Culture / TV

Binge’s ‘Girl in the Basement’ is the latest series inspired by true crime events that shocked the world

girl in the basement

A new series based on the crimes committed by Josef Fritzl against his daugher, Elisabeth, has launched on Binge. Touted as a true crime series inspired by one of the world’s worst criminals, Girl in the Basement stars Stefanie Scott and Judd Nelson, portraying characters Sara and Don, largely based on Josef and Elisabeth. 

What is the plot of Girl in the Basement?

The plot of the girl in the basement is expected to largely follow the true story of Josef Fritzl's crimes against his daughter. In Girl in the Basement, we see fictionalised character Sara imprisoned by her father, Don, in the family home’s basement. Don informs his wife Sara has run away, however she is actually imprisoned downstairs, enduring endless abuse at the hands of her father. Sara gives birth to a son, who Don claims to be sent from Sara to her parents to look after. As time goes on, Sara eventually escapes and alerts authorities. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Stefanie Scott (@stefaniescott)

What is the plot based on? 

In 1984, Josef Fritzl lured his daughter, Elisabeth, into the basement of their family home, allegedly saying he needed help to carry a door. However, unbeknownst to Elisabeth, her father had spent months converting the basement into an underground dungeon to keep her captive. Josef then drugged Elisabeth with a towel soaked in illicit substances, trapping her downstairs. 

Elisabeth’s mother, Rosemarie, filed a missing persons report, however, Elisabeth had been forced to write a fake letter claiming she didn’t want to be found and had run away from home. As such, Elisabeth was held captive in the family basement for almost 25 years and endured countless assaults from her father. She gave birth to four children – one who tragically died – and taught them how to read and write while living in the basement. 

As one daughter fell ill in 2008, Josef took her to hospital alone to seek help, however staff were left suspicious of his explanation of her illness and their connection. Elisabeth’s missing person case file was reopened and, a week later when she was allowed to visit her daughter in hospital, both Josef and Elisabeth were detained for questioning, where she eventually explained what she had endured for years. 

When does Girl in the Basement release in Australia? 

Girl in the Basement is currently available to stream via Binge in Australia.

Stay inspired, follow us.

Image: Instagram