Austria Cellar Man

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Austria Cellar Man

Postby LilPixie » Mon May 05, 2008 5:51 pm UTC

I have looked around and have not found any mention of this on the News and Articles section, so I'm going to post it.

Austria Cellar probed

So here's what basically happened:
An Austrian man imprisoned his daughter in a dungeon in his house when she was 18, and kept her there for 24 years. She had 7 children of his, one of which died and was burnt, and three of which were chained in the dungeon with the mother and never even saw sunlight. The other three were raised by the girl's mother, who thought her daughter had run away and had children by different men and left them on the stairs for her to raise.

I... am baffled and speechless. All I can think about is the pain this girl - now woman - went through, being in the situation she was. As someone interested in Psychology, I wonder, honestly, about what kind of cognitive reframing was taking place in order for this woman not to kill herself within the first year, and how her mind is coping with being out of that situation now. Also, I wonder what her feelings about her father are, after 24 years: has she become so accostumed that she sees this sub-human (I'm sorry, I can't call him a person) as her lover and father of her children or she so disgusted she could kill him? And what about the kids? And this sub-man's wife? It's mind boggling.

I'm just very disturbed by these news, and trying to find a way to understand or to cope with the feelings it arouses in me.
I'd like to hear your thoughts.
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby 22/7 » Mon May 05, 2008 5:55 pm UTC

LilPixie wrote:I have looked around and have not found any mention of this on the News and Articles section, so I'm going to post it.

Austria Cellar probed

So here's what basically happened:
An Austrian man imprisoned his daughter in a dungeon in his house when she was 18, and kept her there for 24 years. She had 7 children of his, one of which died and was burnt, and three of which were chained in the dungeon with the mother and never even saw sunlight. The other three were raised by the girl's mother, who thought her daughter had run away and had children by different men and left them on the stairs for her to raise.

I... am baffled and speechless. All I can think about is the pain this girl - now woman - went through, being in the situation she was. As someone interested in Psychology, I wonder, honestly, about what kind of cognitive reframing was taking place in order for this woman not to kill herself within the first year, and how her mind is coping with being out of that situation now. Also, I wonder what her feelings about her father are, after 24 years: has she become so accostumed that she sees this sub-human (I'm sorry, I can't call him a person) as her lover and father of her children or she so disgusted she could kill him? And what about the kids? And this sub-man's wife? It's mind boggling.

I'm just very disturbed by these news, and trying to find a way to understand or to cope with the feelings it arouses in me.
I'd like to hear your thoughts.

How did the wife not notice their daughter chained up in the basement for 24 years?
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby LilPixie » Mon May 05, 2008 6:13 pm UTC

That is a good question; remember reading something about it in another article that I'll try to find after class tonight. But according to this article, he made a dungeon that had several doors back in 1978-1983, and he is believed to have been planning this ever since his daughter was 12.
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Belial » Mon May 05, 2008 6:19 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:How did the wife not notice their daughter chained up in the basement for 24 years?


Even if she did, do you think the sort of person who locks his daughter in a basement and rapes her repeatedly for 24 years is sweet and kind to his wife?

Or do you think she was likely abused, intimidated, deliberately fucked over in the head, and generally made to be scared for her life also?
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Gunfingers » Mon May 05, 2008 6:23 pm UTC

As the disgust and rage of so many ruined lives has already been expressed in this thread i'm just going to point out that this:

LilPixie wrote:Austria Cellar probed

Sounds really dirty. *giggle*

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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby 22/7 » Mon May 05, 2008 6:24 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
22/7 wrote:How did the wife not notice their daughter chained up in the basement for 24 years?


Even if she did, do you think the sort of person who locks his daughter in a basement and rapes her repeatedly for 24 years is sweet and kind to his wife?

Or do you think she was likely abused, intimidated, deliberately fucked over in the head, and generally made to be scared for her life also?

