Josef Fritzl knew his sordid charade was over. The 73 year old Austrian was already convicted of rape and imprisonment of his daughter Elizabeth. The impetus behind his full confession came behind closed doors where a panel of judges and jury alike watched in horror as the now 42 year old woman testified via videotape this past Monday and Tuesday. According to a European source, Fritzl learned under Austrian law a full confession could result in a reduced sentence. To his lawyer’s surprise, Fritzl stated on Wednesday, “I declare myself guilty to the charges in the indictment” and referred to his behavior as “sick.” Psychiatrist Adelheid Kastner told the court Wednesday that Frizl suffers from a serious personality disorder, and, even at his advanced age, poses a threat if let among the general populace. She recommended Fritzl serve out his sentence in a prison facility specially equipped to handle psychologically deranged criminals.
A quick synopsis: in 1984, Fritzl locked then 18-year-old Elisabeth in the tiny, windowless cellar of their home. Over the span of many years, he raped her on countless occasions, fathering 7 children in the process. His steadfast refusal to grant medical care resulted in his son Michael’s death in 1996, who might have otherwise survived. Elizabeth and her remaining 6 children, ranging in age from 6 to 20, have spent the last several months recovering in an undisclosed psychiatric clinic. Elisabeth’s mental state is described as “broken.”
Please pardon my digression from the facts to present an unadulterated bit of commentary. Josef Fritzl is a monster. A man who outlived his usefulness years ago and is not fit to be a member of society. Let us dispense with the pretense of wasting Austria’s valuable tax dollars for his incarceration or baseless rehabilitation. An enterprising Austrian restaurateur made a short-lived attempt to capitalize on the spectacle by offering a “Fritzl Schnitzel”. I say, make it the specialty of the house! The symbolism of this dish is deliciously tantalizing. Imagine this barbarian encased in plastic wrap and pounded repeatedly with a metal hammer, then placed over an open flame to atone for his atrocities. The end result is a meal not even fit for a rodent. Quid pro quo may seem uncivilized in this parable, but do keep in mind the underlying theme: Lady Justice reigns supreme. Sooner or later, her will is inexorable and never should it be more so than in a little courtroom situated in St. Poelten, Austria.
The four day hearing concluded on Thursday. Fritzl received a life sentence to be served in a psychiatric institution, effective immediately. He has no plans to appeal.