Kuřim prison near Brno. Thirty-five-year-old Maroš Straňák is also among the convicts. “I don’t want to sit for something I didn’t do,” he says. Together with 32-year-old David Šimon, who is in the same prison, he received an exceptional sentence for beating an elderly man in the village of Slopné in the Zlín region.
The murder took place 12 years ago. Since their conviction in 2014, both Šimon and Straňák have maintained that they did not commit murder in a small village in the Zlín region. The courts convicted them on the basis of odor traces and the testimony of two fellow prisoners who claimed that Straňák had confessed to the murder while in custody.
The News list and the 5:59 podcast reopen the murder case, which is accompanied by many question marks. In the six-part investigative series Slopné: Who is the murderer? reporters Adéla Jelínková and Christine Havranová reveal new connections that fundamentally change the view of the murder itself and the investigation and raise questions about the functioning of the Czech justice system.
Reporters have visited the prison in Kuřimi near Brno, where Šimon and Straňák are currently staying, several times over the past year. In his words, wrongly.
“Even if they accused me, it still didn’t occur to me that they could put me in custody. When I was already in custody, I thought to myself that this is not possible, that someone simply has to come in a week or 14 days and tell me that they were simply mistaken and that it is different,” recalls Šimon.
You can listen to the second part of the series here:
At the time of his conviction for murder, Straňák was already serving a sentence for robbing a goldsmith’s shop in Uherské Brod in 2011.
“I thought I was a dude, a world champion, and unfortunately I came to that. I came across very badly. And unfortunately, it probably came in handy for the cops in a way. If I hadn’t made a mess in the Zlín region, I might not be sitting around and they would blame the murder on someone else,” he claims today.
Straňák has two children, Šimon is supported by his parents. Both of them believe, although according to them less and less as the years go by, that they will be let go.
“I think that the worst thing here was the beginning, before you came to terms with the fact that you are here. Because when you get here, when you know you’re not supposed to be here, every day – in fact every day – you look forward to that door opening and something changing,” says Šimon.
Šimon was offered a lesser sentence by the police if he confessed and talked about Straňák. “I’d have to be a complete idiot. I’m here and there’s a person sitting here who I think didn’t do it either,” he explains why he didn’t accept the offer.
Straňák went to prison in 2011 – for robberies in goldsmith shops in Uherské Brod and Hodonín. The court then sentenced him to eight and a half years. He does not deny taking part in the robberies, but believes that this is the reason why the police began to focus on him for the murder. To this day, he maintains that he had nothing to do with the death of the elderly man.
Check out the photo gallery from the prison:
Slopné podcast series: Who is the killer?
Reporter Adéla Jelínková and photographer Christine Havranová searched for more than a year for the circumstances of the murder, which took place in 2011 in the village of Slopné in the Zlín region. The court sent two young men to prison for the brutal beating of an elderly man, who, even after 11 years behind bars, still claim to be innocent. Both received exceptional sentences of over 20 years.
The authors of the podcast spoke with the investigators of the case, with the convicts Maroš Straňák and David Šimon, as well as witnesses. Above all, however, they come up with new evidence and refute some of the original testimonies – which fundamentally changes the view of the murder case in Slopné as it was presented by criminal investigators, prosecutors or the courts.
In addition, the story brings chilling details about the Czech justice system in detail. Are the real criminals really serving time for murder in prison?
A six-part investigative series Slopné: Who is the killer? comes out in podcast 5:59 from October 20 every Friday. Listen on Podcasty.cz, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and other podcast applications. You can watch the 5:59 podcast on the X network or on Instagram.
Write us your observations, comments or tips via social networks or e-mail: email@example.com.