The sister-in-law of the man accused of locking his daughter in a dungeon for over 20 years and repeatedly raping her opened up to The Associated Press for an exclusive television interview.
Josef Fritzl is accused of locking his 17-year-old daughter in a soundproof dungeon where he repeatedly raping her and fathering her seven children, one of which died in infancy.
The woman, who was identified only as Christine R. by the associated press said that the daughter, Elisabeth, ran away from home when she was 17-years-old, about 6-months before being locked in cellar beneath their apartment building her parents were living in.
Christine R. described Fritzl as a "tyrant," saying that he created fear in his home that helped him implement the elaborate cover-up of his daughters disappearance.
Fritzl told family members that Elisabeth had ran away and joined a cult, abandoning thee of her children on the couples doorstep.
"When he said it was black, it was black, even when it was 10 times white," said Christine. "He tolerated no dissent."
Christine R. also revealed that her 68-year-old sister, Rosemarie Fritzl, never believed her husband was involved in the daughter's disappearance.
"She never believed him capable of it," she told the Associated Press. "We spoke about it often when we met. And I would say, 'Rosemarie, where can Elisabeth be?' I even told her myself, she is definitely in a cult where you can only have a certain amount of children, or they don't want sick children."
Police released that they have no evidence linking Rosemarie Fritzl to the crimes committed by her husband against their daughter. They also released that the 73-year-old man confessed to imprisoning his daughter and repeatedly raping her. He also said that he incinerated the body of one of the children he fathered by his daughter after it died as an infant.
Police have accused Fritzl of making up the cult story and going as far as to impersonate his daughter in a phone call to convince his wife, Rosemarie, that his story was true. He is also accused of forcing his daughter to write letters to her mother to explain why she had left her three children at the couples doorstep.
Christine R. said that Rosemarie Fritzl and herself looked for her daughter frantically, searching train stations and places the two knew homeless people would hang out. They even searched the area for places a cult could be, but never an answer.
Christine R. said that Fritzl was arrested in 1967 for breaking into a 24-year-old woman's apartment and raping her. A conviction that landed him 18-months in prison.
"I think this changed their relationship a little," Christine R. said. "You can surely imagine that a woman in such a situation would have been utterly broken and shocked over something like this."
Christine R. said that as time went on, the relationship between the husband and wife only got worse.
"As far I know no sex took place in recent years," she said. "I believe it was because of his prior conviction, and because my sister had been getting bigger. And in any case he never liked fat women."
But Christine R. said that there were no warning signs about what was going on between Elisabeth and her father. Police have revealed that the girl may have been sexually abused by Fritzl since she was 12-years-old.
After the girl went missing, Christine R. said that he would would "go to the cellar every day at nine in the morning and he would often even spend the night there. Allegedly, to draw blueprints for the machines he was selling."
She added that his wife was "not even allowed to bring him a cup of coffee."
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