Crooked nose drove Kampusch kidnapper claims his best friend

The Austrian kidnap victim Natascha Kampusch was imprisoned as a child in a cellar for eight years because her abductor wanted an "untouched virgin" to make up for his crooked nose and failures with women, his former best friend has claimed.

The insights into the disturbed personality of Wolfgang Priklopil, Ms Kampusch's 44-year-old kidnapper, were revealed for the first time by Ernst Holzapfel, Priklopil's friend and former business partner, in statements to police that were published by the Austrian magazine News.

Mr Holzapfel, who will go to court to face charges of aiding and abetting Priklopil later this month, told police his former friend wanted an "untouched virgin" whom he could one day marry. Ms Kampusch was 10 when she was snatched in 1998.

"Wolfgang had been unhappy since boyhood because no girl had ever fallen in love with him," he said. "He was insecure about his looks, especially his nose which he thought was crooked. He once considered cosmetic surgery but in the end he decided to spend the money it would have cost for an operation on building a bunker beneath his home."

Priklopil threw himself under a train at Vienna's main railway station in August 2006, hours after Ms Kampusch, by then 18, had managed to escape her prison and flee to a neighbouring house. Police then launched a frantic search for Priklopil. Mr Holzapfel said his revelations about Priklopil's motives were based on a so-called "life confession" in the hours before his death. Mr Holzapfel said he had spent some hours driving Priklopil around Vienna in his car. "He invested in the bunker. His idea was to kidnap a young girl and turn her into his dream woman," he said.

Before she escaped, Priklopil said he had been planning a "white wedding" with his prisoner and claimed he had been busy trying to procure false papers that would have identified him as a Czech citizen and enabled him to begin a new life with his bride.

Priklopil kidnapped Ms Kampusch, who is now 22, as she was on her way to school in Vienna. He bundled her into his van and drove her to his home in the city's Strasshof suburb where he had constructed an underground bunker beneath a converted nine by six foot car inspection pit in his garage.

In a televised account of her ordeal screened earlier this year, Ms Kampusch recalled: "I was like an Egyptian Pharaoh conserved alive."

Initially only allowed to communicate with her captor through an intercom system, she spent much of her time underground in complete darkness which was interrupted only by a timed light switch. Ms Kampusch has refused to reveal whether she had sex with Priklopil but insists she was not used for child pornography. She is reputed to carry a photograph of her former kidnapper around with her, while the court settlement in her case has given her ownership of the house where she was kidnapped and most of Priklopil's possessions.

She recently reached a deal with a German producer for a film about her ordeal and her German language account of her story is due to be published in English this autumn.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
Arts and Entertainment
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director Peter Jackson with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chessington

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Service Desk Analyst - Chessington, Surrey...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Analyst / Helpdesk Support Analyst

£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is the UK's leading ...

The Jenrick Group: Finance Manager/Management Accountant

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: The Jenrick Group: Finance Manager/Manag...

Recruitment Genius: Manufacturing Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a rare opportunity for ...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'