Fritzl Neighbors Knew He Was Raping Daughter

Ex-tenant, others didn't report abuse before she was imprisoned
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2008 7:56 AM CDT
A candle stands at the entrance of the house of Josef Fritzl in Amstetten, Lower Austria, on Wednesday, April 30, 2008.    (AP Photo/Hans Punz)
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(Newser) – A tenant who lived in Josef Fritzl's house for 4 years in the early '80s knew the Austrian father was abusing his daughter Elisabeth, the Times of London reports. The lodger said he was told of the abuse by a neighbor, who had helped the teenage Elisabeth escape to Vienna—only for police to track her down and return her to her father, who later imprisoned her in a cellar for 24 years.

“Elisabeth was repeatedly raped by her father. She could not take it to live at home anymore and tried to escape,” the lodger told an Austrian TV station. The man did not explain why he or the neighbor did not alert police to the abuse, but he hinted that he feared Fritzl's revenge.