Josef Fritzl pleads guilty, gets life in prison

As you will all have heard by now
Though I’m glad he’s been given life in prison, I’ve been really annoyed by the way this case has been handled. Apparently the nail in the coffin was that he murdered one of Elisabeth’s twin sons by letting him die when he could’ve saved him, and then burning the remains. Without this charge, apparently Fritzl may not have got life. The baby death was what all the recent news stories have been focused on, as if 3,000 counts of rape don’t merit a life sentence on their own.
Still, at least this case is done and hopefully the family can start to put their lives together.

Join the Conversation

  • MissKittyFantastico

    I don’t know enough about the Austrian legal system, but how could anyone not get life in prison for what he did, regardless of whether anyone died? I think people in general would have been much less horrified if he’d killed his daughter in the first place instead of torturing her and her children for decades.

  • jaja

    i think you see what you want to see. the focus was on all his horrible crimes, not just the murder. don’t turn this into women somehow being slighted by the criminal justice system. murder or not that guy was going to go down for life, even though the austrian justice system seems somewhat lenient.

  • Nettle Syrup

    Well, yes I know that most people were more interested in Elisabeth. But I’m not ‘trying to turn this into’ anything. I’m just saying that, like MissKittyFantastico says, the debate seems to have been ‘did he murder the child’? and that seems pretty irrelevant to his sentence, surely he should’ve got life whether or not he did that?

  • jaja

    frankly i think the death of the child was merciful in some sad respect. but raping is daughter 3000 times and having 7 kids by her, is what makes people especially angry and disgusted. i imagine he would have gotten life anyway, but the death, based on the penal code, simply made it a tiny bit of an issue because he denied it

  • laughingrat

    Actually, according to the AP he got life in an insane asylum, which is some bullshit. This dude has never evinced any sign of insanity except that he behaved so violently towards his children, and in a patriarchy, you do not have to be insane to hurt women and children. Hurting women and children is what the system is all about! Pretending that Fritzl’s countless atrocities are the products of mental illness is just disingenuous, but the alternative would mean admitting that there is an endemic problem in society itself, and the law is rarely willing to make such leaps.

  • jaja

    aren’t you using the language of patriarchy when you infantilize women by coupling them with children? and how does your theory make sense when some of the children he abused were male?

  • MissKittyFantastico

    The article I read said they were putting him in a psychiatric facility at first while they decide where he should end up.
    Still, the guy is in his 70s. He got away with this for most of his life. There’s no real way to get justice, ever.

  • laughingrat

    Let’s face it, there really isn’t any justice in this world. Then again, that’s why we’re all (presumably) fighting.
    I still think it’s a giant cop-out. Misogyny is not insanity. It’s a logical extension of our fucked-up culture. Argh.