On the 23rd of December 2003, the neighbors of the Marolt family were busy preparing for the upcoming Christmas night. They were wrapping the gifts and enjoying the holiday atmosphere when they heard the first scream around 10 pm that night. They didn’t mind because they thought that excited kids in the building were having fun.
But around 10.50, the screaming and noise became so loud that many of them stepped out of their apartments. They immediately noticed that something was happening on the third floor.
There they found 53-year-old Olga Urbančič, the mother of two young girls, lying in the blood with cuts on her hands and bleeding from the head.
One of the witnesses said the woman was terrified, saying that her boyfriend attacked her when she came home.
Olga returned from work late in the night. She was working at the post office, and due to the increased volume of work during the holiday season, she often finished her shift late. When she returned home this evening, she became a victim of her spouse’s attack.
Ivo Marolt, her partner, and father of their two daughters attacked her as soon as she opened the door. He hit her on the head several times using an ashtray. Then he tried to drag her into the bathroom, where he hid the knife, but Olga escaped to the hall, screaming for help.
While the neighbors were running to the third floor, Ivo locked himself in the apartment. He didn’t respond to the neighbors’ calls, and later when police arrived, ignored their request to open the doors.
One of the neighbors was visibly upset about the police work and the way they managed the situation. Even though police knew the suspect was alone in the flat with young daughters, the firefighters needed half an hour to break into the family home. Little did they know that he already killed his daughters before their mother got home.
When they finally opened the door, they found the murderer Ivo Marolt covered with blood where he cut his wrists, trying to commit suicide. In the middle of hurting himself, he lost the courage to finish it, so he didn’t have any life-threatening injuries on his body. He didn’t resist arrest because the apartment was screaming the evidence.
Some police officers never experienced a crime scene like this one, working in a predominantly safe country in central Europe. The walls and floor were covered with blood, and the bodies of girls were found in their bedrooms. In the bloody apartment, police also found the corpse of a family dog named Snoopy, who had been killed by Marolt.
While the police and firefighters dealt with the killer, Olga was taken to the hospital. Luckily, she didn’t suffer any fatal injures from the attack. When she heard what happened, she had a nervous breakdown and was immediately transferred to the psychiatry department.
Neighbors who knew the family were shocked, and they described the family as calm and quiet. They never noticed any problems or heard any arguments. For them, the family on the outside seemed like any regular family. The girls, Alenka and Katja, were nice and well behaved, aged 9 and 11. They were in the third-grade and five-grade of the local elementary school, where they were excellent students.
The headmistress of their school described them as kind and bright girls who enjoyed school activities. It didn’t seem like the family had any problems and their father always came to school performances or events. Nobody thought this would happen.
The whole school and town were grieving and wondering why the father would take the life of his beautiful daughters?
On trial, Ivo Marolt tried to prove that he killed his girls in effect, without any thinking or planning the crimes. The District Attorney refuted his defense and said that Marolt had consciously decided to commit the act. The trial details of this horrific night before Christmas shocked the whole country.
While his partner was at work, Marolt first killed the family dog, Snoopy using the hammer around 9.30 pm. He had to remove the dog so he could continue with the rest of his plan. Then he went to the girls’ bedroom and first killed his older child, 11-year-old Alenka. She cried and tried to defend herself, but her father beat her to death with the kitchen hammer. Then he attacked the nine-year-old Katja, who was sleeping, using the same weapon. He left the bodies of the girls in the bedroom and covered the dog’s body.
Then he waited for the mother of his daughters and tried to pretend as if nothing had happened. When she returned home, he repeatedly hit her with an ashtray, trying to move her in the bathroom where he was hiding the knife, ready to kill her. Olga escaped to the hall, where she desperately called for help.
The court found Marolt guilty of the crimes, ruled that he was not insane at the time of the murders and that he carefully planned his actions.
The District Court sentenced him to 15 years in prison for the murder of his daughter Alenka and 30 years in prison for the murder of daughter Katja. For the attempted murder of his partner Olga, they sentenced him to 12 years in prison and five months for damaging a foreign object — which sadly was the family dog, Snoopy.
The final sentence he got was 30 years in jail because more than 30 years of imprisonment could not be imposed in Slovenia!
To this day, it is unknown what was the motive that led Marolt to committing his horrible actions. The prosecution was able to prove that he killed the girls and dog intentionally, while Marolt claimed that he did it out of effect. But the reason for doing it remains unknown. In one of his hearings, he said that he didn’t think reasonably.
When the judge asked him if he would like to add something to the verdict, he answered with a crying voice: “I can’t find words to express my grief and regret. I feel sorry for Olga, who now has to suffer when she looks at the clothes and other things of little girls. There is no worse punishment than I forced on myself.”