Born: 30 June 1951
Died: 12 March 1975
Active: 10 July 1973
Location: Czech Republic
Method of Disposal: Fast moving truck
- 8 commuters waiting for a tram on a street then-named “Defenders of Peace”
- 12 other commuters waiting on the same street
Olga Hepnarová is not the kind of woman who is easily ignored. At the ripe old age of 22, Olga decided that she was somewhat unhappy with the world and her place within it. However, rather than retreat into the role of wife and mother like a good little martyr, Olga went for a more public display of her feelings.
Olga’s life started uneventfully enough. The daughter of a bank clerk father and dentist mother, there was nothing of note to set Olga apart from any of the other little girls living in Prague. Sure, she was a bit quiet, and didn’t mix well with others. Her parents assumed she was just reserved and didn’t really give her apparent social awkwardness much attention. Well, until she attempted suicide by swallowing a ton of medication at the age of 13.
Olga survived this attempt, but it earned her a year in a psychiatric hospital in Opařany, 100 kilometres south of Prague. Due to the suicide attempt and hospital stay, no one could ignore the fact that Olga was a little unbalanced. Anyone who spoke to her was made acutely aware of her view of the world and everyone in it.
Her adult life didn’t fare any better. She was able to find work in a number of different places, but was never able to hold her position due to her less-than-sunny disposition. It apparently was not appropriate to point out to co-workers that they were all a bunch of low-life wretches and that they’d get what’s coming to them. People tended to react adversely to hearing such things.
Each time she was sacked only served to cement Olga’s already firm conviction that society was going to hell in a hand basket. Finally she’d had enough. It was about time that Olga really made herself heard.
Olga chose the 10th of July as her D-Day. She first made sure to remove all doubt as to her intentions. She had written a manifesto of sorts, trying to make her words as clear as she could. There was no point in becoming a martyr if nobody knew why. Olga wrote, “It would be 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 the death penalty.” She then wrote what she thought were very helpful instructions in case anyone wanted to stop her. “I’m going to steal a bus today and run it into a crowd of people at full speed. It will happen somewhere in Prague 7.”
She posted the letters to two different newspapers and immediately set off to find a vehicle of sufficient mass to cause the largest amount of carnage.
She didn’t find a bus, but instead settled on a truck which she figured would have just the same effect. Incidentally, the last job Olga had held before she went completely off tap was as a truck driver. Somewhat fortuitous, it might be said, as it provided her with some pertinent skills which she would use to great advantage on this day.
After driving around for a while, Olga found the ideal location. It was a small street called “Defenders of Peace”, along which trundled the occasional tram. The street was positioned at the bottom of a steep hill, which Olga felt would suit her purpose just fine since it would allow the truck to build up sufficient speed and thus cause the maximum damage. Olga drove the truck to the top of the hill and saw through the front windscreen that she would hit the tram stop, and all the people therein, dead centre. Perfect.
Olga paused just for a moment to wonder whether her manifesto had been received by the press yet. She’d posted it at 11am and the time was now 1.45pm. Surely that would have been enough time for the postman to sprint to the post box, grab her letters, race to each newspaper office and deliver the letters directly to the editors, who would know it was urgent even though it wasn’t marked as such, open the letters immediately, deduce that the writer wasn’t a crackpot and alert the authorities, who would come to her exact location in time to stop her. Looking around, Olga could see no police. Obviously, society hadn’t taken her seriously. Typical, now they would have to pay.
Olga released the brake and headed towards the group of people waiting on “Defenders of Peace”, but quickly decided on that first attempt that the tram stop wasn’t quite crowded enough. She slowed down, driving past the people who stood at the tram stop oblivious to the impending danger. Olga headed around the block and back up to the top of the hill, where she waited and watched. When it appeared to her that there were sufficient victims, she released the hand brake and accelerated.
Olga knew she’d chosen the right moment. As her weapon of choice hurtled down the hill towards its target, nothing got in her way: no cars, no trams, nothing.
There were 25 commuters standing on the side of the road. Olga had succeeded in bringing down 20 of them, along with 3 nearby shop fronts. 8 were killed that day, with another 12 injured. Olga was arrested on the spot. Once her manifesto finally came to light 2 days after the incident (because there wasn’t a postman just waiting to pounce on her letter – it was posted the same as everyone else’s), her future date with the executioner was inevitable.
Olga’s lawyer tried his best to provide a defense for her actions. Olga wouldn’t hear of it. After all, what was the point of going to the trouble of meticulously writing down why she did what she did, then sending it to two different newspapers before going ahead with the killings, if she was just going to turn around and deny it later? Imbeciles!
Olga’s execution took place at Pankrác Prison. The martyr in her would be pleased to know that her most notable act of aggression earned her the dubious distinction of becoming the last woman hanged in the Czech Republic. Her martyrdom and notoriety had been assured, huzzah!
So just to recap, Olga’s intention was to carry out the death penalty on the world. She mowed down 20 people, of whom 8 died. That’s 8 people, at a time when the world’s population stood at just over 4 billion. Wow. She sure showed us.