The murder of young 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 husband, apart from her 11-month-old baby, he 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, 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.
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.