Elisabeth was at his mercy and he continued to brutalize her, reportedly raping her over 3,000 times. The rapes brought a new level of horror for Elisabeth, and made her small world even more cramped.

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