Saturday, April 16, 2022

UPDATE: Murder, He Wrote



Ten months ago I reported on a murder so horrendous that it shook the Greek people to the core.

It involved a 20-year-old British-Greek wife and mother, Caroline Crouch, murdered in the presence of her pilot/flight instructor husband and 11-month-old baby.  The original story, as told by the husband, placed the blame on a band of brutal home invasion thieves claimed to have entered their house at random. The crime spread fear across the nation over the potential risk to each family’s safety in its own home. 


At the time I wrote, “I’m sure [the story] 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.”

This week, new plot twists filled the news as the case heads toward trial.  Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see another shoe drop—or, for you Breaking Bad fans, make that a pair of sneakers laced together and hanging from a power line.  But that’s for another update. 

Here’s what happened this week. Let’s begin with a story reported this week by Lee Brown of The New York Post, which has been following the story since it exploded across the Greek media in May 2021.

A Greek pilot who admitted to killing his wife after initially blaming her death on a fictitious gang of burglars now claims he acted “in a fit of rage” over his wife’s “mistreatment” of their baby daughter, according to his attorney.

Babis Anagnostopoulos, 32, will use his new defense in court Friday to fight charges of premeditated murder in the May killing of his 20-year-old wife, Caroline Crouch, at their home in Athens, attorney Alexis Papaioannidis told the Times of London.

“The court will be presented with a lot of facts and evidence proving Babis’ allegations — that he acted in a fit of rage,” the pilot’s lawyer said.

Anagnostopoulos has been in custody since June, when he confessed to the killing hours after hugging his wife’s grieving mother at a memorial.

The case had initially sparked a massive manhunt after the pilot claimed he was tied up by a robbery gang who tortured and killed his wife in front of their 11-month-old baby girl, Lydia.

Now — six months after the confession — he is blaming his wife’s “mistreatment” of their child for the first time, the UK Times noted.

The lawyer claimed that encrypted entries in Crouch’s diary showed that she posed a “threat to the baby.”

His attorney told the UK paper that the deadly confrontation was not the first time the couple had a “heated exchange” over the young mom’s parenting.

“But it was that night when Caroline turned ever more abusive, violently pushing the crib to the side, that set off Babis,” Papaioannidis insisted of the accused murderer’s planned defense.

“He thought, ‘Lydia is in danger,'” he insisted.

The lawyer claimed that encrypted entries in Crouch’s diary showed that she posed a “threat to the baby,” without elaborating.

Excerpts from her diary, however, previously revealed that she was thinking of leaving her husband, accusing him of abuse.

Anagnostopoulos faces life in prison for the killing that was so shocking, it left cops in tears, officers said at the time.

At least 14 witnesses will take the stand, including the two officers who found Anagnostopoulos taped up and his baby daughter desperately trying to wake her dead mom, the report said.



The Husband also faces criminal charges with up to ten years imprisonment under Greece’s animal protection laws for strangling the couple’s puppy, Roxy.  The dog even has its own lawyer in the case. Here are the details according to Kyle O’Sullivan and Milo Boyd of the Mirror.


A Greek pilot accused of murdering his British wife while she slept has also been charged with killing their dog.

Babis Anagnostopoulos is due to appear in an Athens court on Friday accused of murdering Caroline Crouch, 20, and of two counts of perverting the course of justice.

Now, following legal wrangling led by Marathon Animal Welfare Association, the 33-year-old will also face accusations that he killed five-month-old pup Roxy.

"It's important that Roxy also gets justice. It was an atrocious crime because the dog was not simply murdered, he was first tortured and then murdered and went through horrendous last moments," she told Mail Online.

"The dog was wearing his regular collar and was hung between the first and second floor which means that he choked to death and was severely tormented before breathing his last."

The Marathon Animal Welfare Association announced the charge and said that Roxy had been adopted by Anagnostopoulos and Caroline in December 2020 - five months before he was found dead alongside his owner.

Prosecutors have argued that the murders were pre-meditated and that Anagnostopoulos should also be given a life sentence for killing Caroline.

The pilot has admitted to the killing but maintains that it was a 'crime of passion' after she threatened to divorce him.

Caroline was found dead at her home in Greece on May 11 last year lying in her bed alongside her 11-month-old baby daughter.

Anagnostopoulos could face an extra ten years in prison if he is found guilty of the crime under a law brought in two years ago, which allows harsh sentences for animal cruelty including poisoning, hanging, burning and mutilation.

Evangelia Tsanopoulou, the lawyer representing Roxy the dog, has said she will argue for the maximum decade long sentence.

The first officer at the traumatising scene said he saw the 20-year-old tied to a bed with her daughter trying to wake her up, while her husband was found handcuffed in another room with duct tape over his eyes and mouth.

Anagnostopoulos initially told police and reporters that foreign gang members armed with guns broke in while the family was sleeping, then tied up and gagged him and his wife.

"I wish no-one ever goes through what we went through last night. It was a nightmare," Anagnostopoulos said the day after his wife was found dead.

Speaking to TV crews outside their family home, he added: "We begged the thieves not to harm us. We told them where the money was and asked them to leave us alone. The police will catch them."

Anagnostopoulos told detectives that one of the three alleged intruders strangled his wife and threatened their baby with a gun.

According to police, he said the burglars demanded cash and jewellery, and fled with about £10,000 worth of euros hidden in a Monopoly box, which they had on hand to pay builders.

Anagnostopoulos speculated that his life was spared because he had temporarily lost consciousness while bound, gagged and blindfolded in a different room, so likely appeared dead.

Two days after his wife was found dead, Anagnostopoulos told the Mirror he was in "no condition" to speak at length about her.

He added: "She was an amazing person, full of life and full of love. Our lives will never be the same without her.

"Take care of your family, sir. Cherish your loved ones as much as you can."

This led Greek police on a wild goose chase for a fictional gang of Albanian raiders for weeks, until they realised the evidence just didn't add up.

There were many unanswered questions, such as how three men could have got into the house through a tiny window without forced entry.

The police also couldn't work out how he supposedly managed to wriggle free and call for help using his nose to work his mobile phone.

Detectives said the robbery story fell apart thanks to Ms Crouch's fitness tracker, data from Anagnostopoulos' mobile phone, and CCTV from the home in the upscale neighbourhood, Greek media reported.

Anagnostopoulos attended a memorial to his wife on the island of Alonnisos, where he was seen hugging Caroline's grief-stricken mother before being approached by detectives.

They told him there had been a breakthrough in the case and they wanted his help to identify a suspect, but after being flown to Athens he was told that he was the suspect.

During an eight-hour interrogation, Anagnostopoulos is said to have confessed to killing Caroline after she told him to leave the house following an argument.

They said Anagnostopoulos admitted he killed his wife in front of their daughter then strangled the family's dog as he tried to make it look like a robbery gone wrong.


Stay tuned for further plot developments…




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  1. omg. Horrifying as it all is, it's his strangling the 5 month old pup in cold blood that makes me feel he should never be allowed out of prison.

    1. That act does undercut husband's "moment of passion" defense, as it shows a clear cut, planned, brutally executed effort at escaping detection.

  2. Good lord. Sometimes I despair of humankind.

    1. These days to only "sometimes" despair, Donis, makes you blatantly optimistic!
      Best to you and Don.