Yosef Fritz: Amstetten’s Monster

Josef  Fritz was born in 1935 in the small village of Amstetten, Lower Austria. His mother, Maria, was the adopted offspring of a miller. Yosef’s grandmother (who had absolute power over him) was sterile.

With the intention of having children, the turner began multiple sexual bonds and relationships with the maids in their homes. Maria was one of those individuals. In other words, she was an adopted offspring.

In 1934, Maria met an unemployable drifter named Josef Fritzl Sr., and Joseph Jr. was born shortly after.

Yosef Fritz
is an Austrian serial rapist and the former indirect killer who locked up his daughter, Elisabeth, for several years in his storage room.

Fritz was born in Amstetten, Austria, on April 9, 1935, under Nazi Germany’s control at the time. When he was four years old, his father abandoned the family and later died in the war, leaving him to be raised by his mother, who frequently beat him severely. Later in life, he was said to be extremely strict and disciplined. He married Rosemarie, a four-year-younger woman who worked as a kitchen helper when he was 21 years old.

He was known to have raped a young woman at knifepoint in Linz in 1967, but the record was erased 15 years later. Fritzl was also a suspect in two other assaults in the area and is accused, and raping one of his sisters.


He graduated from a technical college with a degree in electrical engineering and worked for Voestalpine, an Austrian steel company, at some unknown point. He worked in mail-order lingerie for a while before retiring in 1972 and purchasing an inn and campsite near Salzburg. He is a suspect in the unsolved murder of a young girl in the area.

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One of these appears to have impacted Fritz’s marriage, in which he apparently dominated his wife to the point where he was able to make frequent trips alone to Pattaya, a Thai city known for its sex tourism. Fritzl and Rosemarie had seven children together, two sons and five daughters, including Elisabeth, whom he allegedly began sexually abusing when she was 11 years old in 1977.

Elisabeth Fritzl’s Imprisonment

The Fritzl family tree

Fritzl began work on the dungeon beneath the Amstetten house he shared with his wife, ostensibly to keep Elisabeth isolated from the outside world. The building was in 1978, not long after his first rape of Elisabeth. Fritzl, an electrician by trade, installed the windowless dungeon’s electrical lighting, electronic locks on each door, and a remote code lock on the main door himself.

During her first year in captivity, she was completely restrained, but after that, she was free to move around inside. Fritzl’s wife eventually reported him missing. Fritzl forced Elisabeth to write a letter claiming she had moved in with a friend and tried to flee the country if her parents came after her. Fritzl would come down to Elisabeth every three days for the next 24 years, giving her food and supplies and raping her.

Fritzl took Monika, Alexander, and Lisa above ground, tricking his wife into believing they were orphans and raising them with her. The other kids were locked in the basement with Elisabeth until they discovered it. To keep them from fleeing, Fritzl convinced them that the cell was rigged to gas them or electrocute them if they tried to force the door open.

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This captivity lasted over two decades until Kerstin collapsed in the dungeon on April 19, 2008. Fritzl was removed from the dungeon and admitted to a hospital, where she was treated for severe kidney failure.

Criminal Minds

In “Cradle to Grave” Fritzl, along with Gary Heidnik, was mentioned as an example of a rapist who kept his victims in homemade dungeons and had children with them. In some ways, he resembles Robert Reimann: both of which were serial rapists who kept their innocent people in the underworld they built in their homes for extended durations, raped individuals recurrently, and had children with their victim’s families (two of whom were named Lisa and Michael).

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