The diary of a British woman who died in Greece 14 years ago may have shed new light on her case. Divorcee Jean Hanlon, who had moved from Dumfries to the Mediterranean country in 2005, was found dead in the waters near Heraklion harbour in Crete four days after her death on March 9, 2009.
Following a first post-mortem examination, her death was initially described as a tragic drowning.
However, her grieving sons Michael, David and Robert Porter pushed for a second coroner’s report, which revealed Ms Hanlon had died from multiple injuries inflicted before she had entered the water.
Only last week, a fresh third enquiry ruled the death was the result of “foul play” – but local authorities, while acknowledging Ms Hanlon may have been killed, said there was no sufficient evidence to find who might have committed the act.
But the victim’s sons have not yet given up and continue the battle to bring justice to their mother.
Friends claimed Ms Hanlon had met a man the night of her death but the individual was never tracked down.
While Ms Hanlon was used to recording her days and future plans in her diary, its last entry, penned on the morning of the Scottish mother’s death, doesn’t mention plans to meet a man hours later.
On the other hand, it recorded in detail her plans to visit her friend Pat’s house to care for her disabled daughter.
This lack of information has led her son Michael, who found the diary following Ms Hanlon’s death, to think his mother’s decision to go out on the night of her death was a “spur of the moment thing”.
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As reported by the Daily Record, he said of finding and reading his mother’s diary: “It felt wrong as it was her private space, so it felt like we were intruding or breaching her privacy, but it was all for the right reasons.”
He continued: “Mum was very reliable. She knew she was due at Pat’s house the next day as she had agreed to look after her daughter and had been preparing for days to get organised for it. So the fact she knew she had this very important commitment makes me feel that the night she went out was a last-minute spur-of-the-moment thing. According to her diary, it wasn’t a prearranged meeting.
“Mum wrote everything in her diary. She talks about changing the bed, going to the shops, calling her mum, chatting to friends and talks about making soup but she doesn’t refer to having met anyone online.
“Her last entry was very simple, just about her normal everyday life. But no mention of internet dating, having met someone or planning to meet someone.
“So that fact makes me think her going out that evening was a spur-of-the-moment decision or that she had bumped into someone she knew.”
The distance travelled to get to Heraklion, Michael also said, leads him to think she may have met someone who wasn’t a stranger.
He explained: “Mum travelled to Heraklion, which is a 23-minute journey in a taxi or a car and Mum didn’t drive and it was winter so the buses were not frequent.”
Solicitor Apostolos Xiritakis, based in Crete, said: “Despite the fact Jean Hanlon kept a very detailed diary, it doesn’t give us any information about her last day and the person she was to meet. So this is something that makes us believe that last meeting with the man she had was not planned but rather a quick decision.”