Tuesday, May 13, 2008

When so called mental illness is allowed to run amok.

By Karin Strohecker

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian Josef Fritzl said he became addicted to incest with his daughter, who bore him seven children, and had imprisoned her in a cellar to save her from the outside world.

In comments related by his lawyer to weekly magazine News, Fritzl, who locked up Elisabeth in 1984 when she was 18, said he started raping his daughter a year later.

"My drive to have sex with Elisabeth grew stronger and stronger," Fritzl was quoted as saying.

"I knew Elisabeth didn't want me to do what I did to her. I knew that I was hurting her. ... It was like an addiction ... In reality, I wanted children with her."

Elisabeth, 42, spent nearly a quarter of a century in a windowless cell in the basement of Fritzl's house, giving birth to seven of his children, now aged between 19 and 5 years.

Three of the children remained locked up with their mother in the basement and never saw sunlight until their fate was revealed nearly two weeks ago. Elisabeth has told police that Josef started sexually abusing her when she was 11.

Fritzl, who also has seven children with his wife Rosemarie, said he had locked up Elisabeth after she started to "break all the rules" following the onset of puberty.

She went to bars, drank alcohol and smoked, and ran away a couple of times, the 73-year-old said.

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