Natascha Kampusch tells her story of abduction, imprisonment, and escape

Photo: CTK

A young Austrian woman who was abducted as a ten year old girl and spent the next eight years in a tiny cellar spoke to the media this week about her experience. In television and newspaper interviews Natascha Kampusch said she had often thought of escape and had dreamt of killing her captor.

Photo: CTK
She had disappeared on the way to school in 1998, a massive police search failed to find any trace of her. But two weeks ago she managed to flee her abductor and tell police "I am Natascha Kampusch." Until now no photos of the 18 year old had been seen by the public. Now they've seen a nervous but clearly spoken young woman - dressed in jeans, purple blouse and head scarf - with a ready smile and determined to tell her story. She described the tiny cellar - her home for 8 years:

"It was horrible and I almost became claustrophobic in this small space. I threw things and hit the walls with my fists. I don't know if anyone could hear me. It was cruel and if I hadn't been allowed up into the house I think I would have gone insane."

In another interview published almost simultaneously by the weekly magazine News Kampusch spoke about her abductor Wolfgang Priklopil who committed suicide shortly after her escape. She said: "I had the choice either to be alone or in his company - and these alternatives were not enticing. She later said: "sometimes I dreamt that if I owned an axe I would cut his head off." She became visibly upset as she described noticing him looking at her while she walked to school:

"I thought, oh he won't bite and simply went a bit further. He grabbed me, I tried to scream but nothing came out."

In the television interview Kampusch recalls how her abductor threatened to go on a killing spree if she tried to escape. "He said he would kill the neighbours, then me and then himself." But there were lighter moments when the eloquent 18 year-old spoke about her life since her escape - about meeting young people and going on an excursion to buy ice cream.

Natascha Kampusch remains in state care, receiving psychiatric counselling. But she spoke optimistically about completing her education and starting a career.