The trial of Austrian incest-rapist-“dungeon monster” Josef Fritzl started Monday, said Jeremy Armstrong in the Glasgow, Scotland, Daily Record, and the details are “horrendous.” According to prosecutors, the “73-year-old beast” locked his daughter in a dank cellar for 24 years, starting at age 18; he chained her "like a dog” for the first nine months and raped her more than 3,000 times in the following years. She bore him seven children; one died.
The details are so bad that jurors are being offered psychiatric counseling, said the Austrian Times in an editorial. But legal experts warn that the trial could turn into a farce. Fritzl pleaded guilty to rape, incest, and imprisonment, but denies the murder charge for the dead infant. If he beats the murder and slavery raps—and he might—he could be free in six and a half years.
Austrians, tired of being stereotyped as Nazis or weirdos by Britons and other Europeans, are hoping Fritzl gets locked up for life, said Robert Mackey in The New York Times. In fact, the only Austrians happy about the global “media horde” that has descended on St. Pölten are the town’s businesses, which have jacked up the rates on uncharacteristically full hotels.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The dangers of our passionless American life
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The amazing resurrection of Mitt Romney
- 4 strategies for organizing your money, based on your personality
- The real reason conservatives should be outraged that police killed a white youth
- The essential techniques that every home cook should know
- Even critics of the euro didn't see this coming
Subscribe to the Week