Children held captive: infamous cases | Inquirer News

Children held captive: infamous cases

/ 01:50 PM December 02, 2020

PARIS–A woman in Sweden suspected of holding her son captive inside their apartment for decades was arrested on Thursday.

Here are eight more horrifying stories of children held captive in recent years.


Netherlands: beating ‘bad spirits’

A man who isolated six of his children in a remote Dutch farmhouse from birth and beat them to drive out “bad spirits” was arrested in October 2019.


The 67-year-old was charged with depriving the children of their liberty from 2007 to 2019 and “punching, kicking and denying food and drink” to them. He was also charged with sexually abusing two of the older children.

Spain: locked up with dogs

A 35-year-old man was arrested in June 2018 for keeping his mother and disabled sister locked and bound in bedrooms in his home in the southern Spanish city of Sevilla with 10 defecating dogs.

The victims defied their machete-wielding captor’s death threats to get to a police station.

California: house of horror

Ten children found living in squalid conditions in California were “punched, strangled, bitten, shot with weapons such as crossbows and bb guns… waterboarded and (had) scalding water poured on them” by their mother and her partner, prosecutors said in May 2018.

The mother, 30-year-old Ina Rogers and her husband Jonathan Allen, 29, were arrested at their home in Fairfield, north of San Francisco. The children were aged from four months to 12.

California: 13 held captive

In January 2018, 13 malnourished brothers and sisters aged between two and 29 were discovered by police after being allegedly held captive for years by their parents near Los Angeles.


Some were found shackled with chains and padlocks in their filthy home.

One of the girls, aged 17, had managed to sound the alarm.

The parents, David and Louise Turpin, were charged with multiple counts of torture and child abuse.

Media gather in front of 160 Muir Woods Road from where authorities rescued 13 malnourished children held captive by their parents in Perris, California on January 16, 2018. (AFP)

Japan: girl froze to death

A couple who imprisoned their daughter for more than 15 years saying she was mentally ill and violent were arrested in Osaka in 2017.

She froze to death at the age of 33 and an autopsy showed she weighed about 19 kilograms (42 pounds).

Britain: guru and daughter

A Maoist cult leader who brainwashed and raped followers in his London commune kept his own daughter imprisoned for three decades before she escaped in 2013.

Aravindan Balakrishnan, 75, was jailed in 2016 for 23 years. His daughter Katy Morgan-Davies was 30 years old when she escaped, fearing death.

Italy: locked up for having child

Maria Monaco was set free in 2008 after being locked in by her family for 18 years. Police found her, aged 47, living in “horrendous hygiene conditions” in a rural home north of Naples.

She had been held since 1990 when her family learnt she was pregnant and refused to divulge the name of the father.

She was freed after police received an anonymous tip-off.

Her son, aged 17, was allowed to live a normal life and went to school.

Austria: seven babies with father

Elisabeth Fritzl was imprisoned and raped over 24 years by her father Josef Fritzl, who kept her in the cellar of their family home west of Vienna until 2008.

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The case came to light when one of the seven children she bore became ill and had to be hospitalized.

Found guilty of murder for the death of one of Elisabeth’s babies as well as incest, sequestration, grievous assault and 3,000 instances of rape, Josef Fritzl was jailed for life in 2009.

Austrian newspapers feature on March 16, 2009 front pages on the trial of Austrian Josef Fritzl.

TAGS: captive, Crime, lock up

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