Incest Dad Was Addicted to Sex With Imprisoned Daughter

Fritzl says he brought his daughter flowers and watched TV with their kids.

ByABC News
May 9, 2008, 7:40 AM

PASSAU, Germany, May 9, 2008— -- The Austrian dad who imprisoned his daughter in a basement for 24 years and fathered her seven children says he's not a "beast," pointing out that he brought her flowers and that they all dined together when she cooked their favorite meal.

Josef Fritzl admits, however, that what he did to his daughter Elisabeth was crazy.

"I knew what I was doing was wrong," he is quoted as saying in an Austrian publication. "My drive to have sex with Elisabeth grew stronger and stronger. I knew Elisabeth didn't want me to do what I did to her. I knew I was hurting her. It was like an addiction."

Fritzl, 73, says he enjoyed a double life as a "normal" father upstairs -- with his wife, Rosemarie, and their six other children -- and as a sex addict in the secret basement dungeon.

"I must have been crazy to do something like that. But nevertheless I was not able to escape my double life. When I was upstairs I was totally normal. I functioned well; I made money, took care of my family and only consciously thought about downstairs when I had to run errands for my second family. But at some point, it became a matter of course for me that I led a second life in the basement of my house and that I had to take care of a second wife and our children there."

Nowhere does he mention that his so-called second wife was Elisabeth, now 42. He also does not mention that he kept her on a leash for the first nine months after he locked her up in the windowless prison.

Instead, he's reportedly described himself as a man who valued decency and good manners, and said the emphasis on discipline in Nazi times, when he grew up, might have influenced him.

"I am not the beast the media depicts me as," he's quoted as telling his lawyer Rudolf Mayer. Mayer's version of his conversation with Fritzl was published in the Austrian daily Oesterreich.

"When I went into the bunker, I brought flowers for my daughter, and books and toys for the children, and I watched adventure videos with them while Elisabeth was cooking our favorite dish. And then we all sat around the table and ate together," he reportedly told Mayer.

Fritzl said that he grew up an only child and that his mother, whom he "admired very much," threw his father out of the house when he was 4 years old.

"She was the boss at home, and I the only man in the house," Fritzl said of his mother.