Timeline of key events in Fritzl incest case

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A chronology of key events in the case against Josef Fritzl, the Austrian who imprisoned his daughter in a basement cell for 24 years and fathered her seven children:


— 19 April: Fritzl brings a 19-year-old woman to a hospital in his hometown of Amstetten. He tells staff that the woman, Kerstin, is his granddaughter and that he found her in front of his door, left there by his daughter who disappeared decades ago to join a sect.

— 22 April: Police ask for DNA samples from Kerstin's blood and order DNA testing of Fritzl, his wife and their children as they try to establish identity of patient.

— 25 April: Hospital officials appeal on TV for Kerstin's mother to come to clinic and provide a medical history.

— 26 April: Fritzl and Elisabeth appear at clinic, along with two children — Kerstin's siblings, who, like Kerstin, were born and raised in windowless cell.

Shortly after they appear, anonymous tipster calls police with suspicions that statements given by Fritzl and Elisabeth seem implausible. Police arrive, question both, and assure Elisabeth protection if she tells her story. Fritzl is arrested.

— 28 April: Police say Fritzl confesses he imprisoned daughter in 1984, repeatedly raped her, fathered seven children with her and tossed body of infant who died into incinerator.

— 29 April: DNA tests confirm Fritzl is biological father of Elisabeth's six surviving children.

— 13 November: Fritzl charged with homicide ("murder by neglect" in German) for infant's death.


— 16 March: Fritzl goes on trial. Pleads guilty to incest and forced imprisonment; not guilty to homicide and enslavement; and partially guilty to rape and coercion.

— 18 March: In surprise twist, Fritzl pleads guilty to all charges amid disclosures that Elisabeth secretly visited trial.

— 19 March: Prosecutor urges maximum life sentence.