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Kidnapped girl says enslavement saved her from smoking, drinking, bad friends
OhmyNews brief (qiang)     Print Article 
Published 2006-08-29 00:42 (KST)   
The Austrian girl who was kidnapped at the age of ten and imprisoned for eight years in a dungeon-like basement room by a pedophile predator who committed suicide when she escaped last week is now defending him to the press and public.

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In a letter addressed to "distinguished journalists, reporters and very distinguished public around the world," Natascha Kampusch, now 18, asserts her right to privacy, maintains that she was her kidnapper's equal rather than his victim and expresses sadness over his "unnecessary" death.

By a particularly twisted logic that may indicate she is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome--the condition under which a hostage comes to identify and sympathize with his or her captor--Kampusch goes so far as to claim that her enslavement "spared" her from "so much," including "smoking, drinking and bad friends."

"I don't have the feeling I missed anything," she says of her stolen childhood.

Kampusch also defended her captor and presumed sexual abuser, Wolfgang Priklopil, 44, whom she generally refers to as "him" in the letter but twice calls by his first name, "Wolfgang."

She seems to have taken particular offense at reports that Priklopil was her "master" (Gebieter), a name that he had demanded she call him by.

"He was not my master ... I never called him master, although he wanted me to," she says, adding that she believes he "didn't really mean it seriously."

Kampusch adds that Priklopil's death was "not necessary" and expresses her sympathies to Priklopil's mother.

"He was a part of my life. That's why in a certain way I'm mourning him," she writes.

Kampusch also states that Priklopil acted alone, contradicting speculation and one eyewitness account that at least one accomplice was involved.

Natascha Kampusch was just ten years old when she was kidnapped in 1998. She was kept a prisoner for eight years in a dungeon-like room below the garage of Prikopil's home in the small commuter town of Strasshof, about 15 miles northeast of Vienna. The kidnapping sparked a massive investigation of white van owners in the area, during which Proklopil was questioned but dropped as a suspect.

Kampusch reportedly indicated to police that she'd had "sexual contact" with Priklopil but insisted that these contacts were "voluntary." She did not seem to understand that she had been sexually abused, according to reports.

Neighbors have said that Priklopil began construction of what they now know to be his dungeon long before the kidnapping occurred, indicated that he had planned out the kidnapping and enslavement months--perhaps years--before he executed it.

Priklopil committed suicide by leaping before a train after a high-speed car chase in which he managed to elude the police in his red BMW 850i sports car.
©2006 OhmyNews

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