Incest Dad: 'I Am Not a Monster'

Austrian father breaks his silence, criticizes media for dubbing him a monster.

ByABC News
May 7, 2008, 9:35 AM

PASSAU, Germany, May 7, 2008 — -- Josef Fritzl, the Austrian man who fathered seven children with his daughter while keeping her imprisoned in a windowless dungeon in his cellar, has complained about poor media coverage of the case.

His criticism of the international media's reporting was published in the German tabloid Bild Zeitung.

"I could have killed them all," reads the front page headline of today's Bild Zeitung. And Fritzl, dubbed a monster by the Austrian media, told his lawyer, Rudolf Mayer, "I'm not a monster," according to today's report.

Fritzl is sharing his prison cell with another man who is serving time for taking part in a shooting incident. The men have a TV set and a radio available to them in their cell.

Fritz's lawyer has been seeing him and, according to Bild Zeitung, his client has complained to the lawyer that media coverage has been "unfair" and "completely one-sided."

"I could have killed them all, and no one would ever have known, no one would ever have found out," he reportedly told his lawyer.

Fritzl has confessed to locking up his daughter for almost 24 years, and fathering seven children with her during that time.

Three of those children, Kerstin, 19, Stefan, 18, and Felix, 5, had never seen sunlight until they were released from their captivity by police last month after Kerstin became seriously ill and was taken to hospital for a life-threatening disease. The young woman has since remained in a medically induced coma and is said to be in critical condition.

"If it wasn't for me, Kerstin would not be alive today," Fritzl is quoted by his lawyer as saying. "It was me who made sure she was taken to hospital."

Fritzl was questioned by a state prosecutor for the first time today.

"The hearing, which lasted for about 2 hours, mainly focused on the basic details of Mr. Fritzl and his family's background, as is required by Austrian Law," prosecution spokesman Gerhard Sedlacek told reporters. "Mr. Fritzl has told the prosecutor in charge that he's now willing to cooperate with the prosecution."