Saturday, October 22, 2022

SECOND UPDATE: Murder, He Wrote




Fifteen months ago, I reported on a murder so horrendous that it shook the Greek people to the core. [See, Murder, He Wrote for an extensive description of events.] So much so, that Greek National TV interrupted coverage of the Euro football championships to broadcast details of the confession.



It involved a 20-year-old British-Greek wife and mother, Caroline Crouch, murdered on May 11, 2021 in the presence of her pilot/flight instructor husband, Babis Anagnostopoulos, 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 suburban Athens home at random.  He accused them of being Eastern European foreigners—so ruthless that they also strangled the couple’s dog.  The crime spread fear across the nation over the potential risk to each family’s safety in its own home.


On June 16, 2021, after eight hours of police questioning, Husband confessed to the murder, claiming his wife told him that she was planning to leave him and take their baby with her before he “blurred” and killed her. In other words, a crime of passion, not premeditated.

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.”

Five months ago, in an update to my original post, [See, UPDATE: Murder, He Wrote] I described in detail a new twist asserted by Husband on the verge of trial.  He now claimed to have acted “in a fit of rage” over Caroline’s “mistreatment” of their baby daughter and that he’d acted to protect the baby. As the press reported at the time, Husband was desperate to avoid the life sentence and minimum twenty-year imprisonment imposed for premeditated murder. Not to mention an additional likely ten-year sentence for killing their dog.

I concluded that update with this line: Stay tuned for further plot developments…

Well, those developments have come to pass.  They’ve been reported in a media feeding frenzy that overlaps so much in coverage, including translations, that the best I can offer is a fair representation of the participants’ quotes, as culled from BBC, Daily Mail, Guardian, Greek City Times, Greek Reporter, and the Sun, but the substance is all here. 

As described in Greek City Times, “In court on Wednesday [May 11, 2022], the killer recounted how he had met his wife when he was in his late twenties, and she was just fifteen. The two began a sexual relationship when Crouch was just sixteen.

“‘She is the rarest person I have ever met in my life. A brilliant woman. At 16 you could speak with her about anything. Her personality was lovely. She filled anyone with love,’ he stated.

“If I could turn back time, I’d choose Caroline again.”

All of that was offered as part of Husband’s plea to the court for mercy, hoping for a finding of no premeditation. This time, though, he dropped his “protecting the baby” contention in favor of a return to his claimed “heat of the moment” reaction to Caroline telling him she wanted to leave him and take their child with her.

Bottom line: A mixed court of jurors and judges didn’t buy it, and unanimously found husband guilty of the premeditated murder of his wife and strangulation of their dog. 


On June 16, 2022, the court sentenced Husband to the toughest penalty possible under Greek law: a life sentence for the premeditated murder of his wife, a jail term of 11 years and six months for the brutal killing of the family’s pet dog, and a fine of €21,000.


Not surprisingly, Husband has appealed the sentence and is attempting to paint himself as a model prisoner, dedicated to helping his fellow inmates, and having personally intervened to end dangerous interactions among inmates.


However, not all his fellow inmates would agree.


Remember those unidentified “foreigners” husband originally had blamed for the murder of his wife? 


Let’s just say, as the adage goes, Karma is a bitch!

According to the Daily Mail, three days after Caroline’s murder a Georgian man was arrested up by the border of Greece and Bulgaria.

The Georgian matched a photofit of one the burglars Husband had given investigators.  Allegedly, he was tied to a chair and beaten for four days by Greek homicide police.

Following his arrest, the Georgian was paraded in front of the court in Athens by triumphant police who said he was the prime suspect.

The Georgian told Georgian media: “I was tied up for four days and beaten while they told me to confess to this girl's murder.

“I did not know what was happening, I had never even heard of this girl. They would take turns beating me very hard, my head was spinning, and I had a concussion.

“When one got tired, the other would then start to beat me. All they would say was 'Tell us how did you kill her, how did you get in the house, how did you get out of there?”

Ultimately, he was released, after being charged with an unconnected robbery.

Upon Husband’s conviction, three officers from the Athens homicide squad were demoted by reason of the treatment of the Georgian man while in custody.

Husband, though, faces far more serious consequences by reason of his part in the treatment of the Georgian.  As described in this Daily Mail headline:


Greek pilot who murdered his British wife, 20, is moved to a tougher prison as it emerges he was previously attacked by inmate 'wanting to kill him' in revenge after his friend was wrongly arrested during investigation.”

Husband spent a year in Athens’ high-security, notoriously tough Korydallos prison awaiting trial. While there, he was attacked by a Georgian inmate, who the guards were able to stop before he did harm to Husband.  According to the inmate, he’d come from another prison, and been looking for Husband because he wanted to kill him in retaliation for how his fellow Georgian­–who’d been wrongfully arrested for Husband’s crime–had been treated by the police.

According to Husband’s lawyer, “The attack happened in the wing where my client was in custody and there have been other attempts to attack him. He is scared but, at the moment, he is fine.’`             

Husband has since been moved 250 miles away from Athens to another notorious prison, Malandrino, and he is not happy about his transfer.

He’s complained that the location makes it much harder for his family to visit him and it will be very difficult if not impossible for him to see his daughter.

Yep, that’s one of his arguments. Sort of like the old dark joke about the father who brutally killed his wife looking to avoiding the death penalty by claiming his execution would leave his children orphans.   

But, as you may have guessed, in truth there’s a more likely reason for Husband challenging the transfer. He’s now in a prison housing 900 hardened criminals, many convicted of heinous crimes. Husband fears for his personal safety. He claims there are contracts out on him offering a “huge amount of money” for his death. As bad as it was in Athens, where he is now is worse.

