Skip to Content

Elisabeth Fritzl: The Real Horror Story of the Girl in the Basement

Elisabeth Fritzl: The Real Horror Story of the Girl in the Basement

Elisabeth Fritzl is a kidnap survivor who suffered the evil side of her father, Josef Fritzl, who sexually harassed and tortured her for 24 years in a dark basement. Also, she gave birth to seven children whom she had with her father. To be true, the Elisabeth Fritzl story will seem like a horror movie to us, but for Elisabeth, it was her life, which got retold in the Elisabeth Fritzl documentary titled Lifetime’s Girl In The Basement.

Well! The real question that pops into our mind is how did Elizabeth Fritzl escape, and if you want to get the answer to this question, start reading this post carefully until the last line hits you up.

Elisabeth Fritzl Life Before Being Captor By Her Father Josef Fritzl

Elisabeth Fritzl was born in 1966 in Austria to Josef Fritzl and Rosemarie Fritzl. Elisabeth was the youngest of six siblings – three brothers and three sisters. Elisabeth Fritzl’s siblings were studying in hostels. That’s why she was close to her parents, especially her father. But unfortunately, her father misused her attention and captured her in their house’s dark basement.

Birth Name / Real NameElisabeth Fritzl
Known as The victim in the Frizl case
Date of birth6 April 1966
Age (as of 2022)
Birth Sign / ZodiacAries
BirthplaceAmstetten, Lower Austria, Austria
Height5 feet, 6 inches
Weight55 Kg
Eye colorBlue
Hair colorGolden Brown
HusbandThomas Wagner
Josef Fritzl Criminal penaltyLife imprisonment
ChildrenKerstin Fritzl, Stefan Fritzl, Alexander Fritzl, Monika Fritzl, Felix Fritzl, Michael Fritzl, Lisa Fritzl
ParentsJosef Fritzl, Rosemarie Fritzl
MotherRosemarie Fritzl
FatherJosef Fritzl
GrandparentsMaria Fritzl, Josef Fritzl Sr
MoviesMonster: The Josef Fritzl Story, The Longest Night: Secrets of the Austrian Cellar

What happened to The Girl In The Basement Elisabeth Fritzl?

On August 28, 1984, Josef Fritzl (Elisabeth’s father) called his 18-year-old daughter Elisabeth into the basement of their family’s home in Austria. He was refitting a brand new cellar door and needed help to carry it into the basement. But he tricked her and covered her face with a towel. And for the next 24 years, the only thing Elisabeth saw was the inside of that basement-based cellar.

See Also:  Who is Cary Grant's Spouse? Inside His Relationship & Life

During her awful time in the basement, Josef sexually abused Elisabeth. And during that time (24 years), Elisabeth gave birth to seven children – all of which got fathered by Josef.

Key Events:

DateKey event
1977Fritzl begins sexually abusing his 11-year-old daughter Elisabeth.
1980Fritzl's mother, Maria, dies in captivity in Fritzl's attic.
1981–1982Fritzl begins to turn the hidden cellar into a prison cell.
28 August 1984Fritzl lures 18-year-old Elisabeth into the basement and imprisons her.
November 1986Elisabeth has a miscarriage in the 10th week of pregnancy.
30 August 1988Kerstin is born, and lives in the cellar until 2008.
1 February 1990Stefan is born. He also stays in the cellar until 2008.
29 August 1992Lisa is born. In May 1993, at 9 months old, she is discovered outside the family home in a cardboard box, allegedly left there by Elisabeth with a note asking for the child to be looked after.
1993After repeated requests by Elisabeth, Fritzl allows the enlargement of the prison, putting Elisabeth and her children to work for years digging out soil with their hands. The prison was enlarged from 35 to 55 m2 (380 to 590 sq ft).
26 February 1994The fourth child, Monika, is born.
December 199410-month-old Monika is found in a pushchair outside the entrance of the house. Shortly afterwards, Rosemarie receives a phone call, asking her to take care of the child. The caller sounds like Elisabeth, but it is assumed that Fritzl used a recording of her voice. Rosemarie reported the incident to the police, expressing astonishment that Elisabeth knew their new, unlisted phone number.
28 April 1996Elisabeth gives birth to twin boys. One dies after less than 3 days and Fritzl removes and cremates the body. The surviving twin, Alexander, is taken upstairs at 15 months old and "discovered" in circumstances similar to those of his two sisters.
16 December 2002Felix is born. According to a statement by Fritzl, he kept Felix in the cellar with Elisabeth and her two eldest children because his wife could not look after another child.
19 April 2008Fritzl arranges for critically ill 19-year-old Kerstin to be taken to a local hospital.
26 April 2008During the evening, Fritzl releases Elisabeth, Stefan, and Felix from the cellar and brings them upstairs, informing his wife that Elisabeth had decided to come home after a 24-year absence. Later that evening, after an anonymous tipoff during a visit to the hospital, Fritzl and Elisabeth are taken into police custody where she reveals her decades-long imprisonment during questioning.
19 March 2009After a 4-day trial in the town of St. Pölten and 3 weeks before his 74th birthday, Fritzl pleads guilty to the charges of the murder by negligence of his infant son (and grandson) Michael, as well as the decades of enslavement, incest, rape, coercion and false imprisonment of his daughter Elisabeth, and is sentenced to life imprisonment.
Elisabeth Fritzl Family Tree - Father Husband Mother and Kids

