The World video

“I’m Scared,” Says Monster Josef Fritzl at his trial

His trial began today. Nearly a year ago the discovery was made of the hideous life that Elizabeth Fritzl and her children had endured in the cave of a 0316090750_m_031609_fritzl03basement where for 24 years she had been imprisoned by her father, Josef Fritzl. “I’m scared,” he whimpered as his trial began. He covered his face with a blue folder.

His voice was almost inaudible as in the courtroom of St. Poelten, Austria he stated his name and other personal facts. He pled guilty to incest, but innocent of enslavement and murder. Neither his wife, Elizabeth nor any of the children will attend the trial. Their testimony will be given by pre-recorded video.

DNA tests have corroborated Elizabeth’s story that her father sired her six surviving children. She actually gave birth in that dungeon–alone–to seven children, but one of a set of twins suffered breathing problems and was allowed to die in that dank place. Fritzl is accused of tossing his tiny body into the furnace.

During the early months of her imprisonment Elizabeth was chained like an animal; for years Josef did not say one word to her. Once he cut off 0316090750_m_031609_fritzl01the electricity to the dungeon. After the children were born, he raped her as they were forced to watch.

His trial will take only one week, ending on Friday. There is no question: He will spend the rest of his despicable life in prison.

Since I learned of this horrendous story, I have prayed for Elizabeth and her children, and have written extensively of it. A video is here which comprehensively lays out this chilling story. Let us continue to pray for these hurting people.

Children The World

Sex-slave Elizabeth Fritzl Speaks Against Her Father

March 16, 2009 BREAKING NEWS: Josef Fritzl at trial.

For the first time, 42-year-old Elizabeth Fritzl has spoken about her 26 years as a sex-slave to her father. She was imprisoned in the cellar of her family’s home in Austria, where, during that time she bore seven children to her father.

I have written extensively about this family and of their ordeal, for it has deeply touched me. A few weeks ago, I wrote this:

I can’t think of a situation in all the world that has startled and touched me at such depth of heart and soul as has that of the Fritzl family. I wrote of this several times, as the world reeled on learning of the horror and depravity this Austrian family suffered at the hand of their father/grandfather. It is too distressing to repeat: if you are not familiar with the story, please read, and see a comprehensive video at this link.

I continue to pray for them, that God will heal their hearts and minds. Now, Elizabeth herself has spoken about her terrifying years in the dungeon.

Elisabeth Fritzl has spoken for the first time about the horrors she and her children were forced to endure while imprisoned by their father in a cellar under the family home in Austria.

The 42-year-old was kept prisoner by Josef Fritzl for almost a quarter of a century, during which time she bore him seven children.

Finally freed from her dungeon in April, Elisabeth has told the judge investigating the case that she was raped up to three times a week by her father and if she tried to resist, her children suffered.

She also alleged that Mr Fritzl threatened to leave her and the children to die in the cellar if they did not follow his commands.

More recent developments here on Times Online.


My devotional blog is here.

Medical/Technical The World

Fritzl Family’s Ongoing Agony

I can’t think of a situation in all the world that has startled and touched me at such depth of heart and soul as has that of the Fritzl family. I wrote of this several times, as the world reeled on learning of the horror and depravity this Austrian family suffered at the hand of their father/grandfather. It is too distressing to repeat: if you are not familiar with the story, please read, and see a comprehensive video at this link.

Yesterday, word was released that the suffering of these unfortunate people is much worse than was first thought.

It has been revealed that Kerstin Fritzl, 19, tore her hair out in clumps and ripped her dresses to shreds in the secret cellar she shared with her two brothers and mother Elisabeth.

In her frustration at spending all her life in a concrete basement of less than 60 square metres, she stuffed the dresses down the toilet, causing it to spill sewage into their living space.

Hospital sources revealed how the slightest everyday occurrence — “a door closing, a light going off, a room that she feels is too small” — plunges her into panic attacks.

She, like her brother and mother, daily takes a course of mood- and emotion-altering drugs to buoy her and blot out the terrible memories of her life spent underground, where she and Stefan had to listen to their father-grandfather rape their mother in the darkness.

“They are suffering far more than was previously thought,” reported one German newspaper this week. Only Felix, it is hoped, may be capable of forgetting his past.

Their precarious mental state is one reason prosecutors do not think it a good idea for them to testify at Fritzl’s trial, scheduled for December. They believe a taped deposition by Elisabeth in July will suffice. Prosecutors have not yet decided what charges to lay against Fritzl to ensure he never walks free.

The Age

Please, let us continue to think of these people and to sincerely pray that God will provide healing for their bodies, their souls and their minds. They desperately need comfort and such peace as only God is able to provide.


My devotional blog is here.