Eh, he might have simply taken out all that aggression on his daughter and treated his wife quite nicely. Maybe he had some kind of delusion that his daughter ruined his perfect life with his wife, or maybe it was a "secret love" kind of thing, where he looked at it as a legitimate affair but he "still loved her" or something. I dunno. He would definitely be an interesting case study.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Quixotess » Mon May 05, 2008 6:33 pm UTC

LilPixie wrote:I have looked around and have not found any mention of this on the News and Articles section, so I'm going to post it.

Austria Cellar probed

So here's what basically happened:
An Austrian man imprisoned his daughter in a dungeon in his house when she was 18, and kept her there for 24 years. She had 7 children of his, one of which died and was burnt, and three of which were chained in the dungeon with the mother and never even saw sunlight. The other three were raised by the girl's mother, who thought her daughter had run away and had children by different men and left them on the stairs for her to raise.

Pardon me, and I'm not mad at you, but you seem to have triggered a pet peeve of mine.

This man raped her. Rape. Rape rape rape rape rape. You can say it. He kept her there for 24 years, during which time he repeatedly raped her.

And yeah, there must be some seriously fucked up cognition goin on here.
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Robin S » Mon May 05, 2008 6:36 pm UTC

It is possible that both father and daughter had severe mental issues, which would compound things further. And, if that is the case, I dread to think what the children would be like - both 3/4 mentally ill and psychologically traumatized.
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Dobblesworth » Mon May 05, 2008 6:42 pm UTC

What depresses me reading the follow-up investigation details, is that some of the Austrian authorities are crying out that "this man should not be sent to prison - he needs psychiatric attention". I'm sorry, but a man so sick and twisted that he chooses to ruin his own daughter's life by holding her captive and raping her for 24 years can not be fixed. Sessions in a mental hospital and talking to the men in white coats won't bring him to any state of functional normality for him to be released into society. Maybe taking him into a mental hospital for his own protection - padded white cubes are safer than contact with standard inmates who would consider him a monster - would keep him safe, but he's pretty much incurable. Stick the sick-minded lunatic in a cell, and let him rot.

I honestly can't believe that his wife has been 'in the dark' about the underground cellar, the 7 children through incest and her daughter's kidnap all those years. Even a mastermind would be letting off a few hints over 24 years to force her to ask questions. For her to know nothing until one of the girls is brought into hospital with liver failure suggests either stupidity, co-operation with her husband, or a man who has pre-planned such an existence for a decade beforehand, such that he would give off no subtle hints.

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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Belial » Mon May 05, 2008 6:50 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:Pardon me, and I'm not mad at you, but you seem to have triggered a pet peeve of mine.

This man raped her. Rape. Rape rape rape rape rape. You can say it. He kept her there for 24 years, during which time he repeatedly raped her.


You have probably been reading the same articles I have about this case, and how allergic the mainstream media has been to using the word "Rape" to describe it.

Fucked up.

22/7 wrote:Eh, he might have simply taken out all that aggression on his daughter and treated his wife quite nicely.


I severely doubt it.

Dobblesworth wrote:I honestly can't believe that his wife has been 'in the dark' about the underground cellar, the 7 children through incest and her daughter's kidnap all those years.


Abusive people can be very good at convincing you to doubt your own sense. Manipulative mindgames and controlling bullshit all around.
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Quixotess » Mon May 05, 2008 7:54 pm UTC

Belial wrote:You have probably been reading the same articles I have about this case, and how allergic the mainstream media has been to using the word "Rape" to describe it.

Fucked up.

Yeah, we both read Shakesville. Win. Although it's not just this case; I see it everywhere.

Dobblesworth wrote:I honestly can't believe that his wife has been 'in the dark' about the underground cellar, the 7 children through incest and her daughter's kidnap all those years. Even a mastermind would be letting off a few hints over 24 years to force her to ask questions. For her to know nothing until one of the girls is brought into hospital with liver failure suggests either stupidity, co-operation with her husband, or a man who has pre-planned such an existence for a decade beforehand, such that he would give off no subtle hints.

