Ondrej Rigo (born 1955), is a Slovak serial
killer and necrophile who targeted women in Bratislava, Munich and
Amsterdam from 1990 to 1992. Currently serving a life sentence for 9
murders and 1 attempted murder in Leopoldov Prison in Slovakia,
Rigo is a dissocial and schizoid psychopath while
also being a necrophile, finding pleasure in having intercourse with
women with mutilated heads. Ondrej Rigo remains the Slovak murderer
with the highest number of victims and he is also the most prolific
serial killer in modern Slovak history. He is eligible to apply for
parole in 2019.
Ondrej Rigo has a brother, who is angry with him
because of the troubles he got him into in Germany and a daughter who
sometimes visits him in prison. According to an article in SME (newspaper)
Rigo is of Roma ethnicity. When he was 14 he was taken into a youth
corrective institution and later into an orphanage together with his
siblings. They stayed there for a year, having been taken from their
mother after their father's arrest. Rigo's mother died in 2000 after
being hit by a car. Learning of her death is the one time he remembers
crying in his life. His father died during a burglary. Rigo claims he
liked both parents:
(My) parents were good, they didn't beat me,
—Ondrej Rigo recalls
his childhood in 2007.
In Bratislava, Rigo worked in Hotel Carlton, where
he was arrested. Before that he worked as a "kurič" in a heater room
in Pravda newspaper and in a hospital on Bezručova street and a
hospital on Šulekova street, having also completed his gas certificate
(plynárske skúšky in Slovak.
Before his first murder, Ondrej Rigo was already
convicted 11 times. He was a criminal from an early age, focusing
mainly on home burglaries. The last time he was in police custody in
Slovakia (at that time Czechoslovakia) was from September 28, 1989 to
December 9, 1989 because of unauthorised leaving of the Republic.
After the fall of the iron curtain and end of
communism in Czechoslovakia, people were allowed once again to travel
freely in Europe and Rigo continued with his crimes abroad. On
December 9, 1989, the same day he was released from prison and mere
three weeks after the start of revolution, he traveled to Vienna
without any valid passport. There, he acquired a fake Yugoslavian
passport on the name of "Nedo Ikic". Later, he traveled to Germany to
meet his brother. In Bavaria he asked for asylum using his fake
passport. He was, however, sentenced by the German authorities to two
months in prison for forging documents. He spent his sentence in a
prison in Bad Reichenhall. After his release from prison, Rigo escaped
from a refugee camp and traveled to Munich where he continued his
burglaries and started his killing spree.
An important factor in Ondrej Rigo's conviction was
his consistent modus operandi:
His attacks occurred during the night or very
early in the morning
He wore his socks on his hands at all times
during the attacks in order to not leave any fingerprints
He would sneak into apartments in the basements,
on the ground floor or with easy access via the balcony, usually
entering through a window
He would always pick women sleeping alone and
beat them to death with a metal rod, wooden stick or a rock, always
hitting the head
The murder weapon is always left at the crime
After killing the victim he would cover the
victim's upper body with a blanket. Then he would copulate with the
body both vaginally and anally. Sometimes, he would mutilate the
body some more during intercourse
He smoked at the crime scenes and threw cigarette
butts on the floor
Usually, he robbed the victims of some easy to
Listed in chronological order, these are the names
of the victims who were murdered or wounded by Ondrej Rigo.
Date of Attack
June 8, 1990
August 1, 1990
Maria van der W.
September 27, 1990
October 6, 1990
January 3, 1991
January 3, 1991
January 9, 1991
late January or April, 1991
July 14, 1991
March 4, 1992
After arriving at Munich, Ondrej Rigo murdered twice in three months.
His first victim, Helena S. (40), probably surprised Rigo while he was
burglarizing her apartment. "He killed her and got aroused sexually,"
recalls Anton Heretik, author of Rigo's psychological evaluation
during investigation. On the night from June 7 to June 8, 1990, he
sneaked through a partially open window into the ground floor bedroom
of Helena S. at an unspecified location in Munich. Rigo smashed her
head with a 2.5 kilogram metal pipe, wrapped the upper part of her
body in a blanket and copulated with her. Before leaving, according to
some sources he stole some easy to carry valuables, according to
others he stole nothing. He disposed of the murder weapon directly
beneath the bedroom window.
On the night between the last day of June and
August 1, 1990, Rigo sneaked through the partially open balcony door
into the Munich apartment of Ilke Z. (28) murdering her, again using a
metal pipe. Probably during copulation, Rigo stabbed her into the neck
with a screwdriver. He performed both vaginal and anal intercourse
with her. Afterwards, he covered up the body and searched the house
for valuables including a golden necklace and an unknown amount of
German marks, which he stole. The murder weapon and a men's sock was
later found by the German police at the crime scene.
