Josef Fritzl, the Austrian who held his daughter prisoner in a cellar for a quarter of a century and fathered seven children with her, has described himself to psychiatrists as a “born rapist” and revealed that he was habitually beaten by his mother who was bent on denigrating him.
In a confidential psychiatrists’ report that was leaked to the Austrian media today, Mr Fritzl revealed to his doctors: “ I have realised that I had an evil streak. But for someone who was born a rapist, I managed to control myself for some time.”
Mr Fritzl was arrested last spring, after police discovered the underground cellar beneath his home in the Austrian town of Amstetten where he kept his daughter Elizabeth in an underground cellar without daylight for 24 years. He is estimated to have raped her some 3,000 times.
The former engineer and property developer is currently being held in prison in the Austrian city of St Pölten where he has been subjected to a thorough psychiatric examination pending his trial early next year.
Dr Adelheid Kastner, the Austrian psychiatrist, wrote in her 13 page report, which was compiled on the basis of six interviews, that the self-confessed rapist was an “emotional cripple” who was “ unable to control his urges.” She recommended that he never be released from prison. “Whatever age he is there is considerable risk that he will re-offend.”
The psychiatrist went on to paint a bleak picture of Mr Fritzl’s childhood – a period during which he was repeatedly beaten and mistreated by his mother who claimed that she only gave birth to him to prove to other men that she was not infertile.
“His domestic situation was uncertain and he had to suffer a mother who demotivated him, denigrated him and was prone to violence,” Dr Kastner wrote. “It was a home which was absolutely devoid of security and lacking in understanding of the basic needs of a child.”
Mt Fritzl grew up without his father. As a child he suffered from an ailment which caused him severe pain every time he urinated. However his mother only took him to the doctor after a neighbour intervened and discovered how much he was suffering.
During World War II, his mother refused to go into a bomb shelter during air raids. Mr Fritzl had to go with neighbours and was tormented by the fear that he would emerge to find his mother dead.
Dr Kastner concluded that Mr Fritzl’s relationship with his mother left him “severely deformed” and with a permanent need to dominate women that resulted in his uncontrollable sexual urges. He told the psychiatrist that after kidnapping his daughter at the age of 18, he believed that his daughter would belong to him alone and that if she ever broke free, she would never be attractive to another man.
He claimed that whenever he raped his daughter, he felt ashamed that he had given in to his urges. “I could never look her in the face,” he is quoted as saying. “I could have done a lot worse to my daughter in the 24 years that I kept her in the cellar, but I used to put those urges into my work to keep them at bay.”
Dr Kastner concluded in her report that Mr Fritzl was fully aware of his actions throughout his daughter’s ordeal. “Therefore he must accept responsibility and that means he can go on trial,” she wrote.
Her report was said to have formed the basis of prosecution demands that Fritzl be tried and sentenced and then permanently committed to a psychiatric hospital where he would undergo therapy and possible medication.