'House of horror' children never saw daylight

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'House of horror' children never saw daylight

Post by scarface on April 28th 2008, 11:54 pm

AMSTETTEN, Austria (CNN) -- Three children freed from a cellar in which their mother had been imprisoned and raped by her own father for 24 years had never seen daylight, police in Austria have confirmed.

Police spokesman Franz Polzer told CNN that 73-year-old Josef Fritzl admitted holding his daughter, Elisabeth Fritzl, 42, hostage in the windowless cell and fathering seven children by her.

"The mother had memories [of the outside world] and got used to the situation," Polzer told a press conference Monday afternoon. "The others knew nothing else."

The main question reverberating from the small Austrian town: How could a man keep his daughter locked in his basement for 24 years, where she gave birth to seven of his children while her mother and three of those children lived upstairs without an inkling of the horrors in the cellar?

Fritzl explained Elisabeth's disappearance by saying she had run away from home, a story backed up by letters he forced Elisabeth to write, including one that begged her parents not to look for her.

Other letters made it seem the missing daughter had left the three children on the parents' doorstep -- when in fact they had been born in captivity in the family's basement.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/04/28/austria.cellar/index.html
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