Story of beheading unfolds

The man who beheaded his wife on Santorini following an argument on Sunday was named yesterday as 31-year-old Athanassios Arvanitis, a chef who had been fired from a local hotel just two days before the incident. Police released further details of the grisly crime yesterday less than 24 hours after Arvanitis, originally from Alexandroupolis, murdered his 25-year-old wife, a schoolteacher from Thessaloniki, who was not named. The couple married one year ago and moved to the village of Vourvoulos on Santorini a month later when the 25-year-old was appointed to a local primary school. Police said that friends and family of the couple told them that they had never noticed any serious problems in their relationship but Arvanitis was known for the occasional outburst. The chef was also known for not being able to keep a job for long. He was fired from his position at a hotel in the resort of Imerovigli just two days before attacking his wife, who had returned from her vacation on the same day. Arvanitis allegedly stabbed the 25-year-old after a row and then severed her head. He had earlier beheaded his wife’s dog. The unemployed chef then started to walk around the streets of Vourvoulos carrying his wife’s head. Residents called police and when a patrol car appeared, the 31-year-old indicated that he was willing to surrender. However, when an officer approached him, he lashed out with a knife but managed only a minor facial injury. The officer’s partner fired four times at the suspect, hitting him in the chest and stomach. This failed to stop Arvanitis who jumped in the patrol car and sped off. The scene was observed by three trainee officers who had arrived as backup but were unable to act as they are not allowed to carry firearms. Arvanitis was pursued for about 1.5 kilometers until he crashed the vehicle, knocking two women doctors off their motorbike in the process. The women were being treated for broken legs and arms at Athens’s KAT Hospital yesterday. The 31-year-old then tried to disarm an officer, who reacted by firing five times. Three of the bullets hit the suspect but one ricocheted and hit a 21-year-old Greek woman. She suffered only minor injuries but Arvanitis was in a critical condition in an Athens hospital last night.