On a Monday in March 1998, Natascha Kampusch leaves her home in the Austrian capital of Vienna and begins her journey to school. The ten-year-old notices something unusual on the route, however: a white van up ahead, with a man standing next to it. Then, as she tries to walk past the stranger, the man grabs her and throws her into his vehicle. It’s just the start of what would prove to be a harrowing eight-year ordeal for the young girl.
Natascha Maria Kampusch was born on February 17, 1988, to Brigitta Sirny and Ludwig Koch. Natascha’s parents ended their relationship when their daughter was young, however, and the two subsequently shared the little girl’s care. And whether Natascha’s childhood was happy or not has been a subject of some debate; it’s been reported, though, that Sirny and Koch often argued.