Murder suspect identified in death of Scottish mum 15 years ago on Greek island

Jean Hanlon who went missing on Crete and was found dead in Heraklion harbour in March 2009
-Credit: (Image: Daily Record)


An investigation into the death of a Scottish mum on a Greek island is to be reopened.

Jean Hanlon, 53, was found dead on Crete 15 years ago. A new murder suspect has now been identified, reports the Daily Record.

The mum, from Dumfries, was found in Heraklion Harbour in March 2009. Her three sons have always insisted that their mum, who moved to the island, was murdered and have been fighting for justice since.

READ MORE - Edinburgh drivers facing delays as police stop traffic at busy roundabout

READ MORE - Edinburgh Council £100k dog fouling DNA scheme binned after being deemed 'impractical'

In January the family hired private investigator Haris Fluskounis who re-examined evidence before identifying the man he believes is responsible. A 29-page dossier has been handed to prosecutors in Greece.

Family lawyer Apostolos Xiritakis said: “We expect the case to be reopened so as to start inquiries about the person we indicate as the suspect.”

Jean’s eldest son Michael, 39, said: “The person identified was someone who was known to Mum. It’s no one who has been accused before. The person was in clear sight, was spoken to at the time by police.

“Haris has produced a 4900-word report. The report clearly looks at motive, evidence, after evidence and background.

“Now the case will be solved. We have identified the person that killed our mum and the puzzle is nearly complete. The authorities have no choice but to reopen the case.

Sign up for Edinburgh Live newsletters for more headlines straight to your inbox

"We then have to wait for a warrant to be issued for arrest. The evidence has always been there. It should have been done at the time. If it had, I don’t believe we’d be here today.

“The family 100 per cent believe this person is responsible. After reviewing the evidence in the report, it’s hard to see how it could be anyone else.”

Jean had moved to the village of Kato Gouves four years before her death to start a new life after a divorce. She had made new friends and had a job in the travel industry and did some bar work.

She went missing on March 9, 2009, after a night out. In the hours before her death, she’d spoken to friends on the phone after meeting a man at a bar and later sent a final text message to a pal saying “help”.

Four days later, her body was pulled from the harbour. The Greek authorities at first said she’d drowned. But after pressure from her family, a second post-mortem revealed she had suffered a broken neck, shattered ribs, a punctured lung and facial injuries consistent with a struggle.

Join Edinburgh Live's Whatsapp Community here and get the latest news sent straight to your messages

It was concluded she died before going into the water. It emerged Jean had arranged to meet two rival male friends in a bar hours before she vanished.

The family’s campaign forced the Greeks to open a murder inquiry and two men, a Greek and a Belgian, were questioned. Both were released without charge. Court officials ruled in 2012 there wasn’t enough evidence.

Police decided to re-examine the case in 2019 when a documentary in Greece highlighted her sons’ search for justice. But that investigation was wound down after no new evidence was found.

In March 2021, police launched their third probe. The case was passed to the Department of Organised Crime. Neither the Greek police nor Ministry of Justice replied to requests for comment.