Commodore 64 Used by Kidnapper Blocks Police Investigation

Dennis Faas's picture

The Commodore 64, once the gaming system of choice in the 1980s (before the Nintendo Entertainment System boom), is now being connected to one of the strangest kidnapping cases in recent history.

Across the pond in Austria, police are struggling to piece together the motivation of Wolfgang Priklopil, who held preteen Natascha Kampusch captive for a horrific eight long years. The main obstacle might be the aforementioned Commodore, which Priklopil used extensively. (Source:

In late August, Natascha Kampusch (now 18 years of age) escaped from her kidnapper. Held in a tiny dwelling underneath Priklopil's garage for nearly a decade, Kampusch has surprisingly shown emotions of mourning for the man who held her for so long. Shortly after her escape, Priklopil threw himself in front of a train and was killed instantly.

For those who don't remember the Commodore 64, it was once the centerpiece of computer programmers and gamers alike. The first Wolfenstein game was designed and distributed on the Commodore 64, amongst a host of other revolutionary titles.

With that said, the system, now appropriately considered an antique, is presenting significant problems for police. Priklopil, once a communications technician, appears to have relied almost entirely on the Commodore 64. In extracting files relevant to the case, investigators have become increasingly aware of and concerned with the fact that such a transfer may lead to the loss of a number of important files.

In essence, Priklopil's use of a Commodore 64 could threaten any hope of determining the kidnapper's motive. Although Austrian police aren't sure whether or not Priklopil entered his thoughts into the Commodore, the dated technology itself might prevent them from ever really knowing. (Source:

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