Everyone thought Petr Kramny and his wife were the perfect couple...so why did he murder her on holiday in Egypt?
It was before 8am. A bright, sunny morning towards the end of June 2016.
And a scuffle was close to breaking out on the steps of Ostrava courthouse, in the Czech Republic. Inside, there were seats for only 50 journalists.
But outside there were many more. All desperate for a scoop.
All desperate to get the story of Petr Kramny. The man who’d been charged with murdering his wife.
And with murdering his 8-year-old daughter.
It was shortly before 9am when Petr Kramny was lead into the courtroom by prison guards.
The journalists lucky enough to have seats scribbled in their notepads.
He looks confident…but no emotion…they wrote.
The prosecutor read the indictment.
Petr Kramny, 37, had been charged with two counts of murder.
He denied them both.
‘I disagree with the indictment,’ Petr shook his head.
He’d been happily married, loved his wife and daughter to bits. Why should he have killed them?
‘Because you were scared your wife was leaving you,’ the lawyer said from across the courtroom. ‘And you couldn’t deal with the humiliation.’
It had been while on holiday in the Egyptian resort of Hurghada two years before, in 2013, that Petr Kramny’s wife and daughter had died.
Suddenly. And unexpectedly.
Petr told the court how his wife, Monika, 36, would sort out the family’s towels every morning ready for a day on the beach, while he and his daughter, Klara, 8, dozed.
A normal family holiday.
‘Mornings were breakfast then swimming,’ Petr told the court. ‘We enjoyed the holiday.’
But soon after they’d arrived, the Kramny family fell ill.
With what they assumed was food poisoning.
‘Monika was vomiting and had diarrhoea,’ Petr explained. ‘I was sick, too. And Klara was sleepy.’
They all agreed they should drink lots of water. And if they didn’t feel better the next day, they’d find a doctor.
Then, they slept.
The court listened, and some cried, when Petr Kramny described what happened next.
He woke up to find Monika and Klara had both died.
‘I didn’t know what to do,’ he cried. ‘So I called my mum. She told me to get help.’
The Egyptian authorities confirmed both Monika and Klara had died of food poisoning and dehydration.
A family tragedy.
Only, back home in the Czech Republic, the bodies of Monika and Klara were re-examined.
And the Czech authorities claimed the Egyptian authorities had got it wrong.
Monika and Klara hadn’t died of food poisoning.
They’d been electrocuted.
This wasn’t a family tragedy.
This was murder.
Petr was accused of electrocuting them both while they slept.
He was arrested, charged.
And now in court, he was denying those charges. Why would he have killed his wife and children?
‘We were happy,’ he insisted. ‘Me and Monika had been together years. We were talking about getting a new house. I’m innocent.’
The lawyer took a deep breath.
‘What was your sex life with your wife like, Mr Kramny?’ he asked.
‘Perfectly normal,’ Petr shrugged.
Petr and Monika had met in 2001, and married six years later, in 2007. Young, attractive, they looked like the perfect couple.
But the lawyer put it to Petr he had only booked the holiday in Egypt because the relationship was in crisis.
And once in Egypt, he’d found out something he didn’t like.
‘Were you in the habit of looking at Monika’s Facebook page?’ the lawyer asked.
Petr nodded. But he only looked at Monika’s Facebook page because he was worried about Klara.
‘She loved posting pictures of Klara,’ he explained.
And Petr told the court how Monika was friends with several men on Facebook…men he didn’t know.
‘I warned her they could be perverts or paedophiles looking at all those photos of Klara,’ Petr said.
But the lawyer shook his head.
Those men weren’t paedophiles…they weren’t interested in Klara.
They were interested in Monika.
And one of them was called to the witness stand.
His name was John Rybon. And he admitted having an affair with Monika Kramny.
They’d met a few times. Had sex.
Only, whenever John was with Monika, Petr would call her mobile. Over and over and over.
‘Monika would tell him she was at work,’ John said. ‘But she was nervous about it.’
John told the court he wasn’t Monika’s only lover. And she said she wanted to leave her husband.
But at the same time, she was terrified Petr would find out about her infidelities.
‘She’d get hysterical about it,’ John said.
Had Petr Kramny done just that – had he found out his wife had been cheating on him?
The prosecution argued yes, Petr Kramny had found out. He’d flown into a jealous rage and killed Monika.
Somehow, he’d electrocuted her. He was a welder by profession, so he’d have the know-how.
As the electricity had surged through her mum, little Klara had grabbed hold of her.
She, too, had died.
And Petr Kramny had killed her.
But Petr Kramny denied this version of events.
He’d loved his wife and daughter. But they’d got food poisoning. And then, in hot, dusty Egypt, they’d died.
Wasn’t that, after all, what the Egyptian authorities had said all along?
Two autopsies from different countries. Each showing different results.
But in the end Petr Kramny was found guilty of both murders, and sentenced to 28 years in prison.
The judge admitted it was unusual for someone to be found guilty without any direct evidence of the crime, but the circumstantial evidence in this case was overwhelming.