Saturday, June 19, 2021

Murder, He Wrote



The following is lifted virtually word for word from the reporting of Anna Wichmann in  The story broke yesterday, forty days after a murder that shook the Greek people to its core. So horrendous, that the Government offered a 300,000 euro reward.  Here’s the story, one I’m sure will make its way into any number of fiction and non-fiction novels, for it’s a tragedy steeped in outrageous deception, domestic violence, and endemic prejudice.  It’s also a tale of sharp police work, with an ironic final twist.


The murder of young [British-Greek] wife and mother Caroline Crouch, aged just 20, in the quiet Athenian suburb of Glyka Nera on May 11 shocked the country, where such brutal killings are rare.

What was even more frightening was the fact that, according to her [pilot/flight instructor] husband, who, apart from her 11-month-old baby, was the only living witness to the crime, and the murderers were a group of thieves who had entered the house at random.

This had many Greeks worrying for their own safety in their homes.

However, as of late Thursday evening, the world now knows that there is no band of murderous thieves on the loose, as Caroline Crouch’s 32-year-old husband, Babis Anagnostopoulos, confessed to the crime

In a chilling statement the day after the murder of his wife, [Babis] Anagnostopoulos stressed that the police would find the “killers,” saying:


“I hope this never happens to anyone ever again. The police know their job and they will catch the people who did this. I hope that no one else ever experience what I went through, and what my family and my wife’s family have gone through.”

The evidence that helped solve the murder of Caroline Crouch

After he was rushed to the Attica Police Headquarters in Athens by helicopter from the island of Alonnissos, where he was staying with Crouch’s family, on Wednesday evening, Anagnostopoulos was presented with evidence that unraveled his story of the events of the night his wife was murdered.

When asked why he had to leave the island so quickly, before his confession, Anagnostopoulos told reporters that police had informed him that they found the ringleader of the murder and needed him to come identify him in person.

He said this while hugging Caroline Crouch’s mother, who had just held a memorial service for her daughter.

[Police, in an ironic twist said, they waited for the memorial service to end, before transferring the husband to GADA [police headquarters], out of respect for his wish to attend the memorial service.]


The evidence, however, was clear, and Anagnostopoulos later confessed to the crime.

Specifically, during the period when he claimed to have been completely immobilized and tied up by the burglars, unable to assist his wife as she was being suffocated, police found that he was actively using his phone.

They were even able to determine from an app that tracks user’s steps that Anagnostopoulos was up and walking around during the time he stated he was tied down by the intruders.

His phone, along with that of his wife, shows that the couple had been fighting that night. According to records, the last text Crouch sent her husband that night was the word “stupid” in English.

Additionally, Caroline Crouch’s smart watch, which tracked data regarding her health, including her heart rate, showed the exact moment of her death.

In the minutes before she died, her heart rate suddenly began to be elevated, attesting to the fear she felt in the final moments of her life.

Anagnostopoulos claimed that the group of robbers removed the memory card from the family’s security camera shortly before they left the house after killing his wife.

After studying both the camera and the memory card, police determined that it was actually removed four or five hours before the specific time that Anagnostopoulos told the police the thieves left the home.

The circumstances surrounding the murder

Before his confession, the victim’s husband claimed that the murderers entered the home after killing the family’s dog.

They then suffocated his wife after stealing some money the couple had at home, wiped the memory cards from their security cameras, and fled the scene.

On Thursday night, he confessed that he was the murderer after nearly eight hours of police questioning.

Police records have shown that the couple had a fight the night of the murder, and at least one person close to the victim has allegedly expressed to police that the couple had been going through a very rough period in their marriage.

The reason for the tragic murder is one that is all too common in such cases. According to Anagnostopoulos, his wife told him that she was planning to leave him and take her baby with her before he “blurred” and killed her.

“That night, we had been fighting since early in the day. At one point, she threw the baby into its bassinet and told me to get up and leave the house. She pushed me and punched me. I blurred and suffocated her, and then I staged the crime scene,” the 32-year-old helicopter pilot stated in his confession.

Crouch was suffocated for around five minutes.

Many people, including many in the police force, were suspicious of the victim’s husband from the beginning.

Speaking to Greek news agency MEGA on Friday, Thanasis Katerinopoulos, honorary president of the police force, stated that the arrest was “a matter of time.”

Katerinopoulos highlighted the nature of technological evidence, which is ubiquitous in our current age.

“Let’s not forget that we live in the era of technology, and the answers it gives are like irrefutable witnesses and they do not get overturned in any courtroom. I’m so sorry for the poor woman and her mother who lives with this pain,” Katerinopoulos stated.

Brutal murder of Caroline Crouch provokes dialogue

The brutality of the murder has shocked the Greek public and brought conversations regarding intimate partner violence and domestic violence to the forefront of public discourse.

The horror of such a young, vibrant life being snuffed out by the person that she trusted the most has shocked and disturbed the public, many of whom are now going back and reflecting on Anagnostopoulos’ behavior after the crime.

His tribute to his wife, posted on Instagram a few days after the murder, now reads like a psychopathic horror story, when it once seemed like a moving message to his deceased partner.

