jean hanlon crete

The Killing of Jean Hanlon on Channel 5: Who was she and where is her killer?

The Channel 5 documentary has shed new light on the case

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Jean Hanlon was a British mother who was found dead in Crete in 2009.

The 53-year-old disappeared without a trace from the island of Crete, where she had been living.

Her death is explored in the Channel 5 documentary, Murdered in Paradise: The Killing of Jean Hanlon.

jean hanlon crete
Jean Hanlon was found dead in Crete (Credit: YouTube)

What happened to Jean Hanlon in Crete?

Jean, from Dumfries, had relocated to Crete in 2003.

On March 9, 2009, her family’s lives changed forever when she vanished.

Just four days later, her body was pulled from Heraklion Harbour.

Her body was missing both her eyes and her hair.

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“Mum’s clothes were on a table but they didn’t prepare us for what happened next and that was the last time I saw her,” said her son, Michael.

“She had no hair left, no eyes and she had lost the bridge of her nose. She looked like a shell, it was heartbreaking.”

Mere hours before she disappeared she had arranged to meet two male friends at a bar.

Her final text was sent to a friend and simply said: “Help.”

Greek authorities opened a murder inquiry, but Jean’s two male friends were later released without charge.

Jean kept a diary of her whereabouts that she updated daily.

On the day of her murder, she claimed to have been being followed by someone in a green car.

jean hanlon crete
Michael has been searching for answers for over a decade since the body of Jean Hanlon was found in Crete (Credit: YouTube)

Who murdered Jean Hanlon?

No one has been brought to justice for Jean’s murder.

Police originally said she had died from accidental drowning.

However, following a post-mortem, it was discovered that her neck had been broken before she drowned.

Her son, Michael, appeared on Greek TV demanded answers from authorities.

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The case was reopened in April 2021 for the third time after new evidence emerged.

Michael told BBC Scotland: “This puts the case in a better place as my mum, at last, will get the proper full investigation, with a new more professional and experienced department that she so rightly deserves.

“We have been here before but this time really is a big breakthrough and potentially groundbreaking.”

He revealed that people were involved this time and said the case file had been passed to a new department.

Michael and his two brothers have been tireless campaigning for Greek authorities to re-open the investigation for a decade.

“People have suggested we have got to get on with life but our mum was our life and you can’t just turn that off,” he added.

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