Speaking of fucked up...There are any number of reasons for the wife's behavior. Fear of her husband is the one I would place my bet on. I'd be scared of him too. Can we not take a case where a man imprisons his daughter for twenty-four years, repeatedly raping her, and immediately go to "wow, what the hell is wrong with the wife?"
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Belial » Mon May 05, 2008 7:58 pm UTC

Yeah, we both read Shakesville. Win. Although it's not just this case; I see it everywhere.


Yeah, Shakesville was what I was thinking of, but a few other places seem to be running with it as well. It seems to be in some kind of journalism, or maybe just "polite society", handbook to euphemize rape whenever possible. It is some bullshit.
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby LilPixie » Mon May 05, 2008 8:13 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:Pardon me, and I'm not mad at you, but you seem to have triggered a pet peeve of mine.

This man raped her. Rape. Rape rape rape rape rape. You can say it. He kept her there for 24 years, during which time he repeatedly raped her.

And yeah, there must be some seriously fucked up cognition goin on here.


My interest, apart from notifying people about this disgusting fact, and all the rape (rape rape, rape, rape, rape, rape, rape +...+ rape, rape^n) that went on is not to find out how and how much he did in fact raped her. It is to find out how someone in her situation survived the much worse and much more sever mind-rape she was subjected to for over 2 decades, as this information might come in handy in finding more way for rape victims to DEAL WITH RAPE. The fact that the article already points out the reality of the case, I thought I would move on from the astonishment of these news to finding a way to use it for the benefit of others who might actually end up in a position similar to hers. It shows that, apart from the significant psychological damage inflicted upon her, she was able to fight back with at least a minimum amount of resilience. Not usual.
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Quixotess » Mon May 05, 2008 8:30 pm UTC

I was pointing out that in your summary of events, you avoided using the word "rape." That is a pet peeve of mine, because it contributes to the taboo against discussing rape in our society.

Also, being kept in a dungeon for twenty-four years may have been the worst part of it, or being raped seven times (at least) and living with the children of your rapist may have been the worst part of it, but I don't know, they seem like they would be equally traumatizing to me. I guess my point is, who's to say which was worse? Only the woman.
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby 22/7 » Tue May 06, 2008 7:44 am UTC

Quixotess wrote:Also, being kept in a dungeon for twenty-four years may have been the worst part of it, or being raped seven times (at least) and living with the children of your rapist may have been the worst part of it, but I don't know, they seem like they would be equally traumatizing to me. I guess my point is, who's to say which was worse? Only the woman.
Well, at least on the one front, it appears that she didn't live with them. That'd be a hard one to explain to the kids.
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22/7 wrote:Eh, he might have simply taken out all that aggression on his daughter and treated his wife quite nicely.


I severely doubt it.
I'm not saying that this is the case. I'm saying it could be the case, and would go a ways to explaining the "wife never found out" bit. Of course, so would the "he's a very controlling person" thing.
Dobblesworth wrote:What depresses me reading the follow-up investigation details, is that some of the Austrian authorities are crying out that "this man should not be sent to prison - he needs psychiatric attention". I'm sorry, but a man so sick and twisted that he chooses to ruin his own daughter's life by holding her captive and raping her for 24 years can not be fixed. Sessions in a mental hospital and talking to the men in white coats won't bring him to any state of functional normality for him to be released into society.
Holy fuck, citation needed. No really, if you don't have at the very least an LMHC (and if you did, you wouldn't say this, because (I'm guessing) you don't know the case well enough to make a judgment like that), then there's no way you can know that. You don't know what's causing this, you don't know if it's triggered by something or whether it's an ongoing (read, personality) issue, you don't know if it's aimed at the daughter specifically or if the daughter just presented an easy outlet. Summation: You don't know. I'm not trying to be shitty here, but everyone knows how to practice medicine and everyone knows how to be a psychiatrist and, well, no.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Wormwood » Tue May 06, 2008 9:54 am UTC

