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Why do Greek mainstream media try to “defend” Caroline ‘s murderer?

An interesting phenomenon even if despicable has been observed in the heinous crime where a 32-year-old pilot killed his 20-year-old wife Caroline Crouch and was trying to cover up the murder for 37 days, misleading the police, the media and the shocked Greek society.

The “interesting” phenomenon is that some Greek media are trying to white-wash the murderer of British-born Caroline Crouch, a mother of his 11-month-old daughter.
Greek media, some more some less, are trying to portray the murderer husband as a “remorseful and devastated husband”, an example “dad” who only wants to take care of his baby.
A panel of journalists at Skai TV set part of its audience in outrage on Monday morning, when a journalist, a court reporter, defended the man, Babis Anagnostopoulos,  who strangled to death his wife in her sleep, killed with his hands also the family dog and hanged the puppy from the staircase and concocted a cover story that a gang of burglars was to blame for the crimes.

“At least he didn’t cut her up and hide the parts,” the court reporter said referring to an older femicide case in the country. “He is not the type for blood. The formation of his personality did not allow him to do such a thing [to dismember the corpse], he is not for the blood.,” she said.

The court reporter called the murderer “alleged suspect” and not “confessed perpetrator,” although he confessed the murder on Caroline and the dog last Friday and the authorities officially charged him on “premeditated crime.”
Another journalist, the show host, hastened to agree with the journalist saying with emphasis “he tried to bring back back [to life].”
Social media users in outrage lash out at the journalists in particular and Skai in general. It was the same medium that first published excerpts from an alleged diary of Caroline. The excerpts were part of the file Police had prepared for the judicial authorities. The selected published diary parts appeared to shed a rather bad light on the young victim and alleged that she abused her 12 years older husband.
With very few exceptions (incl KTG), the diary excerpts were posted on all media, websites and blogs, were read in news programs and TV magazines. No prosecutor intervened, although they were part of the case file and contained sensitive private information of the slain woman.
Many Greeks on social media questioned the diary’s authenticity and some suggested the murderer and husband may have doctored it, as he had access to Caroline’s internet codes.
Skai TV is not the only mainstream television station, the main source of information of Greeks over a certain age. Like in a chorus line the country’s mainstream TV channels imply that the cold-blooded murderer who isolated his much younger wife from family and friends and had full control of her life was in fact a “carrying father” who lost his temper in “the heat of the moment.”
Is there a systematic effort by the media to attribute the heinous crime to “a moment of heat during an argument” although all forensic evidence speak the opposite?

“Since he didn’t dismember her, it’s not a member.”

What is the motive behind such a generalized effort to present the murderer as “sympathetic” who doesn’t deserve a “life sentence”? Note that he is charges for two felony charges (murder of Caroline and the dog) and two misdemeanor (false testimony to police, staged burglary).
On social media some Greeks claim -even though without proof – that the killer, the husband, the commercial helicopter pilot has connections to local VIPs who protect him.
Others blame the “patriarchal mentality” that rules the society and some even “systemic xenophobia” as the victim was British-born and a mother from Philippines.
It should be recalled that “foreign nationals” and thus Albanian were initially blamed for the botcher “burglary” and now the community of Albanians in Greece demands an official apology from Police and other authorities.
A good-looking Greek with a respected profession and obviously some wealth murders his wife and does his “best” to cover up. Does the conservative Greek “holy” society accept it? It’s not easy to break through century old stereotypes. The
“He ruined his life,” an elderly and old friend shocked me on Saturday.  “And the murder of his wife? Taking a life has no meaning?” I asked. “A, this too!” he responded.
It is not the first time, Greek mainstream media zealously try to white-wash the evil, and Greeks are right to suspect “protection”. Media did the same with other victims of heinous crimes such as the raped and murdered Eleni Topaloudi and the student who was bullied to ‘suicide’ Vangelis Yakoumakis. One of Topaloudi’s murderers had best connections to local community due to his father, while an MP from Crete intervened in favor of those accused of bullying Yakoumakis.

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9 comments

  1. Because of yellow press that feeds on people’s lust for sensation. And on patriarchal and male chauvinist attitudes. I see the same thing all over the Balkans. It is sickening.

  2. I don’t understand why anybody would expect Greek media to behave in any other way. She was English. He is Greek. Therefore it must be her fault. If an English husband killed his Greek wife in the UK I am pretty sure the UK media would be defending the English husband. Xenophobia exists in every country in the world.

    • I don’t believe this is xenophobia at all, I think it’s just another example of the increasingly popular and liberal view that people aren’t ‘bad’ when they do bad things. The liberals always look for some reason why it’s not really the criminal’s fault. Perhaps they were abused as a child, perhaps they were beaten as a child, perhaps they’ve fallen on hard times, perhaps his wife nagged him too much etc. etc.

      There is a view held by many (which I don’t share) that criminals need to be pitied and cared for rather than punished. That’s what’s going on here I think, it’s the start of the painting of this man as somehow not really responsible for what seems to me to be a carefully planned crime and cover-up.

  3. michele lavender

    I suppose they esteem the poor man to have been bullied and hen-pecked to the point of no return and that would excuse his hideous evil crime.The young woman herself said…I wish he would just ask me how I am….he was much too busy with his helicopters to wonder how his wife was emotionally,mentally or happily and she has paid so very dearly with her life that ended in a way that no human being should ever experience or their dog.He is a pretty middle class cool guy,liked playing the rich kid with his helicopters.if he was a common ugly, poor nobody they might see him in a different light now but we must all remember humans are becoming immune to vile murder crimes now,water off a ducks back.

  4. The taking of a human life is no longer enough for “murder”? There have to be indignities done to the body as well? In Canada he would get minimum sentence of 25 years without parole. And we don’t give “goodies” here – no bonuses, no reductions of sentences really that would allow him to get out. In addition, at the end of those 25 years, her parents would have the right to go before the parole board and give their victim impact sentence again and again.

    Never mind that he groomed her from the age of 14…. but that’s a whole other story

  5. Oh it’s the same in east Asia. When a man brutally injures of kills a woman, which happens frequently during these years, people always tend to assume it’s the woman’s fault with no evidence, and media depict the man as ‘mostly well-behaved’. Entrenched misoginy in conservative countries.

  6. I couldn’t agree more with Tony Cross. If this man was so unhappy with his wife, why didn’t he a) divorce her or b) simply walk away? There can be no mitigating circumstances that would excuse his crime.
    As for those sections of the media that have tried to excuse/ defend him: you should hang your heads in shame. I’m sorry, Warwick, but your hypothetical reversal of roles in the UK would not happen as, despite a somewhat sensationlist press there, it would create such an outcry of public indignation in such a scenario.
    “Entrenched misoginy in conservative countries”…..so true, Wind.

  7. This phenomenon (although to an extreme extent in this case) is not unique to Greece. In the UK, the press reporting on men who kill their wives is often extremely sympathetic to the perpetrator (“well regarded family man” springs to mind). So much so that campaigning groups have produced media guidelines to try and reduce the damage caused by bad reporting (https://www.welevelup.org/media-guidelines)
    Not sure it would land in Greece, but might be useful for sympathetic ears?