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Busted patio doors, a disabled security camera, and an empty Monopoly box: New photos have revealed the ‘crime scene’ that Babis Anagnostopoulos staged after killing wife Caroline Crouch as he tried to convince cops they were robbed.
The 33-year-old told police that a gang of masked raiders had broken the doors and disabled the camera before making their way upstairs to where the couple were sleeping before demanding cash that was kept in the Monopoly box.
But Anagnostopoulos now admits this was all a fiction, cooked up after he smothered Caroline to death himself in a desperate attempt to hide his guilt so he could keep raising their infant daughter – who witnessed the murder.
The scene was revealed as Anagnostopoulos appeared in court Tuesday for his first hearing since being charged with Caroline’s murder – giving a self-pitying apology in which he talked about ruining his own life while asking to be allowed out on bail so he can go back to his child.
In an attempt to explain the killing, he also revealed that Caroline had suffered a miscarriage before their daughter was born – something he blamed for a ‘change in her behaviour’ which made her ‘aggressive’ and ultimately led him to kill her.
‘I really regret this act, I ruined my life and my family,’ he told the judge. ‘I wish I could go back in time, but unfortunately I cannot.’
The living room of the house where Caroline Crouch was killed, including ‘clues’ planted by husband Babis Anagnostopoulos as he tried to convince police they had been burgled
A CCTV camera which Babis said masked raiders had disabled is seen on the floor, with police now saying he disabled it himself in evidence he planned Caroline’s killing
A Monopoly box where Babis claimed to have been hiding a large amount of cash which the burglars wanted, but which police now say never existed
Anagnostopoulos is currently facing life in jail for Caroline’s murder along with three lesser charges including the death of the couple’s Husky puppy Roxy, which he drowned as part of his elaborate cover-up.
He does not dispute that he is responsible for Caroline’s death, but says she was killed in the heat of an argument and that he should be given a reduced sentence.
Prosecutors say the killing was premeditated – pointing to a CCTV camera which they say Anagnostopoulos disabled hours before the killing and smartwatch data that suggests Caroline was asleep when she was smothered as evidence.
Speaking about the moment he smothered Caroline in court yesterday, Anagnostopoulos described it as a ‘hug’ – saying she was trying move away from him as they lay in bed so he held her tight.
‘At one point, as her face was shaking on the pillow, I mean her mouth and her nose were resting on the pillow, I kept holding her in my arms until she stopped rocking,’ he said, according to Greek news site Protothema.
‘It all lasted about five minutes from the time I hugged her until the moment she stopped rocking. I tried to wake her, rocked her, but it was in vain. Then I realized what had happened.’
He also recounted the story of his relationship with Caroline, saying he met her on the island of Alonissos where she had lived since childhood and where his parents owned a holiday home and which he visited as a young man.
The pair began dating, fell in love, and in September 2018 they decided to get married – a celebration which took place the following year.
By that point they had already been living for a month in the house in Glyka Nera, a suburb of Athens, where the killing would later take place.
Babis Anagnostopoulos pictured arriving at court on Tuesday where he recounted a confession he gave to police last week that he smothered wife Caroline Crouch to death
Prosecutors argue Caroline’s murder was premeditated and Babis should go to jail for the rest of his life, while his lawyers are fighting for a reduced sentence
A few weeks after the wedding, Anagnostopoulos said Caroline found out that she was pregnant – something he said would ‘complete our family and happiness’.
But after three months, Caroline miscarried and Anagnostopoulos claims this is when their relationship started going downhill.
According to his interpretation of events, Caroline became aggressive and argumentative so he suggested they both go into therapy to save their marriage.
Greek police had previously revealed the couple had been seeing a psychologist, but said they attended the sessions separately.
Meanwhile entries from Caroline’s diary collected by police and leaked to the press also paint the picture of an unhappy union and violent mood swings.
In the pages, she confesses to hitting Anagnostopoulos, says she is ‘not well’ and recounts having emotional ‘meltdowns’ which she blamed on hormones.
It is thought that some diary entries were even written in code to hide their contents from Anagnostopoulos and which police have yet to decipher.
Judges are thought to be keeping the pages secret out of fear that they could harm the ongoing trial.
Anagnostopoulos says Caroline then fell pregnant again and gave birth to their daughter who they were both infatuated with.
‘The love I feel for her is impossible for me to describe in words,’ he said.
But Caroline continued ‘to show aggressive outbursts and outbursts towards me’, Anagnostopoulos claims, saying her ‘psychology was constantly changing’.
She began to find reasons to skip therapy sessions and in the end stopped going altogether, he claims, leading their marriage to deteriorate.
Referring to the alleged murder, he added: ‘Other events triggered the situation, and nothing had been pre-decided.
‘Again, I apologize and I would like to point out that my only thought and guide to what happened next was my only daughter.’
Babis argued in court that he should be freed on bail so he can continue looking after his daughter with Caroline, an argument the judge rejected
Throughout the hearing, Anagnostopoulos made no reference to the elaborate hoax he staged in order to hide his involvement in Caroline’s death – nor did he mention drowning the couple’s dog as part of the plot.
In fact, he tried to make a virtue of the fact that he regularly sat down with police for interviews ‘without creating the slightest problem or obstructing the criminal process’, despite using those interviews to spin an elaborate web of lies.
Following the hearing, judges refused Anagnostopoulos’s request for bail and remanded him in Korydallos prison where he arrived shortly after 8pm local time, Greek site Ta Nea reports.
He was taken to a VIP ward of the prison where he will be kept out of reach of violent inmates for his safety, and was instead placed with three low-level offenders – one of them a prison officer serving time on drug charges.
Another of his new cellmates is serving time for smuggling, while the third is also convicted of drug offences.
He is reported to be ‘very happy’ with the jail conditions and has requested to go straight to work in the hopes he will be released early for good behavior.
Anagnostopoulos took and passed a Covid test as he was taken to jail, meaning he will not have to undergo mandatory isolation.
Reacting to his court testimony, the lawyer for Caroline’s family rejected the claim that he had acted in the heat of the moment and without planning.
‘The heat of the moment is to see your child being killed and you shooting his killer, that is, the sudden arousal of an emotion,’ he said. ‘There was also no erotic passion.
‘People who kill in the heat of the moment surrender. They do not hide or deceive the authorities for 37 days.
‘They call the police and say “I surrender”, they do not hug the mother of the child who they killed and add to their hypocrisy.’