Hamburg kidnapping August 22, 2011 (AP)
Police remove barbed wire from the window of a flat in Hamburg, Germany, August 22, 2011. Photo by AP
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A strange case unfolded in Hamburg this week, as German media reported that a 26-year-old Israeli woman had managed to escape a homemade “torture chamber,” after having been kidnapped to there by an acquaintance, gagged, bound and locked in.

According to the reports, the kidnapper, a man identified as 30-year-old Thomas Fischer who was known to the police for several earlier sex crimes, abducted the woman, whom he had met several weeks ago and become obsessed with, at gunpoint - and brought her to his soundproofed and locked apartment over the weekend. She was originally identified as an Iranian woman, but later said to be Israeli.

The reports went on to say that Fischer handcuffed the woman and tied her down in his apartment, intending to leave her there for a long time. According to reports, he had enough food in the house to stay indoors for weeks, if not months, and the windows were barricaded with barbed wire.

According to some reports, he also had a "vast array" of medical implements in the apartment - including scalpels, needles, gynecological instruments and syringes. A pistol and a hand grenade were also found at the scene.

It is unclear how the young woman managed to escape, still in handcuffs, but she did so - possibly by throwing herself through a window that was left partially open, after only two hours. Bleeding, she alerted the neighbors who immediately called in the police. The kidnapper, who these same neighbors described in the media as a “loner” but someone who had helped carry groceries for the elderly on the block, was soon arrested and remains in custody.