Monday, August 28, 2006

Kampusch Escapes

Natascha Kampusch, an eighteen year old woman, escaped from her captor of eight years. She had been snatched off the street in Austria when she was ten years old on her way to school. Her kidnapper, Wolfgang Priklopil, kept her in a small cell and rarely let her out for the first seven years of her captivity. Over the last year, she was allowed more freedom. Last Wednesday, she finally escaped from him, as he was preoccupied on his cell phone. Shortly thereafter, Priklopil committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a train. I'm pretty sure we all know where he'll be spending eternity.

This poor young woman wept bitterly when she was told of his suicide. Specialists believe she is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome in which a victim identifies with his captor as a mechanism for dealing with an unbearable situation. They believe she feels guilt over his death because her escape led to his response.

Google her name and you'll find countless stories about this young woman. I've read so many that I cannot begin to give one source for the information here. Many articles are very similar. There was one, however, that I wish I could find again because it contained an especially stupid statement. It said something to the effect that Priklopil killed himself because he had finally come to terms with what he had done and felt so bad about it that he wanted to die. I don't think so! More likely he knew that if they caught him he would be forced to live in a cell much like the one he had forced Kampusch to live in (although it would be much more spacious) and decided he'd rather be dead. He took an easy way out. Is that a good thing?

Hat tip to Cao's Blog where I first saw this story, though I was too busy to follow up until now.

2 Comments:

At 8/28/2006 12:56 PM, Blogger Sam said...

I actually think that it's a pity that he killed himself because he won't be getting justice.
I also wrote in my blog that because she is has stockholm syndrome, she is not capable of deciding whether she should see her parents or not and therefore she should really be under her parens juristiction - not under the police.

 
At 8/28/2006 5:31 PM, Anonymous Andy said...

Well, he won't be getting justice from us, but I don't personally see a great deal of difference there.

I'm pretty sure people don't just commit suicide to avoid the long arm of the law. It seems like this man was just an incredibly disturbed individual.

 

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