In October, Rigo left Munich for Amsterdam to visit
his sister Helena. Maria van der W. (58) was a woman living alone in
Amsterdam with cats. During the night of September 27, 1990, Rigo
sneaked into her ground floor apartment through a partially open
balcony window and killed her with a stone weighing over 5.5 kilograms
(probably a pavement cobblestone). He stripped the body naked and
copulated with it. Again he robbed his victim, stealing a camera, a
women's wristwatch, two boxes containing coins and some other
valuables. In the kitchen on a shelf he finds some slivovica and
drinks it. Later in court, one of the witnesses would testify, that
Rigo had a liking for this particular drink.
Rigo left for Bratislava, Slovakia the day
following the murder. His killings continued with the murder of
Terézia R. (88) inside a retirement home in Bratislava, on October 6,
1990. He murdered her with his fist while she was sleeping. The
retirement home reported prayer books, rosary and 4000 Slovak Crowns
as missing. Underneath the balcony, the police found some Dutch coins
and cigarette butts with Rigo's biological material on them.
On January 3, 1991, early in the morning, the
bodies of Anna P. (40) and her son Juraj N. (14-16 depends on the
source) were found inside a ground floor flat in a dormitory, at an
unspecified location in Bratislava. Rigo entered the apartment through
a window around midnight. The son was sleeping beside his mother when
Rigo crushed heir heads with a wooden stick. Anna P. tried to protect
her son. Afterwards, Rigo copulated with her body. Anna P., who
emigrated to Switzerland in 1982 with her son and husband, was in
Bratislava with her son just for a few days for New Year's.
Jana B. (31) became the first person to survive
Rigo's attack on January 9, 1991, when she managed to fight him off
after being attacked in her probably first-floor Bratislava apartment
on Kutuzovova street. Her quick decision to fight coupled with a poor
weapon choice on Rigo's part allowed her to come out of the
confrontation only with some wounds. Rigo gained access through a
ventilation window above the door. After the unsuccessful attack, he
quickly fled the apartment. Jana B. noticed that Rigo's light-blue
pants were hand-sewn in the crotch area which later helped in
identifying him. The police indeed found such pants in his closet. The
same night before this attack, Rigo entered through another window in
the neighborhood, but it led only into a small locked storage room.
Three weeks after his last kill and two weeks after
the attack on Jana B., at an unspecified date, he murdered Helena N.
(79) near Záhradnícka street in Bratislava. This was on the same
street as the last murder scene according to some sources, or very
near the last murder scene, according to others. Rigo removed a net
from the kitchen window of this ground floor apartment, killing Helena
N. with a piece of concrete.
Henrieta O. or A. (22) was attacked on July 14,
1991. Rigo gained access to her Bratislava apartment through the
window, which she probably left open because it was a hot summer. She
was playing on her guitar late into the night. Rigo smashed her head,
raped her and robbed her, leaving her for dead. Henrieta O. however
survived the attack but died 18 days later. Together with Henrieta O.
there was also her grandmother sleeping in another room of the
apartment. She was practically deaf and didn't hear Rigo raping her
fatally injured granddaughter.
The last victim, Matilda U. (67), was murdered on
March 4, 1992, in the center of Bratislava in a "pavlač" house in
Obchodná street. That night, Rigo was in movie theater Dukla (today
known as YMCA) on Šancová street together with his girlfriend. They
were returning home together when he suddenly told her that he had to
take care of something and got off the trolleybus. He didn't come home
According to an article in Časopis Šarm, there is
another unnamed victim from Bratislava, killed with a knife, which was
never proved to Rigo. The victim was a woman found in the morning by
her son sleeping in his child's room. The murder is considered
unsolved as of 2008.
Rigo gave some of the items he stole from his
victims to his unnamed daughter (12).
"He was still in trance, like a snake who just
swallowed its prey. There were traces of blood on his shoes and
trousers and inside his locker there were jewels belonging to the
JUDr. Jozef Vachálek recalls Ondrej Rigo's arrest.
Ondrej Rigo was arrested by the Slovak criminal
police on March 4, 1992, only hours after his last murder. He was
arrested by Vachálek and probably some other policemen in Hotel
Carlton on Hviezdoslavovo Square in Bratislava, where he was employed
as a "šatniar" in a cloakroom. At the time of his arrest he was still
without his socks on, which he used in the attack.
Later, he would claim that the blood on him was
syrup and that his sperm found on the victims was arranged by a
prostitute from an erotic club. He explained his footprints beneath
the balconies and cigarette butts by claiming he was there by chance
and had to pee or that he was curious and took a look through some
windows. He explained his possession of jewelry by saying that women
often gave him gifts.
Jana B., the only survivor of his crimes, clearly
saw Rigo's face because inside the apartment where she fought with
Rigo, there was some light from a streetlight outside. She would later
actually attend his trial wearing a wig to remain unnoticed.
The criminal police of Germany, Netherlands and
Czechoslovakia investigated Rigo's murders separately. It was only
after his arrest that they started cooperating on the case.
Ondrej Rigo was sentenced on December 7, 1994 by
the City court of Bratislava after a trial that lasted 10 days. A
senate headed by JUDr. Peter Šamko sentenced him to life imprisonment
in the "third class", which means highest security prison in Slovakia.
