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Austria Squirms as Fritzel Receives Psychological Care


Andrew49

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The authorities in Sankt Poelten are making the most of their the sleepy,
baroque town's misfortune in being the venue for perhaps the most
grotesque trial in Austria's history.

Link

Josef Fritzl, on trial after imprisoning and raping his daughter over 24 years,
has been assigned a psychologist to keep him from committing suicide, an
official says. "The prison assigned a psychiatrist to Josef F weeks before
the trial," Erich Huber-Guensthofer, deputy director of Sankt Poelten
prison, told a press conference on Tuesday. "He is accompanying him
(Fritzl) during the trial and is available for talks during trial breaks and
after the day's proceedings.

Link
 

stewiegriffin

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What should they do ? Put him in stocks and throw cabbages at him ? He is a bit nuts afterall .
 

evercloserunion

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I wouldn't like to be the one charged with the task of talking Fritzl out of killing himself.
 

cyberianpan

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Mice only have so much use

It is not clear how much of mad or bad he is. His actions are clearly very bad.

Until the trial is over, and due process decides how much mad or bad he is: it's prudent that he receive care.

Also if it transpires that he is mostly bad: then I would suggest donating him to medical science.

cYp
 

perprojustice

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I suppose he needs one at this stage. A bit late but necessary. It may help to get to the root of the reason for doing what he has done and this in turn may help identify others who may be on the same mission.

I think that the enormity of what he has done is only now being realised by him. This is evident from the fact that previously he did not hide his face and now he hides behind a binder cover in shame.
 

Andrew49

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He can't be insane, in the medical sense, after all he's able to plead innocence or guilt ?
 

Christine Murray

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maybe its par for the course to ensure that he doesn't suicide until he faces his child in court. her chance to give testimony and watch him get justice may be a healing thing. lts a powerful thing in a process of recovery to be heard in that arena. she should not be denied that if he attempts suicide.
 

GDPR

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He built a bunker to keep his captives locked up in. That requires a measure of sanity and planning in order to premeditate and organise. During every step of his evil planned actions he had the choice to stop. He managed to fool all his neighbours, friends and colleagues (if he had them) outside in the real world for years. That also requires some measure of sanity so how would he be insane ? My verdict would be that of 'manipulating psychopath.' I just wonder how the legal system anywhere as it exists currently can provide a deterrent for these people ?
 

Christine Murray

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understood, but the story requires that the victim and perp meet in the legal arena. he denied her a childhood it is possible a final act of cowardice will suppress her right to fair hearing.
 

Andrew49

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Agreed, apparently his hearing of Elizabeth's evidence yesterday made him change his plea to guilty and his expression of regret.

Fritzl's lawyer suggested his change of heart came as a result of the psychological impact of yesterday's gruelling court session, in which he watched a recording of Elisabeth giving evidence.
Guardian
 

GDPR

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'expressions of regret' are often cynically used by sociopaths and psychopaths in courtrooms and indeed also in politics. When said in a courtroom it will be to ensure his punishment is less severe than where no 'expression of regret' was given. The guilty plea (since what he did is obvious to a blind man), I would see as another cynical legal move and often happening for similar reasons as the 'expression of regret.'
 

pete2

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Incredibly sad situation, too sad for words, I hope the children can achieve something we might consider 'normal' after all this.
 

L.O. Dublin S.C.

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Agreed, apparently his hearing of Elizabeth's evidence yesterday made him change his plea to guilty and his expression of regret.

Guardian
Regret that he got caught. He knew he was screwed so he kicked for touch. He should rot away in some small cell.
 

GDPR

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I hate to think about how easy Fritzls' sentence will be compared to even the first day of his victims captivity. I think we need to look long and hard at providing a suitable deterrent against crime for these kinds of people. Decades kept artifically alive in a dark, damp, sound-proofed and cramped coffin like cell hanging from manacles on bread and water with no human contact would be a more fitting deterrent to people like Fritzl than what I expect he will get.
Now that he is caught, he will love being well fed in the safety and comfort of some clean and bright segregated cell in prison in much better conditions than his victims lived in, knowing that noone there can bring revenge against him and that the state will treat him with kid gloves so long as he feigns remorse and seeks therapy. There will of course be no genuine remorse for the victims. Being discovered did not make Fritzl a better person. Fritzl lived cheerfully every day for decades with the knowledge of his crimes, was caught by accident and was only sorry he got caught. He will of course do what is in his own best interests by feigning remorse just as cynically as he feigned normality while his children suffered underground.
 

20000miles

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It is not clear how much of mad or bad he is. His actions are clearly very bad.

Until the trial is over, and due process decides how much mad or bad he is: it's prudent that he receive care.

Also if it transpires that he is mostly bad: then I would suggest donating him to medical science.

cYp
I agree. Something like this is in order:

 

Andrew49

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understood, but the story requires that the victim and perp meet in the legal arena. he denied her a childhood it is possible a final act of cowardice will suppress her right to fair hearing.
Elie Godsi wrote
In more than 20 years of working with violent and sexual offenders and their victims I have rarely come across such a change of plea. It could be that Josef Fritzl is trying to elicit some sympathy by showing a “human face” and by pleading remorse at the same time as admitting his guilt: to show he is not just a “monster”. It may be that Fritzl realises, given that he is already in his early seventies, that he is very unlikely ever to be released and therefore continuing to plead not guilty will make no difference when he is sentenced. It is very common for serial offenders in such prolonged situations of distorted and brutalised intimacy to convince themselves that they were not being cruel and that their victims were willing and complicit in their crimes.

To hear Elisabeth Fritzl speak openly about her experiences and feelings could well have burst that bubble of denial. We have also heard about his own brutalised childhood: in all likelihood this will be the first time that he has ever spoken about this and this in turn may have helped him to gain some empathy with his daughter’s plight. Remarkable as it may seem, it could be that the full extent of his depravity may not have occurred to him before.

Victims of such extreme and prolonged abuse will always find being in court and facing their abusers extremely distressing. Indeed, providing video evidence as Ms Fritzl has done is one way of avoiding this trauma. So it may seem strange that she has apparently chosen to be present. Coping with being in the same room as her father again provides an opportunity for powerful psychological gains. The most important element will be to realise that she is no longer powerless in relation to this man: this will be the first time that she will have been in the same room as him when he cannot control or harm her.
Elie Godsi is a consultant clinical psychologist and author of Violence and Society: Making Sense of Madness and Badness
 
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