The story of the Mauerova family is a bizarre and disturbing tale involving cannibalism, child abuse, identity theft and cults. This crime sounds exactly like the plot of some Quentin Tarantino movie but what happened in this family is very much true.
Klara Mauerova from Kurim in the Czech Republic often told people that she was destined to fulfill a mission for God. Her sister, Katerina, had a mission too, she said. Klara went on to have two sons – Ondrej and Jakub. The father of the sons eventually left Klara because of her bizarre behavior. Nevertheless, Klara was said to be a good mother in the beginning and would often be seen playing with her two boys. However, after the break up, Klara and her sons then moved in with her sister, Katerina.
The sisters then became friendly with 33-year-old Barbora Skrlova, an award-winning classical composer. Barbora had a glandular disease that made her look much younger than she really was. In fact, people often mistook her for a child. However, Barbora used this to her advantage. Prone to getting in trouble with the law, Barbora often posed as a minor to avoid charges being filed.
Before coming to the Czech Republic from Scandinavia, Barbora posed – and even became legal – as a 13-year-old girl named Anicka.
Shortly after the three women met one-another, they joined a religious cult led by Barbora’s father, known as “The Grail Movement.” The cult expressed the belief that their members could get into heaven by doing good deeds. However, they also believed that they were absolved to commit crimes.
The three women unleashed a barrage of abuse on 8-year-old Ondrej and 9-year-old Jakub. The two boys were locked in a cage in the basement where they remained for a year.
During that year, they were completely stripped and given no blankets or anything soft to lay on. They were starved, tortured, beaten and sexually assaulted. In addition, the boys were burned with cigarettes, given electric shocks, scratched with forks, whipped and almost drowned.
The boys were forced to cut themselves with knive. When they weren’t kept in the cage, they would be handcuffed to a table and forced to stand in their own urine for days. If either boy vomited, they would be forced to eat it.
It was soon decided they would force feed the boys to make them gain weight. After gaining some weight, the women held Ondej down and skinned his leg as he screamed and pleaded. The three women then ate the raw flesh. They did the same to Jakub and even forced the boys to consume their own flesh. Now, when they weren’t being tortured, they were literally being eaten alive.1
The abuse was eventually uncovered by chance in early May of 2007 when a neighbour’s television baby monitor picked up graphic videos from the scene. Klara had installed the television system so that she could watch the abuse from another room. The neighbour saw Ondrej with his hands tied behind his back, lying naked on the floor.
The neighbour called police who arrived at the scene and rescued Ondrej and Jakub. They also “rescued” another young girl who identified herself as their 13-year-old sister, Anicka. The brothers and young girl were sent to a children’s home before it was finally uncovered that Anicka was actually Barbora.
Before police got a chance to arrest her, she fled to Norway where she took up a new identity as a 13-year-old boy named Adam. In Oslo, Barbora shaved her head and enrolled in school.2
Eight months later, Barbora was eventually tracked down by police. Following the arrests, all of the women turned on each other. Klara claimed that she had been brainwashed by a doctor who sent her text messages instructing her what abuse and torture to inflict on her sons. Police later discovered that the phone number of the so-called doctor actually belonged to Katerina.
Barbora also claimed that she was innocent and that she too had been tortured by the sisters but the court did not believe her claims.3
According to prosecutors, the purpose of the torture and abuse was to break the boys and enslave them for religious purposes. While the three women were part of “The Grail Movement,” apparently, they had branched out and were creating their own cult. It was this breakaway cult that called for members to prove their devotion through physical devotion.
Klara was sentenced to 9 years in prison, Katherina was sentenced to 10 years in prison and Barbora Skrlova was sentenced to 5 years in prison. They have all since been paroled.
- News & Politics Examiner, 18 March, 2015 – “A Very Strang Crime Story”
- Deutsche Press-Agentur, 11 January, 2008 – “Czech Woman Poses as Child in Mysterious Abuse Case”
- Deutsche Press-Agentur, 24 October, 2008 – “Six Sentenced in Bizarre Czech Child Torture Case”