Josef Fritzl, the Austrian sex criminal serving a life sentence for locking his daughter in a dungeon and raping her for 24 years, believes he will ‘go free’ from prison, according to the journalist who broke the story of his horrific crimes.
In a forthcoming documentary, reporter Mark Perry claims 82-year-old Fritzl (pictured) plans to lead a normal life as a free man – and even wants to go fishing.
The array of charges against Fritzl shocked the world for their incomprehensible depravity.
In April 2008 it emerged that he had imprisoned his daughter Elisabeth, now 51, as his sex slave since 1984 and fathered seven of her children.
Elisabeth was kept captive behind eight locked doors in a concealed corridor in the windowless basement of the family house. Her father and mother, Rosemarie, raised three of the children born as a result of the incestuous rapes as their own while their daughter lived downstairs. Astonishingly, Mrs Fritzl was unaware of her daughter’s whereabouts and thought the three children had been abandoned by Elisabeth.
In the film, Fritzl: What Happened Next, Perry says: “Fritzl is still in prison of course, and he still dreams of coming free. That’s what the solicitor told me. He still thinks he’ll come free one day, go fishing and, and carry on with life.”
Perry was born in the UK but has lived in Austria for 50 years, where he works for the country’s biggest national newspaper, the Kronen Zeitung. He first met Fritzl when he reported to police that Elisabeth had run away and joined a religious sect aged 18. Twenty-four years later, Perry met Fritzl again – and this time the truth of his daughter’s plight became clear.
‘She must be a brave woman, a strong woman. I think she lived for her own children,’ Perry says. ‘That’s what kept her and let her not surrender. I think that was the thing.’
The case came to light because one of Elisabeth’s seven children, Kerstin, became so ill she needed hospital treatment. Fritzl eventually took her to hospital and the truth was eventually revealed.
He was found guilty in 2009 of murder over the death of one of Elisabeth’s babies, as well as incest, sequestration and 3,000 counts of rape. He was jailed for life.
Elisabeth is believed to live with her six surviving children at a secret location in Austria.
In the film, to be screened this week on UK TV station Channel 5, Perry says: ‘The best solution, I think, is leave them in peace. Let the little children who, who will be grown up now – actually, teenagers – let them live their life in peace. [The] big impact of course on their little souls and hopefully they’ll grow up to live a life as normal human beings and put their granddad behind them.’