20 years since the arrest of the Stodol couple - the worst serial killers in Czech history
The series of eight murders committed by Jaroslav and Dana Stodol in 2001 and 2002 are unprecedented in the history of Czech criminology. The case was exceptional not only because of the scale and cruelty of the crimes, but also because of several grave errors on the part of the police.
The unemployed couple sought a solution to their poor financial situation by robbing and murdering the most vulnerable members of society –elderly people. The targets were mostly pensioners who had to endure violent torture before they died. In total, the Stodolos committed 17 serious crimes in which eight people were brutally murdered.
Their case is also exceptional in the fact that forensic doctors and criminologists on the case erred, giving the Stodols time to commit more crimes. Police officers initially closed the cases of three murdered elderly men as suicide or sudden death. The Stodols systematically manipulated potential evidence. For example, after killing two elderly men, they turned on the gas in the house, or they strangled another man and then tried to hang him by a rope in the attic.
On February 4, 2003, the Stodols were finally arrested. During interrogations, they never expressed any regret and began to blame each other. Each tried to look like the victim of a manipulative partner. They both received life sentences. In prison, Czechia’s worst serial killers divorced.