Man Admits to Imprisoning Daughter
Fathered 7 children over 24 years, some raised in basement cell
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2008 9:51 AM CDT
Two police officers lead Fritzl into the Amstetten police station on April 27, 2008.   (DIETER NAGL/AFP/Getty Images)
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(Newser) – A 73-year-old Austrian man has confessed to imprisoning his daughter in a basement dungeon for 24 years and fathering seven children by her, Reuters reports. The daughter, now 42, told police yesterday her father, Josef Fritzl, drugged and handcuffed her in 1984, locking her in a windowless labyrinth. The father, an engineer who owns a clothing business, denies rape charges.

Three of the children, including the two eldest, aged 18 and 19, had never left the cell. Another child died shortly after birth; Fritzl admitted to burning that body. The story came to light when the oldest girl came down with a serious illness and had to be hospitalized. Doctors sought details of the mother’s medical history, so Fritzl freed the daughter and the other two children. Fritzl's wife was apparently unaware of the dungeon, the entrance to which was hidden behind a bookcase.