Minister Rips Cops' 'Gullibility' in Incest Case

Local authorities too quick to believe Fritzl's daughter joined cult
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2008 10:28 AM CDT
A sign reading "Why" is seen in front of the house in Amstetten, where Josef Fritzl has confessed to imprisoning his daughter for 24 years and fathering seven children with her.   (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson)
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(Newser) – Austria's justice minister says local officials were too quick to believe Josef Fritzl's cover story for his daughter Elisabeth's imprisonment, Reuters reports. Fritzl claimed Elisabeth had run away and joined a cult, instead holding her captive and raping her in his basement. "Looking at everything that we know up to now, I can see a certain gullibility," Maria Berger said.

Fritzl also claimed the children he fathered with his daughter had been left on his doorstep along with notes saying that Elisabeth couldn't take care of them. The judge who allowed Fritzl's adoption of one of them says he didn't ask to see police records because he had no reason to do so; a previous rape conviction would have already been wiped from Fritzl's record at that point.