I thought this man was Australian. He is also now a meme on /b/.
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby existential_elevator » Tue May 06, 2008 11:10 am UTC

22/7 wrote: No really, if you don't have at the very least an LMHC (and if you did, you wouldn't say this, because (I'm guessing) you don't know the case well enough to make a judgment like that), then there's no way you can know that. You don't know what's causing this, you don't know if it's triggered by something or whether it's an ongoing (read, personality) issue, you don't know if it's aimed at the daughter specifically or if the daughter just presented an easy outlet. Summation: You don't know. I'm not trying to be shitty here, but everyone knows how to practice medicine and everyone knows how to be a psychiatrist and, well, no.


This.

It's morbidly fascinating to try and work out exactly what the hell he was thinking...
I also wonder about how the kids must deal with it. Were they schooled? How did their siblings on the "outside" react? There's bound to be some horrific genetic problems, too. What we really want is for those kids to be able to have normal lives now, as far as is possible.

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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Wormwood » Tue May 06, 2008 11:15 am UTC

existential_elevator wrote:There's bound to be some horrific genetic problems, too. What we really want is for those kids to be able to have normal lives now, as far as is possible.


Not really. The increase in deformity/retardation/genetic illness isn't really that high from such a relationship. If this happened in the same family for 10 generations, maybe, but all this is doing is increasing the frequency of whatever recessive genes there are. If the children all breed with non-relatives, the only lasting effects of this whole thing will be a news story and a woman who has had probably the most shit life ever.
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Belial » Tue May 06, 2008 1:45 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:Well, at least on the one front, it appears that she didn't live with them. That'd be a hard one to explain to the kids.


I think only a couple of the kids lived upstairs, supposedly "left on the doorstep" by their daughter who had "joined a cult". The others lived in the basement with her and had never seen sunlight. By memory, I think it was a 3/3 split, with the seventh kid having died prematurely.
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby michaelandjimi » Tue May 06, 2008 2:19 pm UTC

I saw a thing about this on the news, and it only really hit me how much he had mistreated them when it said that they were amazed by the sight of the moon for the first time. I mean, that is just... totally different from anything I had experienced. I'm not entirely sure why that affected me more than the rape and imprisonment of his children - I mean, I was disgusted and all, but I think my brain just ignores stories about rape on the news now.

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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby existential_elevator » Tue May 06, 2008 2:50 pm UTC

michaelandjimi wrote:I saw a thing about this on the news, and it only really hit me how much he had mistreated them when it said that they were amazed by the sight of the moon for the first time.

I think that's one of the things that really got me, too. I just can't imagine what it must be to live your entire life imprisoned.

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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Mother Superior » Tue May 06, 2008 3:19 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
22/7 wrote:Well, at least on the one front, it appears that she didn't live with them. That'd be a hard one to explain to the kids.


I think only a couple of the kids lived upstairs, supposedly "left on the doorstep" by their daughter who had "joined a cult". The others lived in the basement with her and had never seen sunlight. By memory, I think it was a 3/3 split, with the seventh kid having died prematurely.

The seventh died of natural causes (Or, well, to be picky she died from having been born in a cramped cellar and not in a hospital) and he burned its body in the upstairs oven.
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby 22/7 » Tue May 06, 2008 4:18 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
22/7 wrote:Well, at least on the one front, it appears that she didn't live with them. That'd be a hard one to explain to the kids.


I think only a couple of the kids lived upstairs, supposedly "left on the doorstep" by their daughter who had "joined a cult". The others lived in the basement with her and had never seen sunlight. By memory, I think it was a 3/3 split, with the seventh kid having died prematurely.

Ahh, right. Skimmed that. That actually confuses me even more. How did this guy pull this off? I mean, logistically, this would have been a nightmare to keep from his wife.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Quixotess » Tue May 06, 2008 4:18 pm UTC

*points 22/7 to the posts by Belial and herself addressing this*

Mother Superior wrote:
Belial wrote:
22/7 wrote:Well, at least on the one front, it appears that she didn't live with them. That'd be a hard one to explain to the kids.


