Girl Speaks Out After Eight Years of Captivity


Kampusch spoke of how she coped mentally. "I didn't have any loneliness. I had hope and believed in the future -- somewhere down the road. I thought only of escape."

She told the Austrian daily newspaper Kronen Zeitung, "I thought about everything ... yes, and I knew I couldn't afford to make a mistake" in escaping.

Kampusch said that she once tried to jump out of Priklopil's car, "but he held me back and then sped away."

She didn't specify when that escape attempt occurred, saying only that she felt "it was much too risky" to try to get away because she feared Priklopil would kill her if she failed.

But that didn't stop her from dreaming about beheading him with an ax. "I always had the thought: Surely I didn't come into the world so I could be locked up and my life completely ruined."

Kampusch has reportedly said that she had suffered throughout her captivity from heart palpitations that, at times, made her dizzy and blurred her vision. But it was unclear whether she has been diagnosed with any chronic problems.

Another Austrian magazine, Profil, had reported that at the time of her escape, Kampusch weighed just 42 kilograms, or 92 pounds, exactly her weight when she was kidnapped.

Kampusch told Profil that her escape from her captor's house in suburban Strasshof was "completely spontaneous. ... I was there behind the gate to the garden, and I felt dizzy. I realized for the first time how weak I really was," she said.

But Kampusch said that she felt well enough -- "physically, mentally and no heart problems" -- to make a run for it.

Once she was out on the street, "I saw a window open and someone busy in a kitchen, and I asked the woman to call the police," she said. At first, the woman refused to let Kampusch inside. "She didn't want me to step on her lawn."

The TV broadcaster ORF said Kampusch chose which questions she would answer, and had refused to talk about anything intimate. Police have said she may have had sexual contact with her captor but have refused to elaborate.

Kampusch told News magazine that she regretted Priklopil had committed suicide, "because he could have explained so much more to me and to the police," and she said that she no longer wished to talk about him.

She said she wants to complete her high school education and is considering a range of possible careers, including journalism, psychology, acting and art, and that she has not yet decided whether to write a book about her ordeal.

Kampusch also told the magazine that she loved her parents, who divorced after she was kidnapped.

Psychologists treating her have said she has been in touch with her mother but has not asked for her father since they were briefly reunited after her escape.

"It was worse for them than it was for me. They thought I was dead," she said.

Now Natascha Kampusch has the rest of her life in front of her.

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