Children Courage Culture Family Goodness of man Life Medical/Technical The World Uncategorized video

Kerstin Fritzl Walking, Talking, Reunited with Family

“I say to Kerstin — ‘Hello Kerstin’ — and Kerstin tells me: ‘Hello,”‘ Reiter told reporters at a news conference in a hotel in Zeillern, several kilometers (miles) from Amstetten

Kerstin, this exceptional young woman is walking and talking now. This is the same Kerstin Fritzl who grew up in a dungeon amidst agonizing depraved circumstances, who before her sickness had never seen the light of day; the young woman who lingered for weeks at the point of death, and whom doctors feared had suffered brain damage because of her severe illness. What a remarkable family this is proving to be.

“For all of us, Kerstin’s surprising recovery is a great relief,” said Berthold Kepplinger, director of a psychiatric clinic where the reunited family is recovering from their ordeal.

Kepplinger, who described the reunion as a “touching moment,” said Kerstin has expressed “many wishes,” including going on a boat ride. Reiter added that she also wanted to go to a Robbie Williams concert and even attempted to dance to his music in bed before her tubing was removed.

The reunion of Kerstin with her family a few days ago was a moving moment,” hospital director Berthold Kepplinger told a press conference.

BBC News

On this link is a video of Kerstin’s doctor describing her treatment. Here is the background story and a video documentary.

My prayers, hopes and best wishes continue for this amazing family. Despite unspeakable torment, they have proved resilient, forward-looking, and with no trace of whining. Most impressive.


My devotional blog is here.

California Courage Culture Family Life Medical/Technical The World Uncategorized

Kerstin Fritzl Regains Consciousness

BBC is reporting that Kerstin, the “cellar-child” who has been at the point of death for weeks is now conscious. Unconfirmed reports say she has been reunited with her mother.

EDIT: has confirmed that:

Kerstin Fritzl has been reunited with her mother Elisabeth Fritzl, 43, and the rest of her family at a secure medical ward.

From every point on the globe, let us continue to pray for this exceptional family.

Landesklinikum Amstetten-Mauer hospital, where Elisabeth Fritzl and her children are being cared for

The hospital said Kerstin still needed medical and therapeutic care.

Kerstin is the oldest of seven children fathered by Josef Fritzl with Elisabeth – the daughter he held captive for 24 years and raped repeatedly.

Further background information and an extended video documentary is available here.


My devotional blog is here.

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Families from Polygamist Ranch Reunited


It’s been back and forth for several days now–first, they would be released, then, no they would not. From the beginning of the story many of us have cautiously questioned the right of the state of Texas to take more than 400 children from their parents. Child Protective Services pointed to dangerous, unsafe conditions with incest likely in the mix.

My own take on the situation was while I cringe from the thought of private home invasions, children are relatively helpless, and if there is danger, they should be protected. The major question, though: how can we be sure of the extent of the problem. People should be free to practice religion as they see fit, shouldn’t they? But if young girls are being mistreated? If they are forced into marriage at 14? If the law is being broken? …what to do?

Right in the middle of the polygamist ranch issue, arose the story of the Fritzl family where for 23 years, both children and adult had been abused, and no one had done anything about it. What then of the situation in Texas? Was there enough evidence to remove the children from their parents?

It is horrid to consider children–babies, even–separated from their mothers. No doubt the foster families were kind and considerate, but the trauma experienced by these children must have been intense.

Now, at least for the moment, the children are reunited with their parents. “It’s the happiest day of my life,” one mother said as she wrapped her arms around her daughter.

  • AP photo
Children Life Medical/Technical Social The World

Video Documentary of Fritzl Atrocity

Some time ago, I wrote briefly of a child who attended one of the churches Jerry pastored, whom we found later to have been sexually abused by her father while the family was attending our church. We knew the family was unstable, but it never occurred to us that such could be happening.

Many years later, the abused, grown daughter and I met again, and she told me the story. I was stunned. The daughter finally cut all ties with her parents, and is now married and has children of her own. She holds no animosity toward either Jerry or me and faults us not at all.

But sometimes when I think of that young girl I grieve and feel a clanking heaviness. That experience may be one of the reasons the Fritzl story has gripped me so intensely, and that I have followed it rather closely and have written about it more than once.

Yesterday, on The Sable Verity I learned of a documentary that has been prepared by the Central European News Agency. After watching this, I knew I wanted to post it on my site. The documentary is excellent, and will answer many questions you may have. One of the gentlemen reports that some of the news that has been released is in error, including that of the children’s scanty language and the “monkey-like” walk of Felix.

While not becoming paranoid, we must ever be vigilant regarding human need. Acutely, must we be aware of the real possibility that abuse may occur within our realm of influence, and we must be willing to take responsible action.

Be prepared to be sickened and unsettled as you watch these.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Children Courage Culture Evil Family Grief Home Life Medical/Technical Social The World

Kerstin Fritzl Awakes From Coma

The Daily Mail reports that the hospital where Kirsten Fritzl has been lingering in a medically induced coma say she is slowing awakening. Her family is encouraged after seeing her eyes flutter and noting other signs of consciousness. Doctors have told them, though, that Kirsten is incredibly fragile, and may be in bed for many months. There also is the real possibility that she has suffered brain damage because of her severe infections.

EDIT: JUNE 10 Kirsten is now fully awake and has been reunited with her mother.

