Olga Hepnarová

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Olga Hepnarová (June 30, 1951 – March 12, 1975) was a Czech mass murderer, who in 1973 killed eight people with a truck. She was convicted and executed in 1975, the last woman executed in Czechoslovakia and one of the last by the use of short-drop hanging.


Olga Hepnarová was born on June 30, 1951 in Prague. She was the daughter of a bank clerk and her mother was a dentist. She was an average child, but she later developed psychiatric problems; in 1964 she attempted suicide by swallowing medication, and spent a year in a psychiatric ward in Opařany.

Later, she worked in various places but was fired shortly after being hired. She ended up as a truck driver.

Mass murder[edit]

On July 10, 1973 she drove a truck into a group of about 25 people waiting for a tram in Prague 7, on a street today named after Milada Horáková (then it was named "Defenders of Peace"). Three people died immediately, three more died later the same day and two in a few days (all aged between 60 to 79). Six were badly injured, six lightly.

Before the murder she sent a letter to two newspapers (Svobodné slovo and Mladý svět) explaining her action as revenge for all the hatred against her by her family and the world. Due to the slowness of the postal system the letter was received two days after the murder. She had planned the revenge against society in her head for a long time and included ideas of derailing a train or an explosion.

.. I am a loner. A destroyed woman. A woman destroyed by people... I have a choice - to kill myself or to kill others. I choose - TO REVENGE MY HATERS. It would be too easy to leave this world as an unknown suicide. The society is too indifferent, rightly so. My verdict is: I, Olga Hepnarová, the victim of your bestiality, sentence you to death penalty.

During the investigation, Hepnarová confirmed her intention was to kill as many people as possible and she expressed no regret. Psychology experts found her fully aware of her actions. She planned her actions, as she considered a slope leading to the stop. That allowed her to gain speed for the maximum death toll. The collision was her second attempt, as she felt there were not enough people on her first run.

On April 6, 1974, she was sentenced for murder to death by the City Court; the sentence was affirmed by higher instance courts and the Supreme Court requalified the sentence to public endangerement with the same punishment upheld. After several psychiatric examinations she was deemed criminally responsible for her actions. The Prime Minister Lubomír Štrougal refused the request for pardon. [1] The execution took place on March 12, 1975 in the Pankrác Prison in Prague. She was the last woman executed in Czechoslovakia.

According to the executioner, as recorded by writer Bohumil Hrabal, just before the execution Hepnarová collapsed and had to be dragged to the gallows. The executioner of Hepnarova, years later, admitted that he had to quit his job, as he felt she made his job `disgusting` (she fought, threw up and defecated herself prior to hanging). The reliability of this tale, however, is put in question by the author of the detailed website about Hepnarová, as no mention of such incidents was made in the official execution report.[2]



  1. ^ "Olga Hepnarová 30.6.1951 - Finale". Pantharei.estranky.cz (cz version). Retrieved 2011-01-13. 
  2. ^ "Olga Hepnarová 30.6.1951 - 12.3.1975 - 12.3.1975 a co bylo pak". Pantharei.estranky.cz (cz version). Retrieved 2011-01-13. 

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