Secrets in the Cellar

A True Story of the Austrian Incest Case that Shocked the World

by John Glatt

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780312947866
  • 9781429967563

Josef Fritzl was a 73-year-old retired engineer in Austria. He seemed to be living a normal life with his wife, Rosemarie, and their family—though one daughter, Elisabeth, had decades earlier been "lost" to a religious cult. Throughout the years, three of Elisabeth's children mysteriously appeared on the Fritzls' doorstep; Josef and Rosemarie raised them as their own. But only Josef knew the truth about Elisabeth's disappearance…

For twenty-seven years, Josef had imprisoned and molested Elisabeth in his man-made basement dungeon, complete with sound-proof paneling and code-protected electric locks. There, she would eventually give birth to a total of seven of Josef's children. One died in infancy—and the other three were raised alongside Elisabeth, never to see the light of day.

Then, in 2008, one of Elisabeth's children became seriously ill, and was taken to the hospital. It was the first time the nineteen-year-old girl had ever gone outside—and soon, the truth about her background, her family's captivity, and Josef's unspeakable crimes would come to light.
John Glatt's Secrets in the Cellar is the true story of a crime that shocked the world.


  • St. Martin's Press; March 2009
  • ISBN: 9781429967563
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: Secrets in the Cellar
  • Author: John Glatt
  • Imprint: St. Martin's True Crime
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780312947866
  • 9781429967563

About The Author

English-born John Glatt is the author of Lost and Found, Playing with Fire, and many other bestselling books of true crime. He has more than 30 years of experience as an investigative journalist in England and America. Glatt left school at 16 and worked a variety of jobs-including tea boy and messenger-before joining a small weekly newspaper. He freelanced at several English newspapers, then in 1981 moved to New York, where he joined the staff for News Limited and freelanced for publications including Newsweek and the New York Post. His first book, a biography of Billy Graham, was published in 1981, and he published For I Have Sinned, his first book of true crime, in 1998. He has appeared on television and radio programs all over the world, including Dateline NBC, Fox News, A Current Affair, BBC World News, and A&E Biography. He and his wife Gail divide their time between New York City, the Catskill Mountains and London.

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780312947866
  • 9781429967563