Three “secret” children lock­ed in the basement never saw the light of day until they were freed a few days ago.

A retired electrician has confessed to imprisoning his daughter for 24 years and fathering seven children with her in a windowless cell sealed by an electronic keyless-entry system, police said yesterday.

One of the children died in infancy and was tossed into the furnace of what stunned Austrians have labelled a “house of horrors.”


The suspect — identified as Josef Fritzl, 73 — owned the apartment building in Amstetten, a working class town west of the capital, lived there with his family, and rented units to relatives.

Fritzl “managed to deceive everyone,” including his wife, Rosemarie, who apparently was unaware of the existence of the children in the cellar. He had seven other children with Rosemarie.

Fritzl faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on rape charges.

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