The Fritzl Family (The Psycho Father, Foolish Mother, Unlucky Daughter and her kids)

Elizabeth Fritzl Basement Real Image

Elizabeth Fritzl’s Basement Real Image

House of Horrors - Basement of Elisabeth Fritzl Where She Spent 24 Years.

House of Horrors – Basement of Elisabeth Fritzl Where She Spent 24 Years.

How Did Elisabeth Fritzl Escape?

As mentioned, Elisabeth gave birth to seven children, and her daughter Kristen had asthma. And when she noticed that her daughter needed medical treatment, she begged Josef to take her to the hospital. We don’t know how, but Josef agreed and took Kristen to the hospital. Well, we can say that Elisabeth pre-planned everything so that she could escape, as her daughter Kristen showed her uncomfortableness towards Josef in the hospital, and the staff called the police.

See Also:  Who is Eva Pilgrim - Meet Ed Hartigan's Wife

Later, when police arrived, they reopened the Elisabeth Fritzl sudden disappearing case. And after one day, Elisabeth gave a surprise appearance in the hospital to see her daughter. After her sudden appearance, the police took Elisabeth to the police station to ask questions, and slowly she revealed everything that happened to her in the basement.

Josef's convictionsRape, murder by negligence, and other charges
Josef's criminal penaltyLife imprisonment
Inside Layout of Josef Fritzl House Basement

Inside Layout of Josef Fritzl House Basement – This graphic shows the layout of the house based on photographs and descriptions given by Austrian police

What Happened To Josef Fritzl After Elisabeth Told The Truth To The Police?

After Elisabeth told everything that happened to her in the last 24 years, the police arrested Josef on the go. And after the complete investigation, the court ordered the police to keep Josef behind steel bars for the rest of his life. Well, Josef Fritzl died three years later in jail for some unknown health issues.

Elisabeth Fritzl Interview: Where Is Elisabeth Fritzl Now?

After Elisabeth got released from that hell, the court ordered her to change her identity and start a new life in a small hamlet in Australia with her six surviving children. And as of now, she is still living in Australia with her husband Thomas Wagner and doing a teaching job, as she loves spending time with children.

Current residenceVillage X in Austria
Marital StatusMarried
SpouseThomas Wagner

The Bottom Line!

Elisabeth Fritzl first saw sunlight after being held in a basement by her father for 24 years when she went to the hospital to see her daughter Kristen, who required immediate medical treatment. Well, one thing is for sure those 24 years weren’t easy for Elisabeth in any sense, as she faced many horrible things at such a young age. Similarly, our team has published an article on the 10 youngest mothers ever documented. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is the Elisabeth Fritzl movie based on a true story?

A: Yes, this horror movie is based on a true story of a girl who got captured by her father for 24 years.

Q: Is Josef Fritzl still alive?

A: No, according to the official reports, Josef is not alive, as he died after three years in jail.

Q: Is Elisabeth Fritzl still alive?

A: Yes, as of now, Elisabeth Fritzl is still alive, and her age is around 56 years as of 2022.

Q: How many children did Elisabeth Fritzl have with her father?

A: Elisabeth Fritzl has seven children with her father, but unfortunately, one died right after the birth.

Q: How old was Elisabeth Fritzl when she was sexually abused?

A: Elisabeth was only 18-years-old when her father started to sexually abuse her.

Q: Is Elisabeth Fritzl Married Now?

A: Yes, Elizabeth found true love at the age of 52. She fell for her bodyguard Thomas Wagner who was a 29-year old man. Currently, they are living happy life.


Friday 15th of April 2022

im starting to research about what happend to what a young girl beacause i saw the liftime movie about i think her father is a sick freak if i met anybody like that i would be disgusted like who does that hes a sick monster and i hope that elisabeth is doing great with her husband and i hope her kids are doing as great as her