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Amstetten, Austria (The Weekly Vice) -- The world was horrified Monday as details began to emerge involving a man who has now confessed to imprisoning his daughter in a windowless, underground dungeon - never seeing the light of day for 24 years. What's more, the man repeatedly raped his daughter, fathering 7 children with her.
Josef Fritzl, a 73 year old retired engineer has confessed to enslaving his daughter Elisabeth Fritzl in an elaborate underground cellar, where he held his her captive for decades. He also told police that 7 children who reside in the home were his, conceived by Elisabeth.
Three of the children were forced to live their entire lives underground with Elisabeth, while three other children were allowed to move upstairs to live with Josef and his wife. The seventh child reportedly died a few days after birth and was burned in the cellar boiler.
Franz Polzer, head of the criminal investigations unit in the province of Lower Austria, said: "He has now said that he locked up his daughter for 24 years and that he alone fathered her seven children and that he locked them up in the cellar."
Investigators say that Elisabeth taught her captive children how to read and write from the confines of the dungeon. Items like food and clothing were passed through a hatch. A television, video recorder and a large radio were the only contacts Elisabeth and her children had with the outside world.
According to police, the cellar was kept locked with a secret pass code. Fritzl kept the prisoners in line by convincing them that the cellar had been booby trapped to explode if any of them tried to escape.
According to reports, Fritzl decided to release Elisabeth and her children Kerstin, 19, Stefan, 18 and Felix, 5, when Elisabeth fell seriously ill and required medical attention. Elisabeth's daughter Kerstin has also been hospitalized and is now in a coma.
Elisabeth, who entered the hospital pale, malnourished and white haired, told police she was held captive shortly after her 19th birthday, having been abused by her father since the age of 11. Elisabeth is now 42 years old. The picture above is of Elisabeth when she was teenager.
Police were called in when doctors asked Elisabeth for her medical history and she agreed to talk to them if they could assure her that she'd never again have to go back to the cellar.
Doctors have described Elisabeth's condition as 'suffering from serious physical condition that is deteriorating.'
The Weekly Vice Opinion:
This story is the most horrifying, unimaginable and unforgivable that we've reported on to date. While we've chronicled many stories of parental abuse of children, we have yet to ever see a case where a parent tormented a child in severe isolation for decades. Adding in the trauma of sexual abuse as well as seeing your children tormented.... Good God, what a nightmare.
This woman will need an enormous amount of love and outreach far, far away from the evil which lurked in the home she was imprisoned in.
If anyone knows of a fund that's been set up for these children, please inform us here, so we can get the word out.
For additional details on this story, along with high detailed photos of the dungeon, visit the Daily Mail
The Weekly Vice