Josef Fritzl, the Austrian who fathered seven children with his own daughter in a homemade dungeon, has divorced his wife of 55 years — because she has never visited him in prison.
The divorce, which was legally approved a few weeks ago, means that Rosemarie Fritzl can no longer draw on her 77-year-old ex-husband’s pension, the Austrian weekly News reported.
Contacted by AFP, the divorce lawyer reportedly hired by Fritzl to file for the separation, Nikolaus Rast, declined to comment. News also said that Rosemarie has not replied to Fritzl’s many letters to her.
Fritzl kept his and Rosemarie’s daughter Elisabeth prisoner in the basement of the family house in Amstetten, Austria, for 24 years, raping her and fathering seven children.
One of the children died as a baby. Three of the surviving children were brought to live with Fritzl and Rosemarie while the other three spent their entire lives in the dungeon.
The ordeal ended only in Apr 2008 when the eldest child, a girl by then 19, fell ill and Elisabeth begged Fritzl to bring her to hospital. Doctors became suspicious and alerted the police.
The case drew worldwide attention and Fritzl was found guilty in Mar 2009 of murdering the baby through negligence, as well as of rape, incest and sequestration, and sent to a secure mental institution for life.
Rosemarie was never charged with any crime.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved
More in this section