Conspiracy theorist, 54, arrested after British children rescued from Austrian basement ‘where they lived for 9 months’
A man arrested after six children were rescued from a basement in a remote village in Austria has been pictured for the first time.
Conspiracy theorist and alleged Holocaust denier Tom Landon has been arrested by police after he reportedly attacked social workers with pepper spray in the Austrian village of Obritz.
A woman and six children were discovered in a wine cellar beneath the property along with several weapons.
It is reported that the eight had been living in the basement for the past nine months but had previously lived in London.
Officials believe they lived in a network of tunnels beneath Obritz, a tiny village about 60 miles north of the Austrian capital Vienna, near the border with the Czech Republic.
He probably “wanted a cellar for every child,” according to Mayor Erich Greil.
The 54-year-old worked in IT in London until recently, The Times reported, citing Austrian officials.
Police are trying to find records of the children, none of which were registered in Austria.
Government officials have been warned by neighbors who claim to have heard children’s voices coming from inside the building, which was fitted with a series of surveillance cameras.
But whenever someone approached the building, it suddenly became quiet.
After Landon allegedly attacked the two officers with pepper spray during a routine check, the police were called.
When they stormed the basement, they found Landon barricaded inside with a 40-year-old woman and six children, ranging in age from seven months to five years.
Several artillery pieces were also discovered in the basement, which had doors and windows but was considered uninhabitable.
Both Landon and the woman were released after being questioned by authorities, but any children living at the property have reportedly been taken into custody.
He also wanted to buy our basement last year, but nobody really knew anything about what was going on
He is believed to be a “doomsday prepper,” where one builds one’s life around preparing for a “great disaster or catastrophic event.”
Landon had reportedly self-published a number of books denouncing the Austrian government.
One of his books, Rote Sau, meaning Red Sow, published in 2019, gave his address as East Finchley, north London.
Other book titles in German translation than The Judas Principle and Dirty Justice.
He told police he wanted to stay a day or two longer in the basement, which he reportedly bought through a British company.
Landon is listed in Companies House as a director of two companies, one of which has since been wound up.
Greil told the Sunday Times: “He’s not from here and just was [in] Obritz for a short time.
“Before that he apparently lived in England. I think he worked in the IT industry.”
An Austrian police source said: “With Interpol we are working to identify the children we believe were born in the UK.
“The man and his wife, who are British, had certainly lived in Britain and had connections there.”
Landon has ties to the Austrian branch of the far-right German Reichsburger Movement, which has embraced a number of conspiracy theories.
The right-wing extremist movement assumes that the German Empire still exists as it did before the Second World War.
The Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung reported: “The alleged Reich citizen is known to official bodies, was firmly convinced of bizarre conspiracy theories and has apparently completely ‘drifted’ since the Ukraine war.”
A local resident said: “Of course we knew the suspect. He also wanted to buy our basement last year, but nobody really knew anything about it.”
Landon is also said to have written a musical about Austrian rock star Falco, best known for his 1985 hit “Rock Me Amadeus.”
Falco was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic and Landon, who was living in the Caribbean at the time, claimed to have found the body and said the singer’s true cause of death was covered up.
Comparisons have been drawn between Landon’s case and the heinous crimes of Josef Fritzl, the Austrian who kept his daughter Elisabeth locked in a basement for 24 years, during which time she was forced to give birth to his seven children.
However, there is no reason to believe that the children were abused in this case, said Greil, who saw the family walking around the village two weeks earlier.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7254300/brit-dad-austrian-cellar-child-tom-landon-conspiracy/ Conspiracy theorist, 54, arrested after British children rescued from Austrian basement ‘where they lived for 9 months’