He posted a picture of the couple on their wedding day on Instagram with the caption: “Together forever. Have a nice trip, my love,” in Greek.

He then stated that he is “sad that our daughter will grow up without remembering her beautiful mother, who was the joy of my life.”

Yet he said that he found hope that his wife will remain with him and their child forever, saying: “But through her daughter, Caroline will always be with me and with all of us … You should always look after your loved ones and enjoy your time together.”

The fact the Anagnostopoulos, who later confessed to the crime, blamed foreigners, specifically Albanians, for the murder, also highlighted what many believe is rampant prejudice against the group in the country.

On that note, let us hope that Juneteenth welcomes the beginning of an awakening not just in the US, but around the globe.



  1. Thanks for that upbeat ending after a depressing story. Let us always look to the best in the future so that there's always something to celebrate!

    1. A hope with which I wholly concur, EvKa. Especially these days.

  2. What a horror story. But whenever a spouse, usually the husband, tells a fantastic story of strange people coming into the home, he is usually the culprit.
    How many times have I seen the local news where a woman is murdered in her home or the garage and the husband did it? How many Dateline episodes have I seen when the wife is killed and the husband is the perpetrator?
    The police maxim of first look at the spouse is usually true unfortunately.
    And I always wonder why divorce isn't considered. Maybe rage takes over. But disrespect for women and domestic violence is so common here and worldwide.
    A man in Ireland murdered his wife and three children a few years ago. The media talked about what a generous neighbor and good teacher he was. A women's domestic violence group said "murder is the most extreme form of domestic violence." Yes. Some of the truth came out about how controlling the guy was. Some women writers explained domestic violence.
    But this goes on so much. Women should be respected and alot has to be done to stop domestic violence and its worst manifestation.

    1. Remember the days, Kathy, when almost always "the butler" did it? But that was fiction, and effectively addressing the worldwide plague of domestic violence requires a level of societal commitment sadly difficult to muster these days. Perhaps this story will galvanize change in Greece.

  3. As Kathy says, the police always suspect close relatives first and often they are correct to do so. The high-tech evidence is very interesting in its own right. More issues for our future fictional murderers to take into account...

    1. There are other news stories about this murder at that get into the details of just how our high tech world led to solving this case. You're right Michael, the times they are definitely a changin' for mystery writers--except historical :).

  4. Domestic violence is a pandemic! Our chapter of mystery writers of America once hosted an FBI agent who told us about investigations. He said that more than 80% of the time, when a woman is murdered, it is her husband or her lover who I’d the culprit. The most likely times for such a murder to take place or when she is pregnant, has just given birth, or has threatened to leave him. It makes me a little crazy that this is called “spousal abuse” or “domestic violence”. It is almost invariably violence by men against women. That same FBI agent told us that men are most likely to commit these crimes when they have drunk too much.

    There are signs in every bar in the country warning pregnant women about the dangers of the rare outcome of “Fetal alcohol syndrome“. But there are no warnings posted about drunkenness being a common cause of “domestic violence.”

    1. As I know you know, Sis, there has to be a better way than signage. I wonder if there is any hope of introducing into public school curricula a means of helping children understand that domestic violence is not acceptable. After all, abuse spawns abuse.

      But, in America's current highly charged political environment-where relations between Democrats and Republicans are ironically textbook examples of the sort of volatile environments that explode into domestic violence episodes--I doubt there's much hope of achieving that legislatively.

      Too bad, because as the song goes, "You've got to be carefully taught."

    2. The worst of it is that children are the ones who MOST need protection from that violence. Let this break your heart. It breaks mine.

  5. Yes. Unfortunately, children are victims. See it on the local news, along with violence against women. The idea that women, wives, partners are men's property to be treated as they see fit has not disappeared. And it's so complicated when a woman tries to leave. It's true that preparing to leave ot leaving is the most dangerous for women. Women's shelters are scarce, and women who want to leave have a lot of steps to go through to do so safely.
    And when there are budget cuts, women's shelters and rape crisis hotlines are among the first programs to be cut.

    1. It all can lead one to conclude our world is not a compassionate or understanding place.

  6. I'v'e seen the comment that men fear women will laugh at them and women fear men will kill them. I've known so many wonderful, kind, gentle men in my life, yet I've spent nearly three-quarters of a century feeling wary of every strange man I meet. I told a man friend once that I know how a deer must feel in a jungle full of tigers it can't see.

    1. Donis, your deer among hidden tigers analogy is the most poignant and insightful description I seen yet of what life must be like for oh so many women!

  7. Respect for women and girls must be taught in school, but also shown in movies and on TV shows. How many of them show women as frightened, weak victims?
    And as far as children learning behavior, so many adults watched domestic violence at home and then repeated the behavior -- or else, many become totally opposed to it.
    A friend's young son was hitting kids at daycare, and it turns out he was repeating the abuse he saw at home by his father toward his mother. It took a lot of work to get him to unlearn this.

    1. There is no question Kathy D, that those raised amid abuse are more likely doomed to repeat it.