Fritzl's best pal Paul: Hello, can I talk to Josef? Fritzl wife: Hold on, he's in the cellar
Mar 22 2009
EXCLUSIVE WHAT FRIEND WAS TOLD EVERY TIME HE RANG FOR MONSTER
As Fritzl, 73, begins a life sentence for his horrific incest crimes, his close pal Paul Hoera told The People: "Whenever I rang him for a chat, his wife Rosemarie often answered and told me, 'Josef is in the cellar. If you wait I will go and get him'.
"But Josef never used to come to the phone straight away. He used to call me back later that night. It was always between 7pm and 9pm in the evening.
"I don't know if Rosemarie knew exactly what was going on the cellar but whenever she picked up the phone she told me he was down there.
"I cannot imagine she did not know anything at all, but she feared him so strongly. I believe she may have known something but I have no evidence - only a hunch after knowing him for so long."
Fritzl - who often enjoyed sex holidays in Thailand as our exclusive photos show - imprisoned his daughter Elisabeth, 43, in the dank cellar in Amstetten, Austria, in 1984 then fathered seven children while raping her up to 3,000 times in 24 years.
Paul fears Rosemarie, 69, may have been too afraid to ask what her tyrannical husband was using the dungeon for.
He said: "I do not want to incriminate anyone, but I'm 100 per cent sure he used a family member to help with the dungeon.
"I always saw the pair working together at Fritzl's home when I went to visit him in the 1980s and in the 1990s.
"I don't know if this person, who I do not wish to name, knew what was fully going on but in my opinion he helped Fritzl carry out building work at his home.
"You don't help someone build a dungeon like that and then forget about its existence for the next 20 years do you?
"There was an industrial winch on the top of the roof. I understand one of his relatives helped him erect the winch which could have been used to install the heavy concrete door to the dungeon. There is no way Fritzl would have been able to build his cellar alone. He was already 48 when Elisabeth was imprisoned."
Fritzl was sentenced to life in a psychiatric institution on Thursday after being found guilty of rape, incest, murdering a newborn son and enslavement. Rosemarie has denied knowing about her daughter's imprisonment.
Fritzl allowed three of his incest offspring, Lisa, 16, Monika, 14, and Alexander, 12, to live upstairs with Rosemarie after telling her Elisabeth had abandoned them after fleeing home. The remaining children, Kerstin, now 20, Stefan, 18, and Felix, six, were raised in the dungeon along with Elisabeth's baby Michael who Fritzl tossed on to a furnace after death.
Paul said: "Fritzl spent most of his life in his cellar. Rosemarie knew he was down there. She was happy as she did not have to deal with him but it seems she never asked why he spent his time there.
"Fritzl used to beat Rosemarie and the children living upstairs with her. He ruled the house like a German army officer. They lived in fear and Rosemarie often said she would have left him if it had not have been for the children."
Paul, who lives in Munich, Germany, fears his friend duped HIM into transporting building materials for the dungeon. Paul said: "I remember during the World Cup in 1990 when I was driving my truck and trailer to Amstetten, Fritzl asked if I could transport some materials to his home. He did not have a trailer and asked if I could do this for him. Now I wonder if he used me to help build his dungeon."
Paul suspects Fritzl's regular visits to trade fairs in Munich were to buy equipment for the dungeon, including rubber sealing rings for oxygen pipes to the sealed room.
Paul also fears that HIS wife Elfriede, now 70, could have been raped by the beast. Fritzl joined Paul on late-night shifts at a petrol station even though he had the offer of sleeping at his pal's house.
Paul said: "Looking back, I fear Fritzl knew he would rape my wife if he had gone back to my home. I think he knew exactly what he was capable of but spared me because I was his friend."
At Christmas in 2005 Paul visited Fritzl and remarked how Alexander looked just like his dad. Paul said: "All he did was laugh and say it was because of strong genes in his family."
Despite Fritzl's evil crimes, Paul said he will try to visit him. He said: "What he did is totally unforgivable. But after six months, I will write in an attempt to visit him in jail and ask the question the whole world wants to know the answer to. And that is, 'Why?'."
Fritzl has been put on suicide watch after psychiatrists warned his apparent lack of concern at his life sentence could indicate he had decided to kill himself.
But one psychiatrist, Dr Heidi Kastner, says she feels sorry for the monster because he had a brutal childhood.
She also claimed Fritzl thought he was being KIND when he took snow into the cellar to show the children.
But Rosemarie fears Fritzl, eligible for parole after 14 years, will hunt her family if freed. Her sister Christine said: "She is afraid he'll take revenge."