Austrian girl says she mourns her captor
An 18-year-old Austrian woman who escaped last week after being held hostage for eight years praised growing up in isolation and said she mourned her dead captor.
In a letter read to the media by her psychiatrist Max Friedrich, Natascha Kampusch provided a few details about her ordeal.
Kampusch said she understood the impact her case has made on people but she asked journalists to leave her alone for awhile, saying she will determine when she wants to speak to the media.
Police said Monday they had only begun to question Kampusch about her March 1998 abduction at age 10 by Wolfgang Priklopil, who killed himself within hours of her escape by throwing himself in front of a commuter train.
Since her escape, she has had only a brief reunion with her mother and father. In an interview, her mother asked that she be allowed to see her daughter.
Authorities have said they are not keeping the parents away from their daughter, as Kampusch herself suggests she wants to keep contactlimited.
"Currently, I feel good where I am, perhaps a little bit patronized. But that's how I decided that I want to only stay in touch with my family over the phone," she said.
She also denied reports that she burst into tears upon learning that Priklopil had been killed but admitted she was grieving his loss.
"In my view his death was unnecessary. A penalty would not have been the end of the world. He was a part of my life and this is why I am, in a way, mourning him."
Kampusch acknowledges her childhood was different from others, but said her situation also saved her some of the problems associated with youth.
"Generally I don't have the feeling I missed anything. I spared myself many things, I did not start smoking or drinking, and I did not hang out in bad company."
She appears to defend her living quarters, which have been described as small and dungeon-like, and criticizes thatthe roomhas been shown to the public.
"My room was well enough furnished. It was my room and not meant to be shown in public," she said,adding that Priklopil and she furnished the room together.
She described her daily life as regulated, consisting of household chores, reading, watching television, talking and cooking.
"That's what it was like for years. Everything connected with the fear of loneliness."
Kampusch also denied reports that she was forced to call Priklopil "master," even though he "quasi-wanted" her to.
"He was not my master. I was just as strong. But— to give you a metaphor — he carried me in his arms but also trampled me underfoot. But he took on the wrong one [person] — and he and I both knew that."
Kampusch said she escaped while she was vacuuming his car and he left because of the noise.
"That was my opportunity, I simply left the vacuum cleaner running."
Investigators have been trying to determine whether Priklopil had an accomplice. But Kampusch suggested that Prikopil acted alone.
"He carried out the kidnapping by himself. Everything was already prepared," she said.
With files from the Associated Press