Olga Hepnarová

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Olga Hepnarová
Olga Hepnarova.jpg
Born(1951-06-30)30 June 1951
Died12 March 1975(1975-03-12) (aged 23)
Prague, Czechoslovakia
Cause of deathHanged
Criminal penaltyDeath
Details
Date10 July 1973
Location(s)Prague, Czechoslovakia
Killed8
Injured12
WeaponsVehicle
Date apprehended
10 July 1973

Olga Hepnarová (30 June 1951 – 12 March 1975) was a Czechoslovak mass murderer, who on 10 July 1973, killed eight people with a truck in Prague. Hepnarová was convicted and sentenced to death, and was executed in 1975, the last woman executed in Czechoslovakia.

Background[edit]

Olga Hepnarová was born on 30 June 1951, in Prague, to Czech parents. Her father was a bank clerk and her mother was a dentist. Hepnarová was an average child, but later developed psychiatric problems, and in 1964 she attempted suicide by overdosing on her medication. She spent a year in a psychiatric ward at a hospital in Opařany, and later worked in various places but was usually fired shortly after being hired. Hepnarová ended up working as a truck driver.[citation needed]

Truck attack[edit]

On 10 July 1973, Hepnarová drove her truck into a group of about 25 people waiting for a tram in the Prague 7 district of Prague. Three people died immediately, three more died later the same day, two within a few days (all aged from 60 to 79), and twelve people were injured. Before the attack, Hepnarová had sent a letter to two newspapers (Svobodné slovo and Mladý svět) explaining her actions as revenge for the hatred she felt was directed against her by her family and the world. The letter was received two days after the murder, and Hepnarová had reportedly been planning the revenge against society in her head for a long time.[citation needed]

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 PAY BACK MY HATERS. It would be too easy to leave this world as an unknown suicide victim. Society is too indifferent, rightly so. My verdict is: I, Olga Hepnarová, the victim of your bestiality, sentence you to death.

[citation needed]

Arrest and conviction[edit]

During the investigation, Hepnarová confirmed her intention was to kill as many people as possible. Psychology experts found her fully aware of her actions, and she expressed no regret. She planned her actions, as she considered a slope leading to the stop, which allowed her to gain speed for the maximum death toll. The attack was her second attempt, as she felt there were not enough people on her first run. On 6 April 1974, Hepnarová was sentenced to death for murder by the City Court. The sentence was affirmed by higher instance courts and the Supreme Court re-qualified the sentence to public endangerment with the same punishment to be upheld. After several psychiatric examinations Hepnarová was deemed criminally responsible for her actions, and the Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia, Lubomír Štrougal, refused to grant her a pardon.[1]

Execution[edit]

Hepnarová was executed by short-drop hanging on 12 March 1975 at Pankrác Prison in Prague. She was the last woman executed in Czechoslovakia, and one of the last by the use of short-drop hanging.[2]

Literature[edit]

In 1991, Bohumil Hrabal published Ponorné říčky, in which he describes a fictional confession of an executioner from Pankrác, for whom the execution of a beautiful lady called Olga was a life-changing moment, after its proceedings made him completely disgusted by his job and made him an opposer of the death sentence.[citation needed][clarification needed]

Oprátka za osm mrtvých by Roman Cílek (2001) is about Hepnarová, and contains a collection of contemporary documents. (in Czech)

Film[edit]

I, Olga Hepnarová (Czech: Já, Olga Hepnarová) is a 2016 Czech-Polish drama film directed by Tomáš Weinreb and Petr Kazda. It was shown in the Panorama section at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Olga Hepnarová 30.6.1951 - Finale" (in Czech). Pantharei.estranky.cz. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  2. ^ Events of the execution day
  3. ^ "Berlinale 2016: Panorama Celebrates Teddy Award's 30th Anniversary and Announces First Titles in Programme". Berlinale. Retrieved 20 December 2015.