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Václav Mrázek

2014-10-05

Václav Mrázek

 

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Czech serial killer Václav Mrázek

Václav Mrázek was born on October 22, 1925 in Svinařov (about 10km north of Kladno in Czechoslovakia - now Czech republic) into a large and poor family. He had 11 siblings and finished only five grades of elementary school. Mrázek had habit of stealing things from an early age and his first encounter with law was at the age of 16 when he was sentenced for theft. People around him considered him to be odd a bit shy but decent polite and hardworking man. Despite that Mrázek got into trouble with law again at the age of 24 for another theft and was sentenced to 18 months of incarceration.

Mrázek was quiet even boring man who didn't drink or smoke or gamble. Due to his hard work he became a foreman in steel mill in Chomutov. He had very few hobbies which were attending football and hockey matches and riding a bike during which he was searching for victims.

After his arrest Mrázek admitted that the thought of using violence during sexual activities was something he picked up from reading pornographic literature and probably from his experiences with orgies. He presumably participated in those during his time in guard squad to which he volunteered at the age of 20 (work of guard squads after 2nd World War often was accompanying American shipments abroad especially to Romania.)

In everyday contact with women Václav Mrázek acted restrained even timid. He hesitated a long time with physical expression of affection a kiss and anything beyond that. His partner at the time therefore considered him impotent. While still in his twenties Mrázek didn't show any desire for having sex frequently.

 

First murder was committed by Mrázek on August 21, 1951 near the Drahonice village (Karlovy Vary, former district of Kadaň). His victim was 15 years old Hana Chloubová who was at the time of her murder grazing cattle. Murderer used a robust stick he found near the crime scene as a weapon with which he hit his victim to the head with a massive blow and then sexually abused her.

Body of the murdered girl was found in the evening of the same day by her father. This murder was not considered to be part of the series that the police was investigating and Mrázek admitted to it after he was caught.

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Body of Hana Chloubová(15)

For a second murder Mrázek armed himself with a pistol. In September 1951 he shot and raped thirty two years old Bronislava Pajůrková on the road between Jirkov and Kyjice. He described his crime as follows: „It was already dark, but it was a Sunday night and I was still running into young women. They had an escort but at the sight of them I felt strong sexual arousal which was accompanied by blood rushing to the head and later by headache. When I saw that woman walking alone, my head started to ache severely and I was agitated and suddenly I had to shoot. There suddenly was a thought of shooting her.“

V.M. shot the woman several times. He then dragged her from the road out to a meadow where he stripped her off and dragged her naked further to a nearby stream where he sexually abused by that time already dead woman.

The noise of the gunshot probably scared Mrázek as he realized how laudable it was in the evening silence. Maybe that's why next time he decided to use a knife...

 

In October 1951 near Kamencové jezero he assaulted Anna Šestáková. Instead of her throat he jammed his blade into her jaw bone. He chased fleeing woman to the nearby house, where she was saved by the house resident after she screamed. The force and a desperation of a scream also caused Mrázek to ejaculate...

 

In November 1951 he attacked another woman again with a knife near a factory wall in Chomutov. Her name was Erna Meinlová. He stabbed her eighteen times to the chest and stomach yet the girl survived for the wounds were guided by relatively small physical force. This fact had consequence of not only survival of the victim but probably also made Mrázek choose a different weapon for his future deeds. This attack also “confused” police and was not considered to be connected to previous assaults. One of the investigated theories (due to a short stature and a little physical strengthof the attacker) was that the attack might have been commited by a jealous woman.

 

On 1st of June 1952 there was a dance party being held in a pub few kilometres from Chomutov. Mrázek rode around on a bike and saw the party through an open window. Sight of dancing women made him excited so he went on to search for his next victim. On the road between Seník and Přečáply he rode two times by twenty two year old Elena Marmonová. Third time he attacked. Marmonová is the only victim who survived being shot at from Mrázek's Walther 7.56mm (gun the murderer used). One bullet flew through collar of her coat and probably through her hair. The victim explains: “I thought someone is having stupid fun with a starting pistol. What are you doing? I said to him and he shot at me for the third time. But I was lucky. Bullet didn't come out. Something happened with his gun. He said almost benevolently: Run you cow! And he was gone.“  Later she described the attacker: „He was small and skinny, dressed in black. Not one thing bright on him.“

Elena Marmonová was unfortunately not the only woman who Mrázek attacked that night. He ejaculated during the first shots and his desire faded a bit but an hour or so later he was on his bike cruising again around Hořenec where the dance party just ended. 2nd of June 1952 half an hour after midnight gunshots were heard again.

