Natascha Kampusch

Natascha Kampusch was only ten years old when she was abducted and kept in a cellar for eight years. Natascha’s family life at the time was struggling, her parents were separated, her parents would slap her and she even contemplated suicide the day of her abduction. She would claim afterwards however that her parents were not abusive.

Natascha left for school on March 2nd, 1998, but failed to return home. Her abductor, Wolfgang Přiklopil, kept her in a cellar under his garage. It was hidden behind a cupboard, and reinforced with steel. She wasn’t allowed to leave the tiny space, although she would later be let into the upstairs of the house; she was to sleep and stay in the cellar when Přiklopil was at work. Eventually, she was seen outside and in the garden alone, appearing content, relaxed, and even happy. After her 18th birthday, she was allowed to leave the house with Přiklopil, however was threatened with death if she made a noise about being abducted. Her time was spent doing housework and cleaning for Přiklopil. He would beat her so badly she couldn’t walk, let alone escape, and would starve her. Kampusch would say later that Přiklopil had even raped her.

She attempted to escape several times in her youth and would attempt to draw attention to herself when she was out with Přiklopil, but none of her attempts were successful. One day when Přiklopil left to take a call while she was vacuuming his van, she left the vacuum running and ran until she wound up at the house of a 71 year old neighbor and told them who she was. She was identified and taken to the police station.

Later, Kampusch said in the documentary Natascha Kampusch: 3096 days in captivity, "I feel more and more sorry for him – he's a poor soul". According to police, she "cried inconsolably" when she was told that he had killed himself, and she lit a candle for him at the morgue. She has, however, referred to her captor as a "criminal".