...By Lola Smith for TDPel Media.
The former residence of the rapist Josef Fritzl, who held his daughter captive for 24 years, has been turned into apartments after plans to transform it into a macabre horror museum were rejected.
The apartment block is located near the edge of the quiet town of Amstetten, Austria.
Landlord couple Herbert and Ingrid Houska purchased the house for £135,000 (160,000 euros) from Fritzl’s bankruptcy estate and renovated it.
The dungeon where Fritzl kept his daughter Elisabeth captive was filled with cement during the transformation.
The garage entrance, which Fritzl used to quietly provide food and water to his captive family, was also bricked up.
Fritzl repeatedly raped his daughter, fathering seven children, three of whom remained in captivity with Elisabeth.
One of the children died shortly after birth, while the others were brought up by Fritzl and his wife after he claimed they had appeared on his doorstep.
Following a massive police investigation, Fritzl was sentenced to life behind bars after pleading guilty to rape, false imprisonment, manslaughter by negligence, and incest in March 2009.
Although he was locked up in a psychiatric hospital for 13 years, he was given permission last year to serve the rest of his life sentence in a regular prison after a court ruled that he “no longer poses any danger”.
The identities of the victim and her children are now protected.
The couple who bought the property said that all nine of the apartments are rented out, some to young people who have no connection to the Fritzl case.
While former Amstetten mayor Herbert Katzengruber declined to comment, current mayor Christian Haberhauer said, “No comment, the chapter is closed.”
The Fritzl case is one of the most horrific crimes in Europe, and the dungeon’s transformation into apartments has sparked controversy.
Despite the transformation of the property, the Fritzl case remains a grim reminder of the atrocities that can occur behind closed doors.
It is important to remember the victims of such crimes and to provide support to those who have been affected by them.
For free, confidential advice, victims can contact Victim Support on 08 08 16 89 111 or visit their website.