With the arrest of Mr Aloisio Francesco Rosario Giordano, on which my colleague Kyle James reported, it is now widely estimated that after Belgium, France, the UK, Germany and Austria, the Mediterranean country of Italy joins the long line of ‘Fritzl’ followers.
As stated, Mr Giordano kept a woman locked in a basement cellar for over a decade, raping and torturing her at all times whilst keeping a somewhat normal life above ground.
All this is reminiscent of the monster Fritzl of Austria, who stands head and shoulders above all others.
Though Belgium’s Dutroux-case comes close in gruesomeness, and even the abduction of Natasha Kampush by fellow Austrian Mr Priklopil for 8.5 years (before she famously escaped) was very tough to read about, nothing on the continent still comes close to Austrian monster Joseph Fritzl, whose crimes were so well documented when they were revealed in 2008 that the Austrian government decided it needed to launch PR project to restore the image of the country.
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For almost a quarter of a century, as life unfolded in the quiet town of Amstetten, Elisabeth Fritzl was enduring an unimaginable ordeal behind the plain gray walls of a nondescript house there.
Her now 73-year-old father, Josef Fritzl, held his daughter captive for 24 years in a concealed, windowless basement hideout, where he repeatedly had sex with her and where she gave birth to seven of his children.
The case came to light when the oldest child of the seven children he had conceived with his own daughter, Kerstin, became seriously ill and she had to be taken to hospital.
Elisabeth helped him carry Kerstin out of the dungeon and saw the outside world for the first time in 24 years. He forced her to return to the dungeon, where she remained for a final week. Authorities in the local hospital contacted police when Fritzl tried to explain why his granddaughter was with him.
The case and its unfolding is said to have inspired the Oscar-winning movie ‘Room’, in which a woman and her 5-year-old son are held captive for seven years in a basement.
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