All I've ever wanted is to make a difference in someone's life.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Disturbed people

(CNN) -- Police, medical professionals and those who know Josef Fritzl are struggling to piece together how he led a double life for more than two decades in a small Austrian town.

Fritzl, 73, admitted imprisoning his daughter in the cellar of this building for more than two decades. Those who knew Fritzl describe him in such contrasting terms -- friendly, reclusive, arrogant, a kindly grandfather -- that it seems no one really knew him at all.

At his home on Ybbsstrasse in the quiet town of Amstetten, east of Vienna, the 73-year-old retired electrician lived with his wife, Rosemarie, and the three children he has admitted to fathering with his daughter.

In addition to those three children, Fritzl fathered four other children with the now 42-year-old daughter daughter he kept imprisoned in the cellar, police said. The children were products of years of sexual assault Fritzl inflicted on her, police said. Two boys and a teenage girl were locked up with their mother in a basement dungeon. A seventh child he fathered with his daughter died, and Fritzl burned the infant's body, police said.

The three children who were locked up had not ever seen the light of day, investigators said.
Fritzl had been lying to his wife for years, telling her his daughter had dropped off the three children at the house because she could not take care of them, police said. In reality, Fritzl had forced his imprisoned daughter to write letters that made it seem that way. Police say Fritzl's wife was unaware of the other children in the cellar.

It was a deception he maintained from 1984 until just days ago.
Rosemarie Fritzl was unaware of her husband's crimes, police spokesman Franz Polzer said.
"Let me also add that we know the suspect not only possessed an increased sexual potency, he's also very dynamic, imperious and quite authoritarian in his conduct and relationship to his existing family," Polzer said Monday.

Polzer added that Fritzl made clear to his wife and the children living with them that the basement area was out of bounds. He bought food for his captives and took it to them at night.
Medical professionals have also offered their interpretations of Fritzl.

"What is chilling about this case is the cold, sociopathic detachment that Josef F[ritzl] went through year after year, decades even, to hide his crimes," said clinical psychologist Dr. Kristina Downing-Orr. "It was as if there was no remorse, no empathy for his daughter, for his grandchildren, for his wife. That's what's chilling."

She said Fritzl, who his daughter has said abused her beginning at the age of 11, possibly didn't want the relationship to end when she turned 18. So he imprisoned her.

"It's that chilling sociopathic methodology, that kind of logic, that I find particularly chilling," she continued. "But fortunately, it's very rare; we rarely see that kind of behavior."

Sick People

(CNN) -- Investigators are looking into the possible sexual abuse of some of the boys taken from a polygamist sect's ranch in Texas and into how several children apparently suffered broken bones while there, officials said Wednesday.

Suspicions of sexual abuse are based on interviews with the children and journal entries found at the Yearning For Zion ranch, the state's Child Protective Services agency said.
The compound is owned by the Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Mormon offshoot that practices polygamy.

But an FLDS spokesman blasted the department, saying it was unethical of CPS to leak information without any legitimate evidence. "They don't have any evidence that there's abuse, and neither do I," Rod Parker said at a news conference in Salt Lake City, Utah -- home to the sect. "CPS is trying to grab headlines ... and insulate themselves from fair and justified criticism on the way they have treated this case." Law enforcement and child welfare officials raided the ranch this month, acting on phone calls alleging physical and sexual abuse, and took more than 460 children and teens into state custody.

Parker blamed CPS for the problems, saying that birth certificates were seized in the raid and that the department often rejects the documents to classify more children as minors.
Meanwhile, CPS Commissioner Carey Cockerell briefed the state Senate Health and Human Services committee Wednesday on the case but did not provide details on the possibility of sexual abuse. He did say that investigators had identified 41 children who had sustained broken or fractured bones at the ranch. "Several of these fractures have been found in very young children, and several [children] have multiple fractures," he said.

CPS said on its Web site that the department does "not have X-rays or complete medical information on many children, so it is too early to draw any conclusions based on this information," but "it is cause for concern and something we'll continue to examine."

Sunday, April 20, 2008

OMG it's finally over!

Well somehow midterms merged into finals and I lost all track of time.

The first thing to go was the Blog. Last week I had five final projects due, and then came down with some flu-type thing.

Anyway, I have the next week left off from school and I'm VERY happy about that!

So, I will be able to play some poker. Something I have not done in forever.