Sunday, 20 June 2021

Glyka Nera murder: the guilt is pervasive

Eleni Mylonopoulou

Whereas most crime and criminals are not interesting, revealing nothing more than men and women in their most venal state, occasionally there are transgressions that transcend banality and enter the realms of tragedy and, at the same time, expose the corruption and degradation of society.

What seems to have happened is that a young woman’s post-natal depression, her declarations of hatred for her husband and their child this produced, her outbursts and threats to leave him, were regarded by him as beyond reason and explicable behaviour.

In diary entries made public by the police, Caroline Crouch reveals the extent of her distress:

‘I fought with Babi again. This time it was serious. I hit him, I cursed at him and he broke down the door. All I wanted was for him to ask how I am when I woke up. I woke up so weak and tired. I am thinking of leaving. I am thinking of going to my sister, I don't know if I can keep going with Babi. I love him so much that I can't leave him even though this relationship hurts me.’

And again: ‘Last night we fought with Babi because I had a meltdown because of my hormones. I yelled at him and hit him and told him I don't want our baby... I am not well, I am very upset, I know he would never hurt my baby. My love for her is stronger than anything in the world.’

The couple’s response to the turmoil in their relationship was the right one: to seek professional help. But in making this correct decision, they also made a fatal one, because the person they sought help from – Eleni Mylonopoulou – was a fraudster.

Advertising herself on the website as a therapist, midwife and counsellor, even someone who had novel cures for cancer, with political connections to a Syriza MEP, she seemed like the ideal person who could understand what the couple were going through and offer them expert guidance to overcome their awful difficulties.

Except, Mylonopoulou was one of the many con artists who take advantage of gaps in social provision and regulation in Greece and set themselves up as medical practitioners, therapists and healers, who are tolerated and indulged by the public, media and authorities, but are in fact phoneys who’ve fabricated their qualifications – Mylonopoulou claims she had been trained in Romania – and whose sole motivation is exploitation of misfortune for financial gain.
Thus Mylonopoulou, instead of providing advice that might have helped the couple, subjected them to her quackery and thievery. With no improvement in her condition or their relationship, Crouch and Anagnostopoulos abandoned therapy, gave up looking for help they desperately needed and their mental health was left to deteriorate and the outcome was the unnecessary destruction and ruination of several lives.

Of course, this analysis presupposes that had Crouch and Anagnostopoulos received proper help then their relationship would have recovered. This might be criticised as diminishing the guilt or responsibility of the killer.

Caroline Crouch’s post-natal depression is not unusual and even untreated rarely ends with the husband so disturbed by his wife’s behaviour that he ends up killing her and then concocting an elaborate story to conceal his crime and fully adopting the persona of the grieving husband, which involves making gushing statements to the media about your victim and your life with her, and also, grotesquely, providing public solace to the mother, whose daughter you know you have murdered. This is where Anagnostopoulos’ sociopathy and psychopathy comes in, casting doubt on any theory that the murder could have been averted. Maybe Anagnostopoulos' madness was an aberration, a fleeting eruption of rage, maybe madness overtook him over time, as his relationship with his wife fell apart, or maybe the darkness in his soul was there all along.