Girl in the Basement

Still image from Lifetime's "Ripped from the Headlines" installment of Girl In The Basement

The exposure is continuing and in ways that I would venture some of us would never have guessed.


Lifetime debuted a new film on February 27, and it will air this weekend on Saturday, March 6 at 8:00 pm for those in Canada, but is available now for those with a cable provider by logging in here.


A part of it's Ripped from the Headlines series, the new film is "Girl in the Basement."


It's the portrayal of something that appears on the pages of Real Dark News all too frequently: a child is detained, oftentimes in the basement of a home, and sexually abused by a family member. While the Lifetime portrayal has many common threads with any of a number of survivor accounts, it drew much of its inspiration from a case known as the Monster of Amsterdam.


In 2009 Josef Fritzl was sentenced for imprisoning his own daughter, Elisabeth, for 24 years.  During that time, he is said to have raped her upwards of 3,000 times and fathered a number of children with her.  Some of those children were taken in by Fritzl and his wife to be raised with a "normal" life, while others were left in the basement to keep Elisabeth company, forced to witness the further abuses perpetrated on Elisabeth.


It wasn't until April 2008 that Elisabeth was finally able to find release from the horrors when her eldest daughter became gravely ill.  In a rare display of mercy, Fritzl took the girl to the hospital.


Doctors doggedly sought more information in the case though, and would not accept the story that Fritzl was presenting to them. They took to television to appeal to the mother to come forward so that they could better treat the girl.


Elisabeth was able to see the footage from her prison and pleaded with Fritzl, then 73-years-old.  He eventually took her to the hospital as well where she was immediately taken for an interview and reportedly threatened by police for suspected child abuse and neglect.


What she had to say though, shocked them as she stated she would tell them everything if they could promise her that she would never again have to look at her father.


Fritzl was sentenced on March 19, 2009 to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for 15 years days before his 74th birthday. Now known as Josef Mayrhoff, it was reported in 2019 that his health was declining. There has been no further report of his condition since then.


So while those of you reading this have already had a chance to come to terms with the fact that these atrocities do in fact happen and are more common than anyone with even a shred of human decency would like to admit, there are families that are getting "red pilled" by this movie.


Please take some time to remember not only the survivors in your prayers- for complete healing and restoration through Jesus- but also those that are getting exposed to this, possibly for the first time.