Police Quiz Ex-Tenants of Fritzl House

Former lodger recalls missing food, high utility bills
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 2, 2008 8:20 AM CDT
Aerial view of the building in Amstetten, Austria, center right, with green rooftop garden, where 73-year-old Josef Fritzl imprisoned his daughter and the children he fathered with her.   (AP Photo/inflight gmbh)
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(Newser) – A former tenant who lived just above the basement where Josef Fritzl imprisoned his daughter recalled wondering why his electricity bills were so high and why food disappeared from his kitchen, AFP reports. Police are tracking down the 100 or so lodgers who lived at the Fritzl house in the last 24 years, hoping to shed more light on what occurred there, the Guardian notes. "We want to talk to all of them," an officer said.

The ex-tenant added that his dog barked whenever they passed the cellar door, and mysteriously bristled at Fritzl. “If I'd been more persistent, perhaps we would have found the dungeon earlier," he said. Fritzl's sister-in-law, meanwhile, described him as a "despot" who terrified his children. "I always hated him," she said. The woman Fritzl was convicted of raping at knifepoint also has come forward. "I'll never forget those eyes," she said.