When details of his crimes were read to him in court, Rigo did not
react in any way. He was sitting rigidly and leaning a bit forward,
his face showing no emotion throughout the trial. His file consisted
of 5500 pages.
As explained by Šamko, the sentence was chosen
based on directly or indirectly proven 9 murders, based on especially
brutal way in which he committed the murders and based on the fact
that possibilities of his resocialization are quite limited and the
prognosis is bad. There was also DNA evidence presented to the court
consisting of blood analysis and analysis of semen from the victims'
vaginas, as well as testimonies of 194 witnesses (including witnesses
from Germany and Netherlands).
Rigo never pleaded guilty to any of the murders and
he does not feel guilty.
Ondrej Rigo has appealed the first-order court's
sentence. In his appeal, he claims he is innocent, without giving any
kind of proof.
Rigo's appeal process at the Highest Court of
Slovak Republic started on February 27, 1996. During his finishing
speech, the representative of the General Prosecutor Office of
Slovakia JUDr. Ivan Segeš proposed to confirm the life imprisonment
sentence because Ondrej Rigo's guilt has been proven once again in the
appeal process. On February 28, 1996 the senate of the Highest Court
of Slovak Republic denied Ondrej Rigo's appeal and confirmed his
sentence. There is no other appeal possible.
After an unknown number of years in Ilava prison,
Rigo was transferred to Leopoldov Prison.
Personality and psychopathological profile
According to court appointed psychologist Anton
Heretik, author of Ondrej Rigo's psychological profile during the
trial, Rigo is a psychopath. "He does not accept any social norms, he
is lacking empathy and behaves very impulsively. In the same time he
is a schizoid, unable to create relationships with others. He has
strange thoughts and hobbies, he is a loner. He is a combination of
dissocial and schizoid psychopath, creating a very dangerous type of
criminal", claims Heretik.
According to his psychological profile, the
strangeness, lack of hospitality and language barrier in a foreign
country could have influenced his later behavior. Rigo was found by
the psychologists to not be a sadist.
According to Ondrej Rigo's investigator JUDr. Jozef
Vachálek, "(he) had low IQ and seldom talked".
While incarcerated in Ilava prison, Rigo behaved
according the norms most of the time, but according to pedagogist
Daniel Blaško from Ilava prison, he would "often react too
aggressively". "Chances for his correction are zero", says Blaško.
According to him, it was difficult to communicate with Rigo, because
he seldom said a coherent sentence.
The Slovak artist Jana B. is the only person to
survive an attack by Ondrej Rigo. She attended karate classes for
several years. Jana B. was attacked around 2:30 in the night while
sleeping in her apartment on Kutuzovova street in Bratislava's 3rd
district on January 9, 1991. She returned home an hour after midnight
and went to sleep. Rigo gained access to the apartment via a
ventilation window above the door. A ladder was found leaning against
"I was woken up by a hit to the head and I saw a
man standing by my bed. At first I thought I'm dreaming, because I was
living alone but when I received another hit to the head I woke up and
the wooden shaft from a hoe Rigo stole outside, on the building's yard,
broke, because it was moldy," she recalls. Jana B. jumped from her bed
and started defending herself immediately with the broken piece of
wood. When Rigo walked to the door, unlocking it from inside, she
threw a chair at him. In the kitchen, he wrestled Jana B. onto a hot
gas oven. "The skin on my legs and stomach started to burn", she
recalls. They fell on the ground wrestling, then Rigo stood up and
started punching her to the head. At this moment Jana B. grabbed him
by his genitals and squeezed them. "He was just trying to gouge out my
eye", she remembers. She doesn't remember whether Rigo screamed or not,
but the rest of the fight before was silent. He then quickly fled the
apartment while Jana B. alarmed the neighbor by banging on the wall,
instructing him to call the police. Another neighbor, woken up by her
son who was alarmed by the noise, found Jana B in shock and savagely
The neighbor told the police he heard some weird
noises but he thought Jana B. was probably framing pictures in the
middle of the night. After the attack, her wounds required several
weeks to heal. According to Jana B.'s mother, the worst thing was that
Ondrej Rigo was caught over a year after the attack on her daughter,
all the time knowing he might come back to finish the job. Years later,
Jana B. claims she has no psychical trauma from the attack and she is
not interested in Ondrej Rigo.
"Why should I move? Where is it safer? In Petržalka?
Rigo is not interesting to me. I have no trauma from him, I don't feel
anything, he doesn't mean anything to me. I don't want to talk about
him, read about him or know anything about him."
—Jana B., the only
survivor of Ondrej Rigo's attacks, when interviewed by Šarm in 2008
Jana B. never moved from the flat she was attacked
in and as of 2008 she continues to live there. Other sources claim she
bought a dog and had to have lights on during the night for seven
years after the attack, afterwards finally moving out from the
In popular culture
the beast), a detective novel by Slovak author Dominik
Dán, published in Slovart in July 2006 is a semi-fictionalised story
of Ondrej Rigo. It details the atmosphere of the aftermath of
President Václav Havel's amnesty from 1990 which released many
criminals from prisons.