Natascha Kampusch was just 10-years-old when she was kidnapped while walking to school in 1998. When she eventually escaped from her captor eight years later, her story stunned everyone and catapulted her to international fame.
But, as she explains in her new book,10 Years of Freedom, building a normal life has not been without its challenges. Natascha was Ryan Tubridy’s guest on Wednesday, where she reflected on coming to terms with years of horrific abuse at the hands of Wolfgang Priklopil.
Priklopil was controlling, abusive and delusional, she said, and believed himself to be an Egyptian god.
“He thought that he was a kind of slave keeper and it was his intention to be a kind of master and I should be a kind of slave.”
On the day Natascha escaped, Priklopil confessed his crimes to a friend and then killed himself. Natascha described feeling sad when she heard of his suicide, but soon felt an overwhelming sense of happiness and freedom when she was reunited with her family.
In the years since her escape, she has focused on getting an education, learning languages and making friends. She still attends twice-weekly talk therapy sessions, which also help her deal with some of the negative reaction she has received from the public. “I have a place to speak about my perspective” she said. It has also helped her to understand her years in captivity. As she put it in her book:
“Society needs supposed monsters like Wolfgang Prikopil to give the evil that lives inside them a face”.
You can listen back to the full interview here.
Photo credit: JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images
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