Well, I apologize for the bad news today but there are some stories in circulation that deserve attention beyond the normal banality of our design scene. Another such story that just left me aghast today is the story of Josef Fritzl.
Fritzl is a resident of the small town Amstetten in Austria. At the age of 18 he drugged and imprisoned his daughter, Elisabeth for the next 24 years. During that time he repeatedly raped her which led to her in turn giving birth to 7 children as a result of the abuse. One of whom died because of inadequate care. The child who died of neglect was a twin whose body Fritzl disposed of by incinerating it in a furnace. 3 of the children had never seen daylight until they were recently released. One of the children is still in critical condition. Another may have permanent vision problems because of his inexposure to natural light. The last, at only 5 years old was elated to ride in the police car as he had only seen them on television and never in person. He appears to be in good health.
73 year old Fritzl was an electrical engineer who apparently used his skills to construct an elaborate basement dungeon under his family home that measured less than six feet high in some areas. He kept the space secure with a massive 660 lb concreted door fitted with an electric lock that could only be opened via a remote control that he kept on his person at all times. The living space had only 3 total cells and measured only around 650 square feet. 650 square feet for 24 years. It belies imagination. It wasn’t until the 19 year old child fell ill and had to be taken to a nearby hospital that the atrocity was uncovered.
The strangest twist was that Fritzl managed to keep the entire incident secret from his wife the entire time by forcing his daughter to write fake letters to his wife (her mother). He even brought 3 of the children out of the basement hell to be raised by him and his wife claiming his estranged (but really imprisoned) daughter had left them on the doorstep.
In accordance with Austrian law it appears Fritzl may only be facing a 15 year sentence. At the age of 73 he will most likely die in prison, which is well deserved in this case. I do not believe in the death penalty but I do think he should be sentenced to at least the same amount of time he robbed his daughter of and that would be 24 years. How a man could do this to his own flesh and blood is an amazing human tragedy.