As some of you know, I make my living in the news business. Yes, yes, it's all very glamorous. I have been doing this now for (gulp) 12 years, and yet, every day I am still shocked and amused by at least one story. And now I will be bringing those stories to you. Introducing a new feature here on LibbyLogic -- the Story O' the Day.
Today's story was so obvious it basically jumped off the page and slapped me. It features unthinkable cruelty, incest, and Austrians... Really, what could be better? Enjoy.
AMSTETTEN, Austria (AP) -- A man has confessed to imprisoning his daughter for 24 years in a windowless cell with a soundproofed door and fathering seven children with her including three who "never saw sunlight," police said Monday.
Josef Fritzl, now 73, also told investigators that he tossed the body of one of the children in an incinerator when the infant died shortly after birth, said Franz Polzer, head of the Lower Austrian Bureau of Criminal Affairs. "We are being confronted with an unfathomable crime," Interior Minister Guenther Platter said.
The daughter, who is now 42, had been missing since 1984 and was found by police in the town of Amstetten on Saturday evening after police received a tip. She and the children have been placed under psychiatric care in an undisclosed location.
Authorities on Monday released several photos showing parts of the cramped basement cell, with a small bathroom and a narrow passageway leading to a tiny bedroom. Investigators said an electronic keyless-entry system apparently kept the daughter from escaping from the cell, which was made of solid reinforced concrete.
After initially withholding Friztl's full name, police released it along with a photograph at a news conference Monday. Fritzl's identity was widely reported by media in Austria and elsewhere in Europe. He briefly appeared in court Monday in the city of St. Poelten, where he was to be held in pre-trial detention. "He admitted that he locked his daughter, who was 18 at the time, in the cellar, that he repeatedly had sex with her, and that he is the father of her seven children," Polzer told The Associated Press.
Three of the surviving children lived with the grandparents and were registered with authorities. The other three -- aged 19, 18 and 5 -- were confined during their entire lives to the darkness of their cell, Polzer said.
Hans-Heinz Lenze, a senior local official, said the suspect's wife apparently had "no idea" of what went on and was devastated. "You have to imagine that this woman's world fell apart," he said.