In August 1984 18-year-old Elisabeth Fritzl was soon to leave her family home in Amstetten, Austria, for a job in the nearby city of Linz. It was to be a welcome move for the teen, too, as it would allow her to escape the unwelcome attentions of her father, Josef – who had sexually abused her from the age of 11.
But on August 28, 1984, Elisabeth’s plans were scuppered. On that day her father asked her to help him move a door down to a basement extension that he was building beneath the family’s suburban home. She agreed and followed him into the basement. Little did she know, however, that this was to be the start of a 24-year-long ordeal of unimaginable horror.
Once Fritzl had his daughter in the basement, he pushed a cloth drenched in ether over her face, and the teen lost consciousness. When she came to, she was trapped. Moreover, she was now to spend the next 8,516 days in the basement, a helpless prisoner of her horrifically abusive father.