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February 19, 2011

What is Going on Next Door? Is There Ways To Spot A Neighbor Like Josef Fritlz?

There are horror flicks where groups of twenty some things drive off into the countryside and are held captive by savage, masochistic lunatics. It is movies like Texas Chain Saw Massacre and House of Wax that keep me up at night. It seems that the worst monsters are always human. That is what I think of every time I hear a new report out of Austria on the Joseph Fritlz case. It is possible to be locked in a cellar and kept from the world for the satisfaction of a man. I thought that a story like that was just a story. Something that a writer or movie director would come up with. But no, these things really happen.

The questions that I think is most prominent is, how could no one know? Surely there were some type of clues or signs hat pointed to the fact that Elisabeth Fritlz was suffering and being tortured by her father. Surely someone wondered what the man was doing when he went down into that cellar. Investigators say that there is no way that Fritlz was able to put the sound proof steel door up himself. Someone had to have assisted with that project. However, it seems that no one really considered that Elisabeth and an entire family was living in the cellar. Of course, who would think that and we are all taught to mind our own business, but this time, it needed to be our business.

Stories of killer who have their neighbors and family members fooled are prominent throughout history. An attractive, brilliant Ted Bundy went around the United States murdering and molesting women. John Wayne Gacy was a friendly guy who dressed up like a clown and stuffed young boys’ bodies underneath the crawl space in his home. No one suspected these men were doing these things. Their neighbors may have said hi and noticed the men coming and going like we all do of our neighbors, but how do you know when your neighbor has a tragic, troubling, criminal secret right underneath your nose?

The bad thing about being polite and minding your own business is that it might leave someone trapped or dead. So where do you draw the line when it comes to creep or not so creepy neighbors. You must be cautious when throwing accusations around. So, say for instant, a neighbor saw Fritlz going into his cellar or horrors. The cellar is on his property and people are allowed to have cellars, what exactly is the crime? There isn’t a visible one. But that is the problem of course, a criminal as calculating and cruel as Fritlz is not going to leave too many clues around, but I assume there must have been some. For one, there had to be some garbage generated in the cellar, surely Fritlz took it out at some point. He also had to take food and other items into the cellar. These clues of course would only be noticed by a curious neighbor.

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2 Comment(s)

  1. anakris | May 24, 2008 | Reply

    It appears many people now admit that they did notice things that made them suspect of Joseph Fritzl. It’s not a question of their minding their own business it is more a matter of them lacking the courage to report what they saw and heard. Then too it seems even if they had gone to the Austrian police they may have been met with apathy on the part of the police department. I have experienced this same thing in my own life. I have reported things to the police and the police did nothing to investigate what I knew to be valid wrong doing. So we all as a society just learn to be like the 3 monkey statue “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil”. We just mind our own futile business. And there is usually one key person who does know what the criminal is doing and either directly or indirectly assists them in their wrong doing. Fritzl did have help with his mischief but whoever it was that aided him was probably very intimidated by him – and that person was most likely his wife.

  2. Pop | Jun 2, 2011 | Reply

    People see these signs and they ignore them. That’s what people like Fritlz count on. Teachers, doctors, and so forth see little kids covered in bruises and do nothing about it. People see battered spouses with black eyes and just think to themselves “I’m sure they will work it out between them.”

    The case of Danguole Rasalaite came to light when the movie Lilja 4-Ever documented her life. The 16-year-old girl was a victim of prostitution trafficking, and she was held prisoner in a regular apartment. The neighbours heard her getting beaten, and screaming out for help, but no one ever did anything and she eventually killed herself. That’s why people like Fritlz manage to do the things they do, because people routinely let them.

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