Friday, May 9, 2008

A Statement From Josef Fritzl Before His Trial - Rudolf Mayer, His Lawyer

'My Job Is to Show Josef Fritzl as a Human Being'
His client is the most famous prisoner in the world: Josef Fritzl, who is accused of keeping his daughter prisoner in a cellar for 24 years. But Fritzl's lawyer, Rudolf Mayer, one of the best known defenders in Austria, sees the good in his client and wants to understand him.

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May 8, 2008 - Full text of the Joseph Fritzl Statement

“I grew up in a poor family. My father was a no-good scoundrel who always cheated on her and my mother threw him out of the house when I was four – and she was quite right to do so.

“After that, it was only the two of us.

“My mama was a strong woman. She taught me discipline, order and diligence. She enabled me good education and job training and she constantly worked hard and would take difficult jobs only to support the both of us.

“She was as strict as it was necessary. She was the best woman in the world. And I was her husband, in some way. She was the boss at home, but I was the only man in the house."

When asked whether he was sexually abused by his mother, he said:

“No, never. My mother was decent, most decent. I loved her over everything.

“I have admired her. I admired her very much. But I have naturally not done anything. There was nothing there."

When asked whether there were any fantasies about her mother, he said:

“Yes, probably, but I was strong, almost as strong as my mother, and I have therefore managed to suppress my urges.

“Later, I got older and I started going out and I had several amorous affairs. And than I found Rosemarie.

“She had nothing in common with my mother. But, however, there were some similarities.

“She was also wonderful, but wonderful in a different ways. She was much more shy and weaker than my mother.

“I always wanted to have many children. Not children that would have to, like I had, grow up alone, but children that would always have someone to play with. I had a dream about a large family ever since I was a little boy.

“And Rosemarie appeared to be a suitable mother. That motive [for marrying her] was not a bad one. And it is true: I always loved her and I will always love her."

When asked what happened when he raped a woman in 1967, he said:

“I don’t know what came into me.

“But this is also true: I always wanted to be a good husband and father.

“I admit I have always valued decency and good behaviour. I grew up in the Nazi era and strictness and discipline were very important then. I have probably subconsciously picked up some of that, which is only normal.

“But I am not the beast the media make me to be."

When asked what he would think of a man like himself, he said:

“Seen from the outside – I would probably think he was a beast or a monster."

He rejected the claims, made by his daughter Elisabeth, that he started abusing her when she was 11, and said:

“That is not true. I am not a man who would molest children.

"It only started later, much later, when she was already underneath."

He also admitted to having planned the crime for a long period of time:

“It was approximately two, three years before. It must have been 1981 or 1982 when I started to turn a room in my cellar into a cell. I brought in a heavy door of steel and concrete and equipped it with a remote-controlled electrical motor, which would open it only after a numeric code was entered.

“I isolated the whole bunker to become sound-proof. I installed a wash basin, a toilet, a bed, a cooker and a refrigerator. Electricity and light were already installed.

“Perhaps someone noticed the construction works. But it would have not made any difference, whether they did or not. The cellar of my house belonged to me and to me alone, it was my kingdom to which only I had access to. Everyone who lived there knew that. My wife, my children, my lodgers. And no-one would have dared to enter my realm or even to ask me what I was doing there.

“I told everyone that my office was there, full of private files that were my business alone and that was enough – everyone adhered to my rules.

Speaking about Elisabeth, he said:

“Ever since she entered puberty she did not adhere to any rules any more, she would spend whole nights in dingy bars, drinking alcohol and smoking. I only tried to pull her out of that misery. I got her a job as a waitress but she would not go to work for days. She even escaped twice and hung out with bad people during this time and they were not a good company for her. I would bring her back home each time, but she would try to escape again.

“That is why I had to do something; I had to create a place where I could keep Elisabeth, by force if necessary, away from the outside world.”

He denied handcuffing her or keeping her on a dog leash, as she told police, and said:

“That would not have been necessary. My daughter had no chance of escape. It was a vicious circle, a circle from which there was no exit – not only for Elisabeth, but also for myself.

“With every passing week in which I kept my daughter captive my situation was getting crazier. I really was thinking about whether I should let her go or not. But I was not able to make that decision, although - or maybe exactly because of that - I knew that with every passing day what I had done would be more severely judged.

