Josef Fritzl

Monster in the room

It's a fudge, of course, but it seems to be a highly seductive fudge. Tabloid headlines around the world have repeatedly labelled him a monster.

‘Do I feel sorry for Josef Fritzl? A small part of me does’

Psychiatrist Heidi Kastner interviewed Fritzl repeatedly. She talks about how his mind works -- and how the case affected her.

Fritzl damaged from the ‘cellar of his soul’

A court psychiatrist yesterday described how Josef Fritzl had locked up his daughter as a way of compensating for a loveless childhood.

‘Light out. Rape. Light on. Rape. Birth. Death. Rape’

She pulled back the lid of the cardboard box, and invited the jurors to take a sniff. It was a chance to experience the rancid stink of the cellar.

A monster from the pages of a Grimm tale

Behind all the words, the turning over of facts, the analysis, the frantic speculation (did the wife know?) and the tormented search for meanings (how could this happen?), lies a central image: a woman and her three children buried alive, toothless, hunchbacked, pale-skinned, talking in their own mumbling language, just beneath the surface of everyday life for 24 years.

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