Zdeněk Vocásek

born in 1961 - the death sentence changed into the life imprisonment

Zdeněk Vocásek - muž který unikl oprátce

The delegates of the 28th Federal Assembly decide to vitiate the punishment of death sentence on May 2nd, 1990. The death sentence is vitiated although the general public is shocked by the sex-motivated murder of a seven-months old girl in Bulovka Hospital, Prague on May 1st, 1990. It is committed by an attendant. Another child is murdered and a homicidal attempt is committed in Hlohovec, Slovakia. However, Zdeněk Vocásek is the only person sentenced to death in the then Czechoslovakia at that time.

Zdeněk Vocásek is condemned to death for a twofold slaughter and a murderous attempt by the Prague Municipal Court on September 8th, 1988. On August 23rd, 1989, the Supreme Court of the Czechoslovak Socialist Repbulic reviews the decision of the Court of Appeal and makes its decision Vocásek has been sentenced to death by law. The President Gustáv Husák turns down Vocásek's petition for mercy on December 6th, 1989. He should be executed on December 27th, 1989. But the new President, Václav Havel, supersedes the execution. On August 2nd, 1990, the Prague Municipal Court remits the death sentence to life imprisonment. Nevertheless, the court confirms that no mistake was made in the previous decisions. Zdeněk Vocásek "escapes the gallows by a hair's breadth"...

Zdeněk Vocásek is arrested after the policing in Poděbradská Street, Prague, late at night on April 5th, 1987. Before the policing, Vocásek tries to get rid of two suitcases and a plastic bag. One of them contains a crooked knife stained with blood. He claims the luggages does not belong to him, he has just opened it to have a look what is in. But his clothes are stained with blood too. Vocásek is taken to the local Police station. Before entering the office, he tried to throw away a wallet. The wallet content proves to be Ferdinand K. (born in 1918) belonging. He is staying at the local hostel. When the criminalists open the room, they find Ferdinanda K.'s dead body. The autopsy proves that Ferdinand K. was killed with a knife. Twelve stub wounds are found on the dead body: on the chest, the neck, the hand, the scruff of the neck and the cantle.

Murdered Ferdinand K.

Mrtvola Ferdinanda K.

A men's watch, a silver ladies ring, an alarm-clock, two wallets, two pens, an ink-pad, a pack of cigarettes and a pair of worn men's shoes. All the things worth 510 CZK and are proved to be Ferdinand K.'s property...

Vocásek pleads quilty the very same day. He meets Ferdinand in a restaurant by chance. They have never met before. Ferdinand K. is a heavy drinker and Vocásek is willing to listen to his boozy guff. When the restaurant closes, he pays for "his murderer", buys a bottle of wine and invites him to the hostel. Vocásek is a complete stranger at the hostel and Ferdinand is much older than him and thus he does not want to stay there any longer. Some women are to come and thus Vocásek decides to stay. It is 10 p. m. and Vocásek is about to leave, but Ferdinand does not want him to leave. He is even said to attack him. That is why Vocásek takes a knife and "defends his life". Vocásek states: "The stabbed Ferdinand is lying on the floor asking me for help. "You're gonna die!" I answer." And he stabs him again. The knife gets crooked. Then, he steals Ferdinand's property, the unfinished bottle of wine, locks up the room and throws the key away. He is arrested a few minutes later. The key is found in the sewer not far from the scene of crime.

The crime reconstruction: Vocásek attacks his victim

Vocásek při rekonstrukci předvádí, jak útočil na oběť

A blind Quido F. (born in 1939) is murdered in his flat in Belgická Street, Prague, on January 1st, 1987 at about 11 p. m. The autopsy proves he was killed with a handleless hammer. He hits his head with two half liter glasses which break into pieces. At last but not least, he takes a screwdriver and stabs his chest, abdomen and the right eye. Nobody knows why the murderer gathers the dice up and places it in the sink.

