Sister-in-Law: Fritzl's Wife Never Suspected
She swallowed tale that teen joined cult
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2008 5:30 AM CDT
The sister-in-law of Josef Fritzl said the relationship between him and his wife was strained in recent years.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The wife of the Austrian grandfather who kept their daughter imprisoned in a basement under their apartment for 24 years never suspected she was there, her sister tells the AP. Rosemarie Fritzl believed her husband's tale that the daughter he kept as a sex slave ran away from home to join a cult. The two women even “did detective work” to search for the cult, the sister said.

There were no warning signs that anything was wrong with Fritzl's relationship with his daughter before she disappeared, she insisted—even though a neighbor has told police he knew the girl was raped by her father. But Fritzl's sister-in-law called him a “tyrant” who so frightened her that she was afraid to talk to him. “When he said it was black, it was black, even when it was 10 times white,” she said. “He tolerated no dissent.”