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Natascha Kampusch police chief shoots himself
Natascha Kampusch police chief shoots himself

The police chief who led the investigation into the kidnapping of Austrian cellar girl Natascha Kampusch has shot himself days after it was announced a film of the case was being made.

Published: 1:07PM BST 29 Jun 2010

[Image: natascha_kampusch_1237777c.jpg] Natascha Kampusch Photo: AFP

Police chief Franz Kroell who had been hauled to give evidence before a series of commissions into allegations of police failures to solve the case has been found dead at his flat in Graz with one bullet wound to his head.

The single bullet had been fired from his service pistol.

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Miss Kampusch, who is now 22, was snatched off the street as an 10-year-old schoolgirl in Vienna and kept in an underground dungeon by her kidnapper Wolfgang Priklopil for eight years.
Police had interviewed him after two eyewitnesses described seeing his van but they let the matter drop after he told them he was innocent and claimed he had sold the van.
The latest investigation by Austrian authorities follows claims that the original inquiry was a cover-up and hid the involvement of a powerful paedophile ring.
The 58-year-old police chief is understood to have suffered from depression and smoked a final cigarette on his balcony before pulling the trigger.
Alexander Marakovits, the federal crime office spokesman, said: "He was a great colleague. We will never forget him."
Miss Kampusch's story is being turned into a film by Downfall director Bernd Eichinger. It had been suggested that the British actress Kate Winslet would take the lead role, however, this has been denied by her agent.
Miss Kampusch announced last week that she is working on her autobiography titled 3,096 Days, the exact time she spent as a prisoner.
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