Authorities say her father, Josef Fritzl, has confessed to locking up his daughter, Elizabeth, and repeatedly raping and impregnating her. Investigators say he also told them three of the children were raised in a cellar at his home, three others were brought up above ground and one died in infancy

When Kirsten was hospitalized with the infection and doctors were not able to find medical records for the woman, doctors, on television and radio, appealed to her mother to come forward. Fritzl accompanied Elisabeth to the hospital on April 26 and was detained after she divulged what had allegedly happened to her.

Elisabeth, who is 42, is living with her five other children at the nearby Amstetten Mauer Clinic. Teachers are working with the children and are testing the two boys who grew up in the cellar to determine where their formal education should begin. The three children who grew up above ground are also being tutored so that they stay in step with their regular classes.

The Mail reports:

Although the confined spaces at the clinic have not troubled the three from the cellar, Monica, Lisa and Alexander are finding the enclosed atmosphere difficult to handle.

My prayers continue for this family.

Children Culture Death Evil Family Grief Life Photography Social The World Uncategorized

Josef Fritzl, Evil or Insane?

Elisabeth Fritzl

Possibly no account has ever struck me with such horror as has that of Elizabeth Fritzl. The consideration of her plight is on a keel with thoughts of those unfortunate ones who suffered at the hands of Hitler and his henchmen during World War II, and who by the millions were tortured and killed.

In recent days has come to light her story, revealing that for 24 years her father kept her as a sex captive in a dungeon beneath his apartment house. When this beautiful young lady was 11 years old her father began raping her. More than once, she ran away, but he always managed to recapture her. At one point, it was even the police who returned her to her home. In the early days, he chained her as a dog, and forced her to dig with her own hands her torture chamber. It was an underground cave, with reinforced double doors and an electronic lock to which only Josef knew the code.

During these ghastly years, he continued to rape her and she gave birth to his 7 children…alone…in a dungeon. He presented three of the children to his wife, saying that Elizabeth had joined a cult, and had left the children on their doorstep.

Elizabeth reared the remaining three children (one died as an infant), cooing to them, rocking them, and teaching them rudimentary speech and reading skills. They never once saw the light of day. Those three humans spent their entire lives underground. Frequently, though, their father/grandfather ravaged the place, ordering them into back rooms, while repeatedly raping their mother. It is reported that after this deed was discovered the children, although they could speak, often communicated with each other in guttural, soft growls. It’s a ghastly story that I’m sure you’ve read about, and whose details are readily available. Pictures have been posted.

My question today is: Who is this man? Who is 73 year-old Josef Fritzl? His history presents him as an ordinary man, yet is that at all possible?

After mandatory schooling, Fritzl studied electric engineering at a polytechnic school and got his first job with steel company Voest. From 1969 to 1971 he worked for a construction material company in Amstetten, where he gained a reputation as an intelligent worker and a good technician. Then he went into the service industry and took over an inn 15 years ago.

Last week when the story unfolded and these dear people were rescued from this unfathomable torture, Fritzl admitted everything. Now, though, he has become silent, and there is word out that he will plead insanity.

Is there evil of such degree that a sane human could commit such atrocities? Or must we consider such a man hopelessly insane?

The jury who heard the case of Jeffrey Dahmer who injected acid into the brains of his victims, had sex with dead bodies, and even ate their flesh, considered him sane. For his evil deeds, they sentenced him to 7 life sentences.

I wrestle with the subject, for I cannot comprehend that anyone in his right mind could commit such deeds, yet when I consider the remainder of the life of Josef Fritzl, he gave every indication of sanity. He transacted business, took vacations, and cared for his wife and other children. No, he is not insane. He is profoundly evil…yet how can that be? Whence arises in a man such dastardly action?


My devotional blog is here.

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Incest and Same Sex Marriages

Today was one of the exceptional times when I had the opportunity to listen to my favorite talk show host, Dennis Prager, and although I couldn’t sit down and hear every word, I did have the radio on for the full three-hour segment, and heard bits and pieces of everything. I was stunned to hear of the following account of a father and daughter who have confessed to having a sexual relationship and of producing more than one baby. I was fascinated by the question Dennis posed to his audience:

“Do you listeners who believe in same sex marriage, have a problem with a father/daughter sexual relationship? Why? Why not?”

Scandal … Jennifer and John Deaves tell their story.

In this article, the couple tells of falling in love, of divorcing their spouses so they could be together, and tell of the children they produced. The former wife of the man reveals how it felt to have her husband run off with his daughter. You may also be interested in seeing a video of a psychologist who speaks to the damage such relationships do to children.

I wasn’t able to hear one response on the radio today, but I’d like to extend the same platform here on my blog, asking the same question.

My definite opinion is that incest and same sex marriage is wrong in every way: morally, culturally and emotionally. The sanctioning of such skewed relationships will lend (and is lending) to the downfall of our society. Once morality is set aside, how can there be limits? What would limit such a society? Both incest and same sex marriages are despicable.

I want to hear your thoughts and any insight you may have.


My devotional blog is here.