When Elen Marmonová woke up the next morning she noticed her coat had two holes in it. „Suddenly I realized that it wasn't a starting pistol! Like in a Trans I went out back to the place where that man shot at me. A short distance from Přečáply near the transformer that is there to this day I found strange scratches on the side of the road. As if someone dragged something from the road across the ditch to the alfalfa.“  Then Marmon stepped out to the field and after several meters found sexually abused half naked body of a sixteen year old girl by the name of Marie Dvořáková. There is a record of murderer's memories relating to this incident in his own words which illustrates his cold blooded attitude: „She was walking on the road in an opposite direction. When I passed her by I fired a gun and rode on for twenty or thirty meters. Then I stopped and waited to see if the shot caused any stir. Then I returned to the body and dragged her to the field...“  Mrázek continues: “When I took a closer look I noticed her face is covered in blood from which I concluded that I must have shot her in a head. Sight of the blood horrified me so I covered her face with a coat she was wearing that I stripped her from. Then I took off her skirt and her underpants and abused her. After a while it started to rain. I took her skirt, about 50 crowns? and nothing else I think. I took off on my bike and rode  towards Chomutov.  I rode through one village and in the next village I was  just riding around.  Then I threw the skirt away over some fence.”

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Victim Marie Dvořáková (16)

Mrázek committed his fourth murder on seventeen year old Jiřina Helmichová on 14th July 1954. That day Helmichová had a date with her boyfriend in a wood called U jezírek near Černice village in Litvínov district, approximately 30km from Chomutov. On the way to her date she met several passers-by. Unfortunately she was late to her date and her boyfriend had already left.  On the way back she met Mrázek riding on his bike. He passed her by and after several meters he shouted at her. When the girl turned back to look at the man who shouted Mrázek killed her by single gunshot into her face. Then he dragged the girl aside and as usually sexually gratified himself on the body.

After this murder a special operative group was founded to investigate series of three murders because balistics showed they were all committed by the same weapon (V.M. was at the time already responsible for four murders but the first one was still not considered to be part of the series.)

 

Last murder around Chomutov and last murder with a gun Mrázek committed in August 9th 1955. Unfortunately this time it was double murder victims of which were lovers nineteen years old Libuše Dufková and twenty two years old Karel Trlifaj. That night they were walking together on the road between Chomutov and Březenec. Mrázek approached them this time on foot. First he killed Karel Trlifaj who tried to defend himself by three shots and then he fired one time on fleeing Libuše Dufková. The next day passing cyclist discovered the body of the girl in position typical for sexual murder. Summoned detectives then found body of the young man. His corpse laid nearby in a ditch.

Mrázek described this murder as follows: ”I walked fast because I wanted to get home early. I noticed a pair – man and a woman – standing by the side of the road. When I walked up to them they noticed me and continued walking towards Chomutov. I was overcome with jeaousy that they are in love and I just lost my girl that I liked that I couldn't control myself, I pulled out a gun...”

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Body of Libuše Dufková(19) 
 

At the time last double murder happened there was already special detective unit established which investigated Mrázek's sexual murders. Detectives had a description of the offender; they knew he had shoe size of 42 and that he kills with the same weapon, pistol of the brand Walter. The police checked all known sex offenders in the county and also anyone who wanted to leave Chomutov district. They questioned any man matching Mrázek's description. A total of 25000 people were checked. All without success. Former detective František Švandrlík provides comments: „We have received reinforcements from Bohemia and Moravia, surrounding area was searched through and through but without longed-for success. We had all sexual deviants in the county under the thumb. But the main one eluded us. We secured a lot of weapons, quite a few of Walters but neither was the right one. Some of the guns that were transported to Prague were transported by me on a motorbike. I have since then a personal time record on the route Chomutov – Praha. Don't ask how fast you would have to give me a ticket even today.“

How could Mrázek escape justice for such a long time although he murdered in relatively small area of former Chomutov district and  its surroundings and even managed to move to Kladno after murder of the two lovers in spite of ubiquitous police patrols? The reason was mainly Mrazek's perfect mimicry – an image of orderly, quiet, hardworking man. Mrázek didn't arouse any suspicion even in his relatives two of which were members of police. Another reason was luck. During one attempt of rape, which took place in June 1955, Mrázek assaulted only 12 year old Marie Černíková. He threw her down on the ground and strangled her but all of the sudden stopped and left. It was only moments before arrival of two men who heard cries of the child and came to find out what has happened. Mrázek later testified: „I didn't know about them but it unnerved me that I wasn't able to silence the girl. She screamed for too long and that was dangerous.“  Another time two girls were walking home from afternoon movie show in Kralupy near Chomutov towards Ahníkov village when they noticed an unknown man. He stood barely hundred meters away blocking the dirt road with his bike and waited. The girls ran back to the nearby railway station. Few people went to check on the man after the girls told about him but found only a tire marks on the road.

