On a Monday in March 1998, Natascha Kampusch leaves her home in the Austrian capital of Vienna and begins her journey to school. The ten-year-old notices something unusual on the route, however: a white van up ahead, with a man standing next to it. Then, as she tries to walk past the stranger, the man grabs her and throws her into his vehicle. It’s just the start of what would prove to be a harrowing eight-year ordeal for the young girl.
Natascha Maria Kampusch was born on February 17, 1988, to Brigitta Sirny and Ludwig Koch. Natascha’s parents ended their relationship when their daughter was young, however, and the two subsequently shared the little girl’s care. And whether Natascha’s childhood was happy or not has been a subject of some debate; it’s been reported, though, that Sirny and Koch often argued.
And when Koch dropped Natascha off at her mother’s the evening before the kidnap, Sirny was furious with him as he was late. In anger, Sirny then told Natascha that she could never see her father again. The ten-year-old was so annoyed by her mother’s ruling, though, that when she left the house the next morning to go to school, she didn’t bid Sirny farewell.