Kampusch’s bizarre life as Bibiane the slave

Sep 6, 2010
Sophie Taylor

Natascha Kampusch has shed new light on the horror of her eight years’ in the hands of Wolfgang Priklopil

Natascha Kampusch, the Austrian girl kidnapped at the age of 10, has given the most detailed account yet of her eight years in captivity in a new autobiography.

Now 22, Kampusch reveals the strange relationship she struck up with her captor, Wolfgang Priklopil, which began with her asking for a toothbrush and a goodnight kiss and ended with her taking the role of a slave called Bibiane, who had to address her master as 'Maestro' or 'My Lord'.

Extracted in the Daily Mail, Kampusch's new book is entitled 3,096 Days – the length of time she was held in Priklopil's cellar. She is thought to have earned £1m from the book, which is published on Wednesday.

Kampusch says she was beaten up to 200 times a week, handcuffed to Priklopil while they slept together in his bed and repeatedly attempted suicide after giving up all hope of escape.

Describing the day she was kidnapped in the street and thrown into the back of a van by Priklopil, Kampusch recalls asking her captor: "Are you going to molest me?" To which the answer was: "You're too young for that. I'd never do that."

On the first night of her captivity, Priklopil asked her if she needed anything; she asked for "a hairbrush, a toothbrush, toothpaste and a toothbrush cup. An empty yoghurt pot will do". Later, she asked him for a goodnight kiss.

But it wasn't long before Priklopil was dominating Kampusch totally.
He told the 10-year-old girl that her parents had refused to pay a ransom, saying: "Your parents don't love you at all. They don't want you back. They're happy to be rid of you."

"I had to ask permission if I wanted to stand up, sit down, turn my head or speak," she writes. "He even accompanied me to the loo."

Eventually, 18 months into her ordeal, Kampusch was told: "You're no longer Natascha. Now you belong to me." She was forced to shave her hair and pick a new name, Bibiane. Priklopil wired up an intercom into her basement prison, through which he continuously repeated: "Obey, obey, obey…"

Kampusch became a household slave, forced to clean Priklopil's house while partially clothed. In an attempt to prevent her from running away, he kept her in a state of near starvation and agony through daily beatings so severe that she says she could hear her spine snap.

But since Priklopil was the only human she could see, Kampusch reveals how she asked him to cuddle her: "I was still a child, and I needed the consolation of touch. So, after a few months underground, I asked my kidnapper to embrace me.

"It was difficult. I went into a claustrophobic panic when he held me too tight. After several attempts, though, we managed to find a way - not too close, not too tight, and yet tight enough so that I could imagine feeling a loving, caring touch."

Kampusch's despair was such that she saw suicide as her only means of escape: "At 14, I'd tried several times to strangle myself with articles of clothing. At 15, I tried to slit my wrists with a large sewing needle.

"This time, I piled paper and toilet rolls onto my hotplate. The dungeon would fill with smoke and I'd gently drift away, out of a life that was no longer my own."

Those attempts all failed, and it was eight years after her kidnap, when Kampusch was 18, that she finally took advantage of a momentary lapse in Priklopil's guard. While she was cleaning his car, her captor looked away, and Kampusch made a bid for freedom. Priklopil committed suicide shortly after.

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