Josef Fritzl: The Monster of Amstetten

The Monster of Amstetten kept his daughter as a basement sex slave for 24 years — fathering several children by her. But that’s only where the weirdness of this case begins.

Wess Haubrich
17 min readMar 11, 2022


The darkest spawn of hell can sometimes be lurking in harmless, safe, innocent, social disguises. Such was the case of 17-year-old Elisabeth Friztl who was kidnapped, raped 3,000 times, and kept as a sex slave by her own father for 24 years. She would rear several “basement” children by him in the mean time.

Her harrowing escape from her private hell and the incredible gravitas she showed in the face of her abuser is something we can all learn from.

The 17-year old opened her eyes in the pitch black. Her head spun like the wheels on the bus she had hopped to Vienna some time ago. Pain coursed through every vein, muscle and neuron as she attempted to steady herself and get off the cold concrete floor; it’s grit soiling her beautiful rust-colored hair.

She could not see in the dark, humid cellar. When she blindly tried to get up, she was yanked back down with a tremendous force echoed by the cacophonous clank of chains attached to a metal loop in the floor. She heard the slow dripping of water in another room, and the scurry of rats and roaches somewhere close.

Then the cellar’s lock slowly started to turn. The sound of heavy steps on the creaking wooden stairs filled her with profound terror as a flash light beam blinded her… causing her adrenaline to pump 100 miles an hour, not knowing exactly what to expect.

Little did Elisabeth know what happened next was but the start of her 24 year personal hell at the hands of the man she loathed most in the whole world: her own father, the Monster of Amstetten, Josef Fritzl.

Elisabeth Fritzl around age 17. Source: Newshub.

I. The Monster is Born

Josef Fritzl Jr. was born in 1935 in the small city of Amstetten in lower Austria. His mother, Maria, was the illegitimate child of a miller. Josef’s grandmother (who was very authoritarian over the young man) was sterile.

The miller began many sexual liaisons with the maids in their home for the express purpose of having…



Wess Haubrich

Horror, crime, noir with a distinctly southwestern tinge. Staff writer, former contributing editor; occultist; anthropologist of symbols.