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Elisabeth Fritzl

In April 2008, a 42 year-old woman revealed that her 73-year old father had imprisoned and repeatedly raped her for 24 years in an underground, soundproof, and windowless cellar beneath their Amstetten, Austria home.

As a result of the sexual abuse, Elisabeth Fritzl gave birth to seven children by her father, Joseph Fritzl. One child, a baby boy, died three days after birth. Josef selected three of the surviving children to live a "normal" life upstairs as his adopted or foster children, while the other three stayed behind, locked up with Elisabeth in the underground bunker for their entire lives. Josef Fritzl's secret underground world unraveled when Elisabeth's eldest daughter Kerstin, 19, became seriously ill. Kerstin was permitted out of the dungeon and admitted to a hospital in Amstetten, where a doctor tipped off authorities.

Elisabeth and her “dungeon family” – Stefan, 18, and Felix, 5, have been reunited with her “upstairs family” – her mother Rosemarie, 68, Lisa, 15, Monika, 14, and Alexander, 12 – in a local psychiatric clinic.

Let's look at a sample of Elisabeth's script written one month after her release from her underground prison.

In one letter – the letter "h" – you can read Elisabeth's sad story. The lower loops or lower extensions of letters correlate to the lower body and represent one's physical and sexual realm. Do you see how the right side of her "h" extends far beneath the baseline plunging down where it does not belong into the lower zone?

Also, notice that the bottom of the "h" pulls to the left and ends in an angular checkmark-like stroke, known as a "tic mark." When a writer feels angry, determined, fearful, hostile, competitive, or challenged, her muscles tighten. And when a writer's muscles tighten, it's almost impossible to make curves.

Now, look at the "h" in the word "Schutz" (which means "protection" or "shelter"). Do you see how this "h," which also ends in a tic mark, extends into the word "Familie" (family) on the line below? When a lower loop or extension continues overly far into the line below, it's almost always a sign that the writer is involved in taboo or unconventional sexual practices. Is it a coincidence that an incest victim's lower zone violates the space of the word "Familie"? What do you think?

Michelle Dresbold is a nationally known handwriting expert and personality profiler. Are you a doodler? Have a personal question or problem? Mail your doodles and handwritten letters to: The Handwriting Doctor, P.O. Box 1161, Monroeville, PA 15146.

© Copyright 2008 Michelle Dresbold and James Kwalwasser