I think only a couple of the kids lived upstairs, supposedly "left on the doorstep" by their daughter who had "joined a cult". The others lived in the basement with her and had never seen sunlight. By memory, I think it was a 3/3 split, with the seventh kid having died prematurely.

The seventh died of natural causes (Or, well, to be picky she died from having been born in a cramped cellar and not in a hospital) and he burned its body in the upstairs oven.

What the fuck.
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby 22/7 » Tue May 06, 2008 5:31 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:*points 22/7 to the posts by Belial and herself addressing this*
So we're assuming that the wife knew?
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Belial » Tue May 06, 2008 5:39 pm UTC

She may have. Or she may have at least suspected, and been manipulated into doubting her own suspicions.
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Mother Superior » Tue May 06, 2008 5:52 pm UTC

Belial wrote:She may have. Or she may have at least suspected, and been manipulated into doubting her own suspicions.

Yeah. There are only so many times your husband can run down to the cellar with groceries before you start having suspicions.
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Belial » Tue May 06, 2008 5:58 pm UTC

It's funny, but one of the best descriptions I can find for causing someone to doubt their own suspicions is this rant I've linked before. It has nothing to do with abuse, but everything to do with manipulative bullshit:

Krepichy
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby GhostWolfe » Tue May 06, 2008 10:44 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Krepichy

It frightens me that krepichy doesn't make me doubt myself, but that I'm so much of a doormat that I'll allow people to get away with that kind of bullshit anyway... :shock:

«wanders off musing on how much a certain someone would freak out if I ever gave him that link... yep it'd be a lot... might be worth it one day...»

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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Ari » Thu May 08, 2008 2:15 pm UTC

Just a little point- while I agree with you all in shouting out about how "monstrous" it was what Fritzl (cellar rape man) did to his kids, he is by no means a monster himself- it's merely his acts that are disgusting. Calling him a monster dehumanises him- yet he is what happens when a quite ordinary, yet quite pathologically dominant type of personality is not checked and balanced by the rest of society, and people like Fritzl who don't get the help they need in advance WILL commit this type of act, often while their community and family are confident in the knowledge that he's "a good, respectable man," while conveniently blinding themselves to the subdued nature of these men's wives and partners because it's hard to tell between a woman who "knows her place" and someone who's been abused =/

I've also heard a lot of outrage that he'd do this to his own daughter- I feel that too- but you need to remember that most rapes are commited by people known and trusted by the victim. Until we develop a culture where it's okay for wives to check up on what's in the basement, where it's not okay for men to make women doubt their suspicions and feelings, where victims of abuse are taken seriously by their relatives and friends, and where people who commit these sorts of acts are not allowed to be left with vulnerable people who are potential victims*, then this sort of thing will perpetuate itself. If it's true his wife was abused- if she had gotten help and he had been investigated along with the suspicious adoptions of his daughter's children, perhaps this could've come out sooner.

*Whether through restraining orders or through incarceration, this one is so critical, yet we seem to think that women who truly love and care for their domineering partners are qualified to put their children at risk. As much as I hate the idea of forcibly breaking up families, if there is good evidence of rape- best safe until the matter is resolved.
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Belial » Thu May 08, 2008 2:44 pm UTC

That is an extremely good series of points, Ari, and needed to be said. Thanks.
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dubsola
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby dubsola » Thu May 08, 2008 3:33 pm UTC

Apparently he was a very domineering man. All his family members (including cousins and so on) were afraid of him - at family gatherings, any disagreement with him would cause him to blow up.

His neighbours often saw him go into his cellar from his car in the middle of the night with lots of bags of groceries.

He lodged a planning request with the local government in 1978, for an extension to his house. In 1978, Elizabeth (his daughter) was 12 years old. He eventually built a concrete reinforced cellar that was soundproofed, with 8 separate doors, three of which required knowledge of the electronic locks. The main door weighed half a tonne.

