Right: Elisabeth Fritzl in a 1981 school photo taken when she was 15 at the "Polytechnische Lehrgang
Today, I read about Susan LeFevre 53, who had been living under an assumed identity for 32 years. LeFevre was a fugitive living under cover after escaping from a Michigan prison in 1976 while serving time on heroin charges. She managed to build a new life for herself in California. She and her husband raised three children. Her husband Alan of 23 years, claimed he never knew her real identity. LeFevre was arrested April 24 outside her home in an affluent suburb of San Diego after someone anonymously alerted Michigan police and revealed her assumed name. She was arrested wearing a sweat suit and driving a black Lexus SUV.
So I ask myself, come on.... the spouses of these two individuals must have had some idea of what was going on right? Is it possible to be married to someone for 23 years and not know that they're a fugitive from the law? And more frightening, can you be married to someone for nearly half a century and not know that he has held your daughter and three others captive in a cellar for 24 years? And what about the neighbors and friends? Did they suspect anything?
In all honesty, the LeFever story is somewhat tolerable. I suppose I could stand the thought of living next to an escaped heroin user who had cleaned up her life and become a law-abiding citizen. But the Fritzl story is tragic and nearly knocks me off my feet. As were the stories of Manson, Ray, Bundy, Gacy, Dahmer and other serial killers. Every time I read or hear of a story like this it make me wonder. How many more of these quacks are out there yet undiscovered. Call me paranoid but I'll be keeping a close eye on my neighbors for the next few years and you should do the same!
photograph of Susan Lefevre, now known as Marie Walsh
If you're interested in checking out your neighbors as well as staying abreast of safety issues that may affect you and your family check out:
This site contains a National Sex Offender Registry as well as other tips that may help keep you and your family safe.