Where is Rosemarie Fritzl Now, Did She Know What Was Happening?

Profile summary of Rosemarie Fritzl
  • Name: Rosemarie Fritzl
  • Date of birth: September 23, 1939
  • Age: 84
  • Nationality: Austrian
  • Religion: Christian
  • Parents: N/A
  • Occupation: N/A

Rosemarie Fritzl is the ex-wife of Josef Fritzl, the man who imprisoned his daughter, Elisabeth Fritzl in the basement of their home for 24 years, raping and abusing her from the age of 18. Elisabeth eventually gave birth to seven children all fathered by Josef who never allowed Rosemarie anywhere near the basement.

After his evil deeds got exposed 24 years later, the long arm of the law dealt with Josef who received a life imprisonment sentence, but what of Rosemarie Fritzl, what happened to the mother of Elisabeth, was she an accomplice in her husband’s crime, and where is she presently? All the answers are provided below.

Who was Josef Fritzl’s wife Rosemarie?

Rosemarie Fritzl was born on the 23rd of September 1939 in Austria. Rosemarie’s place of birth is an indication that she is of Austrian nationality but her ethnicity is white. Nothing is known about the octogenarian’s parents but she has a sister who goes by the name of Christine Renner. Rosemarie is a Christian by religious inclination.

Rosemarie is Josef Fritzl’s ex-wife

Rosemarie Fritzl
Rosemarie and Josef image source

Rosemarie Fritzl became the wife of Josef Fritzl in 1956 at the young age of 17 when her spouse was 21. Together, the couple has seven children – five daughters and two sons and resided in Josef’s house in Amstetten. One of the daughters born to the duo is Elisabeth Fritzl.

The Fritzl household seemed to run on oiled wheels until 1984 when their daughter Elisabeth Fritzl disappeared without a trace. For the ensuing 24 years, Rosemarie bought Josef’s story that Elisabeth ran away to join a religious cult, but all the while, the girl was held in captivity by her own father in the basement of their home.

How Josef Fritzl abducted and held his daughter captive for 24 years

On August 28th, 1984, Josef Fritzl who had previously converted their basement into a sound-proof prison lured Elisabeth into it. That marked the last day the 18-year-old girl would see the sun for the next 24 years. She lived in total darkness, handcuffed to a metal pole by Josef who only visited the basement to feed and also rape the girl.

Earlier in January 1983, Elisabeth ran away from home to Vienna but was brought back by the authorities after three weeks. Josef used the incident as a cover-up when he told Rosemarie Fritzl that their daughter had absconded again to join a cult.

Rosemarie filed a missing person report, looking for her purportedly missing daughter all to no avail. Elisabeth eventually gave birth to seven children sired by Josef in the basement, she raised three, three were given to Rosemarie to raise, and one died a few days after delivery (Josef burned the body of the dead baby in the basement’s incinerator).

While in her father’s captivity, Elisabeth was compelled by her rapist dad to write letters to Rosemarie telling her to assist in raising the children which Josef normally brings home with the pretense that Elisabeth abandoned them by their doorstep. The three children who were brought up by Rosemarie are Alexander (b. 1996), Monica (b. 1994), Lisa, (born 1992)

Rosemarie wasn’t privy to what was happening

According to Rosemarie Fritzl, her husband didn’t allow her anywhere near the cellar or basement and she never entered there for one day. In fact, she was forbidden to go in that direction. It was only Josef that paid irregular visits to the basement which he explained as “engineering work”. Thus, Rosemarie lived in the same house with Elisabeth, raising three of her children, fathered by her own husband and Elisabeth’s father without an inkling of what was going on.

The story was too preposterous that the police found it difficult to believe. More so, Elisabeth said the abuses from Josef started when she was barely 11. Recounting how Rosemarie allowed Josef back into the family after he served a jail term for rape, no one blamed Elisabeth Fritzl for not buying her mother’s plea of innocence.

Elisabeth Fritzl thinks Rosemarie didn’t try hard enough to find her and she was seen as a mother by her children instead of a grandmother. As a result of this distrust, Elisabeth sent Rosemarie away from the shelter of the psychiatric clinic provided for the family.

Where is Rosemarie Fritzl now?

After Josef was taken into police custody, he pleaded guilty as charged and got a life jail term. Rosemarie, Elisabeth, and the children moved to an undisclosed location to commence intense therapy in a bid to be able to deal with their gory situation.

In 2012, Rosemarie Fritzl and Josef got divorced after she refused to visit the villain in prison. The entire Fritzl family members, including Rosemarie, were given new identities to ensure their privacy and protection, and following this, she moved to Linz, Austria to live alone in an apartment.

The aggrieved matriarch of the Fritzl family is said to be living a modest life, surviving on her meager pension, and making some extra bucks through the sale of paintings and handcrafted products.

Like her embittered daughter, Elisabeth, Rosemarie completely cut off from her ex-husband and has managed to resolve all her differences with Elisabeth. Mother and daughter now spend quality time together and Elisabeth’s children that were brought up by Rosemarie now visit their grandmother. Rosemarie once visited Josef’s dungeon to get supplies for Elisabeth and her kids after his imprisonment.

Read Also: Where’s Colin Caffell Now? Inside The White House Farm Murders

Rosemarie Fritzl faced abuse at Josef’s hands

Even before he abducted Elisabeth, Josef already had a criminal record as a convicted rapist; he once held a gun to a sleeping nurse and raped the health worker, telling the woman not to tell the police if she didn’t want to get killed.

Though Rosemarie never came out to talk about her life with Josef, her sister Christine filled in for the octogenarian, narrating how Josef took what she referred to as “sadistic pleasure in humiliating Rosemarie” in public. According to Christine, Josef enjoyed telling her sister off before people and had some really crude and dirty jokes that he usually laughed loudly about.

Christine said the situation was so embarrassing, they all got to know that the couple hadn’t had any sexual relationship with each other for many years. Josef also had the habit of beating up his children even when they just played outside. In fact, he was a terrorist to his entire family, but Elisabeth got the worst end of the stick.

Christine’s account was also corroborated by the caregiver attending to Elisabeth who spoke in an interview session with Daily Mail. According to the carer, Rosemarie was brutalized by Josef’s tyrannical rule. The man was just too controlling and made life a living hell for his family.

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