Other females in the area have come forward with rape claims against him.

Some links:
Life inside the dungeon
1978
Austria examines its conscience

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LilPixie
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby LilPixie » Thu May 08, 2008 3:54 pm UTC

Hi, I haven't been able to read the responses so far (week of finals), but I saw a new link with some commentaries made by Fritzl this week, from the prison where he's being held. Incest dad: I cared for my secret family.

And while I agree with Ari in saying this man is not a monster, I still cannot bring myself to call him a person. To me (imo) he's a "damaged good", one that did not have the chance to develop properly (Freud would have a field-trip with this case), and who is worthy of pity - yes - but also of being locked up (in a prison, not in a psychiatric institution), and aided (psychologically), for a long time; maybe forever.
"In the pursuit of knowledge, everyday something is acquired; in the pursuit of wisdom, everyday something is dropped." Lao Tzu
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Belial
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Belial » Thu May 08, 2008 3:58 pm UTC

I don't think the point of humanizing him is that we need to feel pity for this guy, but that we need to realize there's nothing inhuman about him. This is a real person. Real people can do this. This is not the boogeyman. We don't get to distance ourselves from this and say that it could never happen here or never be anyone we know. Because that allows us to be blind to it when it's happening in front of us.
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


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Quixotess
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Quixotess » Thu May 08, 2008 4:03 pm UTC

Sorry, LilPixie, but people are capable of doing these things. He is a person. He has committed monstrously evil acts, and I never want him to see his family again, but he is a person. "There but for the grace of God go I" and all that.

@Ari: Bravo, well said. Although, just because rapes are usually committed by someone known to the victim, doesn't mean I don't get to be outraged about it. I'm goddamn fucking outraged, you know?

(Also afraid. Stories like this always make me a little bit afraid.)

Edit: crap, ninja'd, oh well
Raise up the torch and light the way.

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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby rachelsluv » Sat May 31, 2008 4:44 pm UTC

Hi I'm new here and some of the comments that I have read have really disturbed me. I don't know if the story had been updated on this site but the woman was NOT kept chained in the cellar. Ironically this monster attempted to provide a rudimentary environment as close to "normal" as his warped mind could imagine. There was a kitchen, a television, and he added an additional room as his "family" grew.

As far as how the daughter viewed her captor: Mr. Fritzl has admitted to being a "nice man" towards her (His definition of "nice is at best questionable).

He claimed to have brought her flowers when he visited, he watched videos with the children and purchased books and art supplies for them.

So why didn't she kill herself and did she view him as her "lover." Well she definitely viewed him as the father of her children and maybe her survival instinct was so strong that suicide was not an option, made more complicated by the warped benevolence that was displayed towards her by this monster once he "broke" her spirit.

Was being kept captive worse than repeatedly being raped? They were equally horrifying.

There are still questions that remain unanswered:

Who helped this woman deliver her children each of the 7 or 6 times she was pregnant?

Why didn't his wife ever question him when he said he "found" the children he was raising on the steps abandoned?

In fact why did she not want to investigate which cult her daughter ran off with? I dunno I believe she was not as oblivious as she claims to have been. Mothers know when their children are abused, they may deny they know is but they know.

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bigglesworth
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby bigglesworth » Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:07 pm UTC

Your questions: 1. the other children, 2. possible complicity, 3. same
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hermaj
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby hermaj » Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:58 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:Your questions: 1. the other children


That can't possibly be right, at least for the first several births; the firstborn child obviously had no siblings, and the next was only a year after that, unless one year old infants are capable of assisting with births.

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bigglesworth
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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby bigglesworth » Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:00 pm UTC

Well, I know it's true for the last few.
Generation Y. I don't remember the First Gulf War, but do remember floppy disks.

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Re: Austria Cellar Man

Postby Chromer » Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:14 pm UTC

I haven't the slightest clue what kept her from suicide, this is so horrible.

Possibly religious reasons, or maybe the Austrian man kept her from it...

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