According to court judges, the plans to move the now 87-year-old inmate from Stein Prison to a softer jail have been reversed as he is still considered a danger.
In April, the criminal court in charge of the secure psychiatric jail Krems-Stein Prison in Austria, where Fritzl is currently held, ruled that he was to be moved to a standard prison. According to a psychiatric report, the sentenced molester was not considered a threat.
However, Austria's Higher Regional Court in Vienna blocked the decision because he suffers from a non-treatable mental severe illness. He is to remain in the high-security prison where he has already spent 23 years.
"The Higher Regional Court (OLG) Vienna has recognized the need for further accommodation in an institution for mentally abnormal lawbreakers," the Krems Regional Court confirmed on June 7.
Josef Fritzl has been described as evil and an incest monster. He was sentenced in 2009 to life imprisonment after being convicted of systematically abusing his daughter Elisabeth.
He held Elisabeth locked in a self-built dungeon-like room in the cellar of his home in Amstetten, Austria, for 24 years. Fritzl raped his daughter countless times and fathered seven children with her during that time.
Elisabeth became a prisoner of her father in 1984 when she was 18 years old, and it took until 2008 before the horrific crime came to light.
Six of the seven children survived, and while three lived in the house with Fritzl, the rest were locked in the basement with Elisabeth.
In 2008, one of the daughters, Kerstin, fell into a coma, and Fritzl agreed to let her go to the hospital. The doctors noticed that the girl was malnourished and had rotting teeth. When the family's story did not add up, they decided to alert the police.
The police launched an investigation, and people were in shock when the truth was discovered.
Neighbors described him as someone who blended in but mostly kept to himself, and the fact that he also had a wife, Rosemarie, made the story even more disturbing.
The other inmates in prison hated Fritzl, and he spent most of his time in solitary confinement. In 2017 he changed his name to Mayrhoff, which helped little as he continued to be a target for the other prisoners.
In 2019 he reportedly showed signs of dementia, and another inmate commented on his state.
"Fritzl was and still is separated from everyone else. He has totally withdrawn himself and barely leaves his cell."
If he had been transferred to a regular prison, he would have been eligible for early release and could have been freed on parole already in 2023. However, it now seems he will be living out the rest of his life in the high-security prison.
Elisabeth and her children were cared for by the Austrian social services, and they currently live under new aliases in an unknown part of Austria.