Fritzl Blames It All on 'Troubled Childhood'

Lawyer says dungeon dad's just a guy who wanted a big family
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2009 12:36 PM CDT
Dolls from a protest rally lay on the street in front of the court building in St. Poelten, Austria,Monday, March 16, 2009, where the trial of Josef Fritzl began.   (AP Photo/Christof Stache)
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(Newser) – Apparently Josef Frizl’s mom made him do it. Austria’s most infamous incestuous rapist today told the court he’d committed his awful deeds because he had a “troubled childhood,” the Daily Telegraph reports. Fritzl regaled the court with the story of his early days, showing emotion only when he discussed his mother, who he said didn't allow him to have friends. Former neighbors have in the past said she beat him regularly.

Fritzl’s lawyer said his client was “not a monster. He is a man who wanted a second family and wanted to care for that family.” The prosecutor painted a decidedly less romantic picture, saying Fritzl had used his daughter like a “toy,” and early on barely spoke to her. “He came down, he raped her, and said nothing.” The court also began watching taped testimony from Elisabeth Fritzl, which will be sprinkled through the proceedings.