It seems that many knew of the crimes of Joseph Fritzl, but remained silent. This is an oft told story when it comes to abuse and it merits a deep meditation on evil and how if we do not confont it, we become silent accomplices--corporate sin, think about that when you recite the Confiteor..."in what I have failed to do." From The Sydney Morning Herald:
EVIDENCE of how a wall of silence hid the crimes of Joseph Fritzl is
mounting as it was revealed that his abuse of his daughter Elisabeth as a
teenager was an open secret among people who knew the family.
at the family house and school friends of Elisabeth admitted on Saturday that
they heard she was being sexually abused and mistreated, yet none contacted
authorities before or after she disappeared.
Joseph Leitner, a former lodger,
said that shortly after he moved in, he learnt that she had been repeatedly
raped by her father.
"I had a good friend from school who was really close to
Elisabeth," said Mr Leitner, who lived at the house in the small Austrian town
of Amstetten between 1990 and 1994. - "She confided in me, and told me what a
monster Josef was - and what he had done to Elisabeth.
"But I decided I did
not want to get involved. I did not want to get kicked out of the flat, I did
not want to lose it. I kept myself to myself."