• Austria's news in English
Kidnapper Priklopil filmed cellar girl naked
Natascha Kampusch appearing on a German TV show in 2013. Photo: EPA/PAUL ZINKEN

Kidnapper Priklopil filmed cellar girl naked

The Local · 21 Mar 2016, 13:13

Published: 21 Mar 2016 13:13 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

She told police he had kept her in the cellar for more than eight years until she escaped in 2006, but it later transpired that he had increasingly allowed her into the main house where he kept her confined.

The videotape was one of the few items of technology found in the house. Although he was an electronics technician and his house was fitted with cables for the latest gadgetry, items that should have been attached to the cables had been ripped from the walls.

It was also revealed that police had stopped watching the house after they were told that he was dead, and a friend of his had been allowed to enter the property and remove certain items.

All that was left was a Commodore 64 computer, and there were no memory cards or any more sophisticated machinery. There was also a Canon MV-5 video camera, three MiniDV cassettes and between six and eight VHS cassettes, some of them were marked up as ‘Christmas’ or ‘Easter’ or ‘Birthday’ with a year. One other video also showed Wolfgang Priklopil skiing with another man.

The existence of the videos was revealed by one of the former investigators, who said that they had found videocassettes when searching the house which showed recordings from Christmas and Easter as well as birthday parties that the kidnapper had organised for Natascha. All of the videos were shot in the house, some of them even showing her doing gymnastic exercises.

Humbly obey

In the videos, he referred to her as "slave" and it includes scenes where for example he says to her: "Humbly obey, always be loving, always obey, and remember to be humble".

In other scenes he describes her as fat, and the videos document how he starved her to the point of exhaustion, yet still expected her to perform a punishing list of chores around the house including helping with rebuilding work.

Kampusch in 2011. Photo: EPA/PACO CAMPOS

The details of the video have been published five months before the 10th anniversary of her escape in a book by journalist Peter Reichard. He believes that Priklopil was not a pedophile, and argues that it was clear that the police messed up the opportunity for solving the case at the start by ignoring a key tip from one of their own officers.

The man, a police dog handler, had told his superiors that Priklopil was a suspect although his personal opinion was that Priklopil was a pervert with a preference for young girls, but the tipoff had nonetheless been ignored.


Nevertheless the existence of the videos offers a new insight into the young woman's daily existence, much of which involved recording birthdays, Christmas and Easter holidays. She was also allowed to make a wish on these occasions, after which he would drive off and buy whatever she had requested.

The items chosen where then laid on the table, carefully wrapped, and she was allowed to open them while he filmed.

On one occasion, she was given an English book, and exclaimed in childlike delight: "An English book, now I can finally start writing English vocabulary."

He clearly enjoys it, but spoils it by telling her to be careful how she unwraps the present because he wants to use the same paper for the next gift. He is then seen folding it carefully to be used again.

According to extracts published by Bild daily, one video showed Natascha at age 12 "naked, undernourished, her ribs visible" being forced to run up and down a staircase.

Another video shows her with shaven head and given only a single slice of bread to eat as her sadistic captor yells insults at her, demanding "a glass of water, you dumb cow".

Reichard wrote the book with the consent of Kampusch, who has also written about her experience and given several television interviews.

Another image shows Christmas 2005, the last Christmas they were to spend together. She is seen decorating the tree, Christmas candles burning, and she can be seen gathering one of the bells on the tree and shaking it.

Still a teenager, who was soon to be 18, in the camera she seems like a young girl. "Already Christmas", she can be seen saying with a smile. She admires the decorations, commenting on each one, and Priklopil can then be heard demanding that she sings, she breaks out into Silent Night.

The video footage indicates that as a young woman Natascha was filmed almost always naked, clearly undernourished, and speaking in an artificially developed form of German which had come from spending too much time isolated from other humans other than the kidnapper.

Story continues below…

Brutal beatings

The housework that she had to do included cooking and cleaning and despite being undernourished she also had to help with building work. It included a dangerous job cleaning a well shaft which if she had fallen, would have meant she drowned as there was no way for him to reach her.

During the meals that she cooked for him she had to sit and watch him eat, and only on birthdays was he generous in allowing her to eat more food, including birthday cake. She said however that the cake slice was as thin as a razor blade. The hunger was so great at times, that she would cut pictures from supermarket flyers and paste them onto paper to create imaginary menus.

As well as the starvation he used to beat her brutally, and verbally abuse her constantly in order to try and keep control over her. He also claimed that the house was surrounded by explosives and alarms in order to stop her attempting to escape.

Kampusch wrote an autobiography that was also later made into a film called 3,096 Days and currently lives in the Austrian capital Vienna, where she often complains about feeling isolated and described herself as living a life like a hermit crab.

The film based on her book shows that he had tried to break her by initially keeping her in the cellar, before offering her ever greater access to the house as a reward which included introducing her to his mother, taking her on a skiing holiday and to the local shops.

The BBC recently screened a five-part story called Thirteen about a young girl kidnapped and kept in a cellar for 13 years.

Story courtesy of Central European News

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Austrian policeman sentenced over 'Heil Hitler' salute
Photo: Flickr

A policeman in Austria was sentenced on Thursday for shouting "Heil Hitler" at a driver during a traffic check at the Hungarian border in April.

Scary clown craze endangers crucial work of clown 'doctors'
Photo: Bojan Tavcar

Within the last couple weeks, disturbing events involving masked individuals has caught public attention in Austria.

Chimney sweep rescues lost mushroom picker
Photo: James Lindsey/Wikimedia

A 76-year-old Austrian man who went out mushroom picking almost froze to death after getting lost and spending the night in the forest.

Refugees sold into forced prostitution
File photo: UNHCR

Female refugees are being sold into forced prostitution in Austria, a police investigation into human trafficking has found.

Driverless bus takes a spin around Salzburg's old town
The Arma driverless shuttle bus. Photo: Navya

A driverless minibus has made a test journey in the city of Salzburg.

No jail time for asylum seeker who dumped baby in road
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A man who grabbed his own child and dumped her in the middle of a busy road has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Freedom Party leader may face hate speech charges
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The leader of Austria’s Freedom Party may face charges of “hate speech” for posts made by other users on his Facebook page.

The Local List
Five Austrian films we promise won't make you depressed
Still from the comedy Was hat uns bloß so ruiniert.

With the Viennale film festival opening on Thursday, we thought it’s time to take a look at the best of Austrian cinema.

Clown scares passengers at Vienna’s Praterstern station
Generic photo: Graeme Maclean/Flick

The first “scary clown” has been spotted in Vienna - at the Praterstern train and metro station which is a known hotspot for crime and addicts.

Up to 90 percent of failed asylum seekers 'not deported'
Refugees and migrants arriving in Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A.McConnell

Up to 90 percent of failed asylum seekers are not being deported from Austria because their countries of origin will not agree to readmit them.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available