DNA Confirms It: Man Fathered Own Grandkids

Austrian 'horror dad' appears in court, will remain in custody
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2008 9:55 AM CDT
A member of a forensic team and a policeman stand in the gateway of the house of Josef Fritzl in Amstetten, Lower Austria, on Tuesday, April 29, 2008.   (AP Photo/Hans Punz)
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(Newser) – DNA testing has confirmed the bizarre tale of Josef Fritzl, who confessed to imprisoning his now-42-year-old daughter Elisabeth in his basement for 24 years and fathering seven children by her. The test confirms the parentage of all six surviving kids —one twin died shortly after childbirth, CNN reports. The children apparently believed that Fritzl was only their grandfather.

Three of the kids were raised upstairs by Fritzl and his wife Rosemarie, who was told Elizabeth had joined a cult and couldn't care for them; three were imprisoned with their mother. Fritzl appeared stoic in court today, showing no emotion as the judge declared that he would remain in custody, giving no timetable for his release. If charged with rape, the 73-year-old retiree could face 15 years in prison. Speculation is swirling that Fritzl may have had help building his secret soundproof prison and its heavy steel door.