The 30-year-old guard of the palace of a rich family was murdered. The police, since there was no body, showed inaction and indifference, thinking that he must have suddenly left for a trip.
But the persistence of his fiancee led to a new investigation and solving of the crime. The perpetrator was his cousin.
The family’s journey and the murder
On July 15, 1937, the wealthy family who lived in the mansion on University Street left for Romania, where they held estates. Before leaving Greece, he fired the staff. They kept the 30-year-old janitor in their job as a security guard.
On August 1, he was assassinated. His cousin beat him to death in his sleep.
She took a large knife from the kitchen and after slashing him, dug a pit in a corner of the palace courtyard and buried him. The 32-year-old perpetrator, after disappearing the body of his cousin, stole from the victim 3 or 4 thousand drachmas, three suits, three pairs of shoes, various underwear, a watch and a ring.
At that time clothes were very expensive, let alone jewelry. So he grabbed them and unwittingly helped get him arrested.
First, however, he cleaned up the scene of the crime, tried to erase every trace of it and left for his village in Tinos.
The University Hall where the crime took place. Time Machine Archive
The concern of the victim’s fiancee and the investigations
On August 2, the 25-year-old fiancée of the foreman was looking for her fiancé and thought he would go to Tinos. As the days passed, the 30-year-old remained missing. The 25-year-old was starting to worry. That’s why she contacted a lawyer, who referred her to the police station.
The initial investigation, at the Mansion where the murder had taken place, did not show anything suspicious. They only found that some of the 30-year-old’s suits and underwear were missing. The conclusion was that the guard had gone on some journey.
The 25-year-old, however, reacted to this idea and was afraid that something worse had happened. She claimed her fiance was the victim of an accident.
Her persistence led the police to conduct a second search of the building. That time they discovered a dried spot of blood on an image of a saint. They also examined other items to find more evidence.
On the mattress of his bed, other stains were found, which led the police to thoroughly search all the items in the house.
The policemen cut out the bloody part of the mattress and together with the picture, sent them to a laboratory for examination. The results showed that the blood belonged to a human. It was then determined that the security guard had been the victim of a crime.
On the left is the perpetrator and on the right is the victim, the unlucky janitor (Time Machine Archive)
The location of the body
Investigations have been launched to locate the body, which was found at the edge of the garden. The police discovered that the 32-year-old had been stabbed in the abdomen. The perpetrator had cut the victim in two. The dismembered parts were wrapped in a sheet, placed upright in the pit.
The body also had a large head injury. It was so deep, that if the perpetrator had applied a little more force, he would have decapitated it.
Inside the pit were also found the guard’s pillow and the diary he had in his room, torn and without leaves.
Suspicions and finding the culprit
The events before the murder had developed as follows: For ten days, the 30-year-old supported financially and hosted his 32-year-old cousin, who was unemployed and homeless, in his room.
The night before the murder, the two cousins had gone to Zappeion and returned to the palace together. Since then no one had the 32-year-old, suspicions turned on him.
The victim’s suitor who insisted on her version of the crime. On the left is the pit where the dismembered body was found. Time Machine Archive
Meanwhile, other indications were emerging against the suspect. His arrest was a matter of time.
Two days after the discovery of the body, the authorities arrested the 32-year-old in Tinos, where he had taken refuge after the murder.
At first, the alleged perpetrator denied all charges against him. He confessed, when two of the 30-year-old’s suits were found after an investigation and the victim’s underwear at the house of the killer’s fiancee. However, he denied the accusation that he wanted to rob him.
The perpetrator’s claims and “romantic jealousy”
The 32-year-old murderer said that his cousin had sexually assaulted his fiancee who had visited him the same morning at Megaro. Because she was absent, the victim tried to take advantage of her weakness and force himself on her sexually. This was his main claim. In more detail, he said.
“Before we went to sleep, we argued about this issue, and in the morning when we woke up we argued a second time. I cursed him for his attitude. He got angry and hit me on the head with a stick. Then I became enraged, I was blinded by anger and did not know what I was doing.
I took a knife and hit him. When I saw what I had done, of course I regretted it, but it was too late. I had to hide the body so it wouldn’t be discovered. I had to cut it and hide it in the garden. I took his clothes, I went crazy, but I didn’t get any money.”
The conviction for the murder of the 30-year-old
Police dismissed his claims as false, saying robbery was the motive. The medical examiners, for their part, considered that the murder took place while the victim was asleep.
The investigators take the perpetrator to the scene of the crime to represent the killer. Time Machine Archive
In the meantime, the suitor of the 32-year-old was also arrested for complicity, who seemed to have no responsibility.
Ultimately, the perpetrator was convicted of robbery after murder, a crime that at the time was punishable by the death penalty, which was usually carried out.
Source of original image: “ATHENA THROUGH TIME” (Collection of Despina Drepania). 1929 University Street. The first diagonal is Emm. Benaki Street.
For reasons of personal data protection, the names of the drama are not mentioned in the article and their characteristics have been altered in the photos.
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