VIENNA, Austria – A man who allegedly held his daughter captive for 24 years and fathered her seven children said his family led a "completely normal family life," the Daily Mail reported.
Josef Fritzl told an Austrian psychologist he was trying to protect his daughter Elisabeth from herself.
'It was in the summer of 1984 that I found my daughter lying totally apathetic in bed," he told the doctor in an interview leaked to a magazine, the Mail reported. "She had been sniffing cleaning fluids and I decided I should talk with her in my cellar. We did that but she reacted to my accusations with a couldn’t-care-less attitude. A dreadful anger developed in me and out of this anger I decided to lock her up."
"And because in the coming days she showed no improvement in her attitude, I decided to keep her locked up," the 73-year-old reportedly said, according to the British newspaper.
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Prosecutors charged Fritzl in November with murder for refusing to arrange medical treatment for the seventh child, who died in infancy. He also faces charges of rape, incest, false imprisonment and enslavement.
His trial is expected to begin March 16.
Fritze believes he was a "good provider" for his family, the Mail reported.
'We celebrated many occasions together - Christmas, Easter and birthdays. And the little ones had a lot of books, and also pets; fish and a budgie," he reportedly said, according to the Mail. "They didn’t miss anything as I really tried to make their life in captivity as pleasant as possible. We played, we chatted, we laughed in the cellar, we actually led a completely normal family life."
Investigators say Fritzl has confessed to imprisoning and raping his daughter Elisabeth — now in her 40s — in soundproofed, windowless cellar rooms he built beneath his home starting in 1984, shortly after she turned 18. The crime became known in April.