The personal characters of the both murdered men are the connection between the two murders. Quido F. is known to be a racketeer. He is said to have several bank accounts in Switzerland. He himself used to say he used to be a Russian agent who had murdered several people in August 1968. He falls ill, becomes blind and thus he has to leave his "job". He is not living the high life any more. His luxury flat has changed into a slum. He becomes a heavy drinker suffering from paranoid ideas: some secret agents spying on him, the relatives of the people murdered in 1968 want to kill him...

The police investigations prove that Quido F. was sure to know Zdeněk Vocásek. What is more, both of them are said to have met in a Prague restaurant the day Quido F. was murdered. When the criminalists want Vocásek to express his opinion of that fact, he spontaneously confesses to the Quido F. murder. He walks his dog on New Year's Day and meets Quido F. in a Prague restaurant. But Vocásek is too lazy to go home in the evening and thus he decides to stay with his dog at Quido's over night. Quido F. agrees. They keep on drinking at Quido's flat. Quido F. becomes more and more drunk and starts accusing Vocásek of spying on him. Suddenly, the blind Quido F. wants Vocásek to leave his flat immediately. But there is a hammer on the shelf. Vocásek takes the hammer and hits the blindman's head. When the hammer handle breaks, he uses some glasses to attack Quido F. Finally, Vocásek takes a screwdriver and stabs Quido F. to death. The dog is not involved in that fight. Vocásek gathers the bloodystained dice up then and places them in the sink just to prevent his dog from getting hurt... He stays in the flat over night. He washes his shirt in the morning. He takes the deadman's bloodystained trousers, the handleless hammer and leaves the flat. During the police investigations, Vocásek describes the place where those things are hidden.

At the very end of the police investigations, Zdeněk Vocásek writes a letter in which he confesses to another murder. He lives in Prague 2, Kateřinská Street in 1984. There lives a Stanislav H. (born in 1941) upstairs who is a heavy drinker, too. Stanislav H.'s flat looks like a squat. Vocásek returns from a pub on Thursday, April 19th, 1984, at about 10:00 p. m. When Vocásek opening the door, a neighbour of his sees the terrible mess inside. Vocásek takes his neighbour to Stanislav H.'s flat where drunken Stanislav sleeps on the floor covered with some dirty rags. The door of the flat is open all the time. The neighbour leaves, Vocásek takes a hammer and hits Stanislav H.'s head four times. He returns to his flat then. What a surprise when he can hear Stanislav H. calling for help. He himself writes in his letter: "Think! Would you hit someone's head and try to rescue the person then?" The medical report writes that Stanislav H. suffered the devastation of the cranium and some bone splitters got even to the cerebral cortex. Stanislav H. survives due to an early medical help only. But he remembers nothing. He even admits he could fall from the scaffolding when he was drunk. The obvious murderous attempt is classified as a misadvanture and thus police put the case on the shelf. Stanislav H. dies of cancer five months later.

The forensic experts in the field of psychology prove that Zdeněk Vocásek did not suffer from any mental illness when committing his crimes. On the other hand, Vocásek suffers from polymorphic psychopathy which means a kind of personality disorder which results from its structure disharmony. Nevertheless, he knows what he is doing and is fully responsible for everything he has ever done. He attacks his victims completely unreasonably, in a felonious and cruel way. What is more, the firt man was completely blind, the second one was too old to be able to meet the attact. His rather low intellectual capacity (IQ 77) results in an absolut lack of respect for a human life. He has no hobby but cynology. His dog is his only interest and that is only why he gathered the dice up. Just to prevent his dog from getting injured.

Zdeněk Vocásek left remedial school and has been on trial for four times ever since. When he was a teenager, he damaged a bus on purpose, robbed a woman and attacked another woman who had stepped on his dog's paw. Zdeněk Vocásek was sentenced to life imprisonment and has been doing time in Mírov Prison. He wants reopening of his trial several times. He pleas for mercy twice. In prison, Vocásek writes a book on his case and narrates it in several cassettes. Vocásek is the very last criminal sentenced to death in the Czech Republic. He is also the very first criminal sentenced to life imprisonment in the Czech Republic. Having spent twenty years in prison, he can be released...

© Miloslav Jedlička, D. C. L.
Translated by inspector WO Pavel Vršovský, M. A.