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File photo of Natasha Kampusch. AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer/PA Images
Natasha Kampusch

Questions over 'lone perpetrator' theory of Austrian girl's kidnapping

The chairman of the Austrian committee inquiring into the 1998 abduction of Natasha Kampusch says it’s hard to believe Wolfgang Priklopil acted alone.

THE HEAD OF AN Austrian parliamentary committee investigating the abduction of an Austrian girl who was held captive in a cellar for eight-and-a-half years has said that her captor may not have acted alone.

Natascha Kampusch was ten years old when she was kidnapped on her way to school in 1998 and taken to a house in the Viennese suburbs where she was held captive by Wolfgang Priklopil in a 5-by-5 metre cellar.

She managed to escape from the house while he was distracted on the phone in August 2006, and he reportedly subsequently killed himself by lying down in front of a train.

Der Spiegel reports that the committee investigation has raised questions over whether Priklopil really acted alone – and whether he really took his own life. Committee Werner Amon told the publication that he found it difficult to believe that one person acted alone.

Questions have been raised about Priklopil’s death because photographs of his body show that apart from a severed head, the remains are virtually intact, while experts say more damage would be expected in such a case.

The committee’s report is due out next month.

Kampusch published a book about her ordeal in 2010 in which she criticised police for failing to rescue her when they contacted Priklopil just days after her disappearance. He was interviewed at the time, but police failed to investigate his lack of an alibi any further or to examine the vehicle he used to kidnap the child.

In this interview with RTL, Kampusch spoke of the difficulties in adapting to normal life after her years of captivity and abuse. She also spoke of the coping mechanisms she developed to deal with living in the cramped conditions of Priklopil’s cellar:

(Video via emotionsickness777)

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