Husband is said to have spent his first few days at the new prison in solitary confinement before being placed in a cell with three other inmates.

As for Caroline’s family’s reaction to Husband’s current predicament, her father, David, had this to say:

“No amount of prison time can ever bring back my beautiful daughter but I am just gratified that the court didn't believe the scurrilous nonsense that he produced during his testimony.

“I am further gratified to know that he will serve his time in the toughest prison in Greece which has one of the worst prison systems in Europe.

His being “incarcerated with fellow murderers and perverts of every stripe in that prison has provided a sliver of consolation.”

“When he eventually completes his sentence, which many people think he might not survive, he will be a changed man, a broken man, far older than his true age.

'Now that his fate is settled, Susan and I can move on. I intend to change Lydia's name to that of her mother so that she will never be associated with this odious creature.”

Why do I sense this story is not over?





Jeff’s Upcoming Book Events

Friday, November 18, 2002 @10am


Reykjavik, Iceland

Where is My Mind? Madness and Obsession
AUTHORS:  Louise Mangos, Paul Cleave, Jeff Siger, Thomas Fecchio
MODERATOR: Ewa Sherman


  1. Thanks for the update but I can't find the links to contribute to the 'contracts out on him offering a “huge amount of money” for his death' (the family dog? that's what I really don't get--he killed the dog?)

    1. Ovidia, this is an epic story touching upon the darkest, most venal aspects of human behavior.
      According to The Guardian. "In a written submission arguing that he should remain in the capital’s top-security Korydallos prison, the 34-year-old [Husband] said he had learned from fellow inmates of 'a huge amount of money' being offered for his life. From the above it has emerged there is a "contract killing" against me,' he was quoted as saying by the Greek TV channel Star on Saturday."

      Here's the link.

      Roxy the puppy was suffocated and hung it by its leash to the banister. As I said, the darkest, most venal of evil permeates this story.

  2. I cannot fathom, Bro, why people are keen to follow and learn such literally gory details. And to go over and over them. Are there people who love feeling nauseous and horrified. I read a few sentences and could not go further.

    1. Sis, it's why so many turn to fiction. Suspending belief--no matter how gory the details--beats confronting reality. And fictional murder mysteries reach a resolution...restoring order to a fractured society. Reality does not. Sort of like Charles Manson's real life slaughter of Sharon Tate v. "Once Upon a Time in LA"

    2. Bro, I can’t stand that kind of story even when it’s fiction. If I wind up watching a movie that is gory, if I’m in the theater I put my sweater over my head until my companion tells me I can look. If I am at home, I leave the room. I can barely bear listening to the sounds. Seeing the pictures haunts me, so I close my eyes. Reading such stories and seeing the details in my imagination can make me sick. I went to see the movie The Deer Hunter, The last search movie I actually watched, all those years ago. I was sick for three days afterwards. I just don’t get how people can stand knowing that stuff, even when it isn’t true. I feel like I belong to a different species than people who want to know it. .

    3. My darling, Sis. I understand and respect your aversion to the gore, for I'm not a fan of horror films. BUT--and you knew there was a but coming--I have a different take on the tragedy that's the subject of my post as well as on The Deer Hunter, The Caroline Crouch story detailing the depths of evil that exist in our world, triggered much needed attention across Greece to Domestic Abuse. It galvanized action.

      As for the Deer Hunter, it's absolutely my favorite movie. I literally grew up in its Western Pennsylvania environment and knew people of the sort depicted in the film ... indeed the truck in the opening scene of a race with a Cadillac, was owned by a man my father worked with! When I saw the film I was living in NYC and going through a rough patch. When I left that theater I realized how far I had come from those days...and how much I owed to that history. I'd played football against kids from those some mill town environments, and been to many a similar wedding. To me, the film is not about the gore of Vietnam, but a study of male camaraderie.

      But more importantly, the very last scene captures the essence of what keeps the most beleaguered, downtrodden, and powerless among us doing the bidding of the system that keeps them in place. At the very nadir of moments, the primary characters sit in mourning around a kitchen table following the funeral of one of their own. He'd died as a pawn in a merciless game run for profit by powerful individuals (readily analogous to wars run by nations) and the gathered slowly drift off into humming and then loudly singing "God Bless America." What keeps them together and moving on as they always had is not the reality of their circumstances, but this case separating their love of country from those who run it. Co-opt the symbols and the hearts and minds will follow.

      Politicians recognize that propensity...and exploit it to the max.

      It's an extraordinary movie.

    4. That last scene was so manipulative that it made me angry, and was one of the major contributors my becoming so ill after seeing it. At the graveside are the dead man's wife, who is holding their infant son.. But considering the the arc of the story, that baby's parents were married about five years before, according to the history of the Vietnam war. The father left for the war shortly after the nuptials, never to return. That would mean that the gestation period for the infant of about two months old, at most 4 1/2 years, given that the sfinal scene is after the fall of Saigon. It was clear to me that Michael Cimino wanted a Madonna and Child at the graveside. That was the image he knew would pull on our heartstrings. That he was a fraud and a manipulator came out in spades when he absolutely bombed on his next, and as far as I know, only other film.

      Regarding male camaraderie, I think – since it only seems to emerge when one group of men is trying to kill another group of men. Gangs or armies--that kind of male camaraderie is the scourge of the earth. It's too bad men can't display their affection for one other except in such brutal circumstances.

      But I promise you, that I accept your male view of the film as legitimate, as far as it goes.

    5. Come on, Sis, why don't you tell us how you really feel. :)