Justice for Jean Hanlon/Porter’s suspicious death in Crete

Justice for Jean Hanlon/Porter’s suspicious death in Crete

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Jean Hanlon/Porter disappeared on Monday 9 March 2009 and her bruised and battered body was pulled from Heraklion Harbour on Friday 13 March 2009. 

The initial postmortem decreed that her death was an accidental drowning, however after identifying her scarcely recognisable body in the morgue and seeing her horrific numerous injuries, we realised that this conclusion must be incorrect and this was backed up by information we had been told leading up to her disappearance.

Focusing on this awful image together with further personal research, we persisted with the authorities that there was no way this could have been a total accident.  Our diligence and perseverance led them to give us an updated version of their postmortem findings and we were then told that her injuries were such that she would have been dead before entering the water.  She had a broken neck, shattered ribs, punctured lung and showed signs of a struggle.  This information then led to the official final conclusion that her body must have been discarded in the water by persons as yet unidentified.

On a personal level, we know that there was no secondary postmortem done, so we strongly believe that this information was always known and we also believe that the Greek authorities just wanted to dismiss the case as an accident to avoid adverse publicity for the forthcoming summer season

Since then, we have given all the information we have to the authorities in Heraklion and there have been intermittent episodes of investigation that have led nowhere as yet and we feel, with increasing frustration, that they are just not digging deep enough as there are still many unanswered questions and inconsistencies that have not been fully investigated and explored thoroughly. The case was archived in 2015 but was then re-opened after my personal meeting with the Greek Ambassador in London who was very helpful and supportive and who wrote a personal letter, on Embassy headed paper, to the Greek prosecutor giving his support to our case.  On seeing the high-profile support that we had, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office realised that maybe they needed to show willing and offered temporary support on one occasion, but this interest has long since dwindled.

In 2018, I was approached by Channel 5 who produced a documentary about the mystery surrounding our mum’s death and this aired in June 2019 receiving over half a million viewers in the initial airing.

This documentary resulted in new witnesses and leads coming forward which instigated the case to be re-opened for a second time.  This then inspired me to take advantage of this new interest in the case and I created the first ever Greek public appeal and media conference live from Heraklion Harbour wall (where mum was found).

Sadly, nothing came from the leads and it was also said that the witnesses statements weren’t taken seriously or follow up

Following on from this I persevered with my decade long quest to get a much-needed appearance and investigation on ‘Light In The Tunnel’, the Greek version of the UK programme, ‘Crimewatch’.  There was some interest on the phone lines but unfortunately, yet again nothing came from the witnesses who called into the show and we were informed that they weren’t willing to follow through with their claims as they claimed to be scared.

Not long after the show aired, the world went into COVID-19 lockdown, and everything stopped including the courts.  During lockdown, I liaised with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and asked for a letter to be sent on official headed paper to the Greek Minister of Justice expressing their continued interest and support in our family’s fight for justice.  This was sent in July 2020

This letter was well-received but we were informed that, although the case has not been officially closed, no further investigations will be done unless new witnesses or information comes to light.

2019 marked the 10th Anniversary of Mum’s death, and I put together a memorial video which showcases the highs and lows we have experienced and also reiterated my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has helped and supported us over the 10 years. 

10 year memorial video

My family and I will never give up until we have answers on what happened to our Mum, so this petition is a heartfelt plea for you to view this compassionately and be able to help us in our quest for #JusticeForJean

This petition therefore calls on the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and the British Government to:

  • Get the case to be fully re-investigated and reviewed both in UK and in Greece
  • Liaise with the Greek judiciary to get full and complete translations of all documents relating to the case
  • Get the Greek authorities to look at the inaccuracies and reopen the case
  • Get the FCO to step up and provide support where needed instead of burying its head in the sand
  • Provide more help and support for families who lose a loved one abroad

The dead cannot cry out for justice. It is a duty of the living to do so for them (Lois McMaster Bujold)