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Josef Fritzl divorces wife for failing to visit him in prison

Fritz had kept his daughter in a basement for 24 years and, through repeated rape, had fathered seven children with her. His ex-wife, Rosemarie, will no longer be able to access his pension.

File photo
File photo
Image: Hans Punz/AP/Press Association Images

Josef Fritzl, the Austrian who fathered seven children with his own daughter in a homemade dungeon, has divorced his wife of 55 years because she has never visited him in prison, a press report said today.

The divorce, which was legally approved a few weeks ago, means that Rosemarie Fritzl can no longer draw on her 77-year-old ex-husband’s pension, the Austrian weekly News reported.

Contacted by AFP, the divorce lawyer reportedly hired by Fritzl to file for the separation, Nikolaus Rast, declined to comment.

News also said that Rosemarie has not replied to Fritzl’s many letters to her.

Fritzl kept his and Rosemarie’s daughter Elisabeth prisoner in the basement of the family house in Amstetten, central Austria, for 24 years, raping her thousands of times and fathering seven children.

One of the children died as a baby. Three of the surviving children were brought to live with Fritzl and Rosemarie while the other three spent their entire lives in the dungeon, never seeing daylight.

The ordeal ended only in April 2008 when the eldest child (19) fell severely ill and Elisabeth begged Fritzl to bring her to hospital. Doctors became suspicious and alerted the police.

The case drew worldwide attention and Fritzl was found guilty in March 2009 of murdering the baby through negligence, as well as of rape, incest and sequestration, and sent to a secure mental institution for life.

Rosemarie was never charged with any crime.

News also reported that Fritzl is popular with fellow prisoners.

- © AFP, 2012

Read: “I dream of getting out of here alive” – a defiant Josef Fritzl gives his first interview >

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