“But I was afraid of being arrested and of having my family and everyone out there find out about my crime – and so I postponed my decision again and again. Until one day it was really too late to free Elisabeth and take her upstairs.”

He said he then begun to compare his daughter to his mother:

“But the urge have sex with Elisabeth was growing stronger and stronger.

“I knew that Elisabeth did not want the things I did to her. I knew that I was hurting her.

“But the urge to finally be able to taste the forbidden fruit was too strong. It was like an addiction.

“In reality, I wanted to have children with her.

“Elisabeth naturally had fear of giving birth but I brought her medical books to the cellar, so she could prepare for the Day X. I brought her towels, disinfectants and nappies.

“I was looking forward to the offspring. It was a beautiful idea for me, to have a proper family, also down in the cellar, with a good wife and a couple of children.

“I made preparations for all possibilities. Every time I left the bunker, I would activate a time lock, which would make sure that the doors to the dungeon would open if I would not return after a certain period of time.

“Had I died, Elisabeth and the children would have been freed."

After [the youngest boy] was born at the end of 2002 I even gave Elizabeth a washing machine so that she could wash the clothes and bed sheets of the children and not have to hand wash them in the basin.

”I always knew during the whole 24 years that what I was doing was not right that I must have been crazy to do such a thing, but still it became a normal occurrence to lead a second life in the cellar of my house.”

When asked about whether he saw his captives as a second family he said:

“It was exactly that was the case.”

He also said that Elizabeth never told the children that they were a product of incestuous relationship. The children in the dungeon always had to call him grandpa. He said:

”Elizabeth has always taken care of things for the sake of the family.

”I have tried to provide for my family in the cellar as best as possible. Whenever I went to the bunker I would bring my daughter flowers and cuddly toys as well as books for the children. I would watch an adventure film on video with them while Elizabeth would prepare our favourite food and then we would all sit together at the kitchen table and eat together.”

He also said that the children were often suffering from infections, coughing attacks, chest pain and epileptic attacks.

He claimed he planned to integrate his dungeon family into his upstairs family
. He said:

“I wanted to take Elizabeth, [and the children] to my home. I have grown old in the meantime, I was not so agile anymore and I simply knew that in the near future I would not have been able to provide for my second family in the bunker.

"Elizabeth and the children were supposed to tell the story that they had been at a secret location with a cult until they were set free.”

He also said that he hoped to be able to get away with his crime.

”Of course this is what I hoped for even if that hope was weak. There was always the danger that Elizabeth and the children could have betrayed me but I accepted that risk and I have done that as the tragedy [with the oldest daughter] escalated.”

Speaking of the oldest girl's illness he said:

“She tore the clothes from her body and threw them in the toilet.”

When asked how did he manage to prevent his daughter and her children from escaping he said:

“It was not difficult. I did not need to use physical violence. Elizabeth and the children fully accepted me as the supreme head of the family, they would have never dared to attack me.

"Apart from that they also knew that I was the only one who had the numeric code for the remote control that could open and close the doors to the dungeon.”

When asked about whether he threatened them with gas poisoning if they attempted to escape he said:

“I have only explained to them that they should not fiddle with the dungeon door or else they could receive an electrical shock and die.”

When asked whether he now was looking forward to death he said:

“No, I only want redemption.”


Various Articles from the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms have been violated in this situation including

Article 2 – Right to life - Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law.
Article 3 – Prohibition of torture - No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 5 – Right to liberty and security - Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be deprived of his liberty.
Article 12 – Right to marry - Men and women of marriageable age have the right to marry and to found a family, according to the national laws governing the exercise of this right.

1 comment:

C. Clowes said...

Blame the victim, have no empathy: This is so typical of sadistic and narcisssitic abusers. It is Elisabeth's word against JF but there is no question in my mind who to believe. I don't need proof. Elisabeth had nothing to gain in reporting the rape except catharsis. Her story of 24 years incarceration was enough for Police to protect her and keep her abuser away. JF is deluded and still so narcissistic and brazenly sure of his power to deceive that he is trying with new lies to paint Elisabeth as an out of control teen that he rescued. He knows so little about the research on people such as himself to realize that he is making himself an absurd characterization of the classic abuser who twists the truth and blames the victim. Please Austrians, this time do not be fooled! Do not let this dangerous man out onto the streets ever again. Let Elisabeth never fear his return to her.

Elisabeth, we believe you! You bear no blame or guilt for this.