Mrázek committed many similar assaults against underaged girls during the years of his rampage. He attacked girls in a diffferend ways during different occasions. In certain cases he beat and strangled them and managed to rape them. In other cases he only attempted to do so and as was stated earlier he several times escaped his possible capture due to luck.

 

Last murder Mrázek committed on 9th of November 1956 in Svinařov (district Slaný). Unlike previous sexually motivated murders the last one was motivated by material gains. Mrázek broke into the house of a miner Ladislav Beran (one of Mrázek's superiors from the mine) who was at that time in work. His original intention was only to steal but V.M. could not find anything of value. Making his way through the house searching the rooms he eventually got to the bedroom. There he found fifty six year old Alžběta Beranová, wife of L.Beran  who just woke up and recongnized the trespasser. Mrázek killed her by several blows with an axe he found in front of the house. Colonel Vaněček recalls: „We had a witness who saw the murder happen! It was Berans granddaughter ten year old Jarmilka who slept with her grandmother in the twin bed. She was woken up by the scream and she saw a man repeatedly hitting her grandmother in the head with an axe. Then he asked the girl where they have money. They found about sixteen hundred in the night table which were money of local firefighters for whom was Beran treasurer. Family savings were hidden in a can in the kitchen but Beran's granddaughter didn't know about those and murderer didn't find them.“ But that wasn't all that happened. When Mrázek was leaving he stopped in the garden then went back and raped the ten year old.

Mrázek had all that time face covered with a cloth so the young girl couldn't see his face so she described him as a small weak man who had evil eyes. Murderer again was not caught.

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Body of Alžběta Beranová(56) in the bed 

What finally got Mrázek caught were his constant petty thefts. On 17th of March 1957 was Mrázek going through pockets of miner's clothes in the locker room of mine Nejedlý. At that moment one of the miners who got hurt down in the shaft and went up to the locker room to treat his wound caught Mrázek in the act. Despite of Mrázek's pleading he called the police. Because the things in the mine locker room went missing quite often the routine inspection of Mrázek's apartment was conducted. „Perhaps everything in the apartment was stolen including most ordinary household items,“ recalled Karel Kamiš a retired detective. Police discovered a shaver Niazi that was stolen from the Beran's house and Mrázek fell under suspicion that he's not a mere thief. Therefore police began to search his apartment for a gun used in homicide in Chomutov. „It took us long time. We didn't know where to look. So I imagined size of the pistol and was looking all around me for a place where that gun could be hidden. Then I noticed that workbench. (gun was found in the cellar in a hollow base of a workbench). During the same inspection we discovered a watch that belonged to murdered Pajúrková. Mrázek hid them in the heating pipe near the cellar's ceiling.“

The next day ballistic test was conducted at the Institute of Criminology with a positive result. On March 19th 1957 the accused confessed after several hours of questioning to all seven murders.

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Serial killer Václav Mrázek 

At the court Mrázek was apart from seven murders and four attempted murders show to commit 14 cases of sexual abuse (some of which were conducted on girls under the age of 10). He was also charged with 33 burglaries, 12 cases of theft of clothes, 16 cases of theft of small domestic animals, 6 bicycle thefts other dozens of petty thefts in the workplace. Together was accused of 127 crimes.

Czech serial killer Vaclav Mrázek was sentenced to capital punishment - hanging. The execution was carried out December 30, 1957 in Prague Pankrac prison.

translated by PaD

Other photos:

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Václav Mrázek

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 Number 1 marks body of one of the victims (probably B. Pajůrková)

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 Three piece police photography made after the arrest (1957)

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Body of Karel Trlifaj(22)

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 Crime scene

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Death mask of Václav Mrázek

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Sources:

Innes,B., Šulc,V. Nejkrutější zločiny v dějinách. Frýdek.Místek: Alpress s.r.o., 2007

Slušný,J. Černá kniha českých bestiálních vrahů. Praha: XYZ, 2006

INTERNET ( misantrop.info , wikipedia.cz ,  kriminalistika.eu/muzeumzla , policie-cr.cz, vrazi.cz a další)

 

 

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