Monday, 19 December 2005


I'm not that quickly scared, and especially not on this island. It might happen that your pile of wood gets stolen, two years ago at restaurant Anatoli some of those huge red clay urns disappeared, some weeks ago a bicycle was stolen in Petra and last winter in Petra a clothing shop was robbed in the night and the income of a sales weekend disappeared into thin air.

In the summer you have to be more careful because not all tourists come for the same reasons. But in general there is not that much crime here on the island. You never hear about a stolen car and we are always pretty amused at seeing people going on safari, climbing out of their jeep and locking it. First of all there's mostly nobody around to steal the car and secondly where would they hide with a stolen car? No way coming off the island. Also theft from a car is not known here.

All villages on the island are small communities and when something happens, within no time everybody will be informed through the tam tam. Last week again Lesvos was in the news on the national television. Not because we had some fantastic warm days, or another mud stream that overflowed Kaloni, this time it was a woman who went missing. The days that she was not found were kind of creepy.

The 31-years old Anastassia Hadzidiakou had the small gambling shop in Molyvos. There you could place your bets, buy lottery tickets and whatever you wanted to gamble on. There is pretty much compulsive gambling going on on this island. Sunday night, the 11th of December, she had a meeting with a 24-years old customer who owed her 14,000 euro. That is quite some money that you will not earn that fast picking olives. She received the money and was on her way back, she told her fiancée who was waiting for her in Petra. And then nobody heard from her or saw her again. This was the first gossip of the story going all around the island on Monday.

Lots of citizens and police searched around Lepetimnos for her and her car, both seemed to have disappeared from the earth. Planes and helicopters flew on and off, police cars were driving at high speed to and fro along the roads. Wild speculations about what could have happened were running fast. Did the boy who owed her money set her up, did she have a secret lover with whom she went partying, some bad mouths even thought her fiancée had something to do with her disappearance. The North of the island was pretty much in commotion. Whoever you met, first question was always: is there something new about Anastassia.

On Tuesday most people agreed that she probably was not anymore alive. Police from Athens flew over and a big search was set up. They found out something irregular: The boy who was to give Anastassia her money lied. Anastassia was seen driving through Stipsi, so their appointment was not in Vafios. To the fiancee of Anastassia who phoned in order to ask where she was, he said that she forgot her telephone in his car and this was a lie too. He was severely questioned and he admitted to the murder... It took until Wednesday night that they found the body and her car...

They probably had a fight over a bet that he placed on the same day. Because he owed her money Anastassia did not place the bet. A pity because otherwise maybe nothing would have happened because then the boy would have gained a lot of money. He had just a little knife on him and that might be why he stabbed her over 40 times. He threw her in his car, drove to Lepetimnos where he threw her in a small drinking pool for the sheep. It is said that she still lived for another 4 hours... He hid her car under a tree on the way from Clio to Tsonia.

It is a real horror story, also because so many people knew her and the places where it all happened. Monday and Tuesday did not feel good on the island. What could have happened and was there a murderer going around? Just like last year when 3 young boys got killed in an accident, this was the talk of the day for the whole week.

We recently asked a friend who is a lawyer on the island what cases he got. No murder cases, he answered, because a murder only happens once in 10 years on the island. However, this was the second murder of this year. Last March a man was arrested because the remains of a friend were found in his fireplace. He blamed his wife for the killing because she was jealous of the girl friend.

Since the temperature dropped this night the Leptimnos towers white above the woodlands as if on its slopes the horrible things never happened. Even this paradise-like island knows it's murders for passion and it's killings for money. It is not a peaceful story about the island I am telling you just before Christmas. However, I do wish you all a very merry Christmas from an ice cold Lesvos.

Copyright © Smitaki 2005

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