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10 Brave Victims Who Escaped Their Kidnappers

2. Tanya Kach

After a burst of home troubles including parental divorce, Tanya was a depressed 13-year-old girl. She became secluded from school life and needed a friendly ear, which is exactly what the school security man, Thomas Hose, provided. After he had swayed her using cigarettes and sweets, Tanya agreed to run away with him, not knowing that what lay ahead was a life of misery.

Hose had taken Tanya to the house he still shared with his parents, keeping her locked in his bedroom cupboard with a bucket as a toilet. After 4 years of rarely being allowed out, he introduced her to his parents as ‘Nikki’ his new girlfriend, and was then ‘allowed’ to move in. After an outing to a local deli, Tanya told the shop owner who she really was and was later rescued by police. Thomas is currently serving 15 years in prison.

1. Elisabeth Fritzl

This notorious case is certainly an unbelievable one. Once Elisabeth Fritzl had turned the age of 18 in 1984, she had vanished. Nobody knew where she went, only that she had run away and her father had letters from Elisabeth as proof. While her family and friends believed this lie, the truth was a completely different story.

Her father, Joseph Fritzl had chained her to a wall in the basement of the family home, repeatedly sexually abusing and beating her. Locked up for 25 years, she had given birth to seven of his children, not all of which survived.

In 2008, Elisabeth pleaded with her father to be taken to the hospital after she fell critically ill. On April 26, Fritzl released her from the cellar where she was treated. Dr. Albert Reiter at the hospital had received a tip-off about Elisabeth, she wouldn’t talk to anyone until promised she would never have to see her father again – once the promise was made she spoke of her 24 years in captivity. Fritzl was then detained by the police.

As of 19 March 2009, Josef Fritzl is serving his life sentence at Garsten Abbey, a former monastery in Upper Austria, that has been converted into a prison for the criminally insane.

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