Athens, Greece – November 4th, 2000
Christos Kendiras released 33 Japanese tourists, that he was holding hostage at gun point, and surrendered to a television talk show host after hijacking a bus earlier in the day.
Christos Kendiras, 48, surrendered in the Athens port of Piraeus and was arrested by police. Before hijacking the bus, he had killed his mother-in-law and a friend in a village in southern Greece, police said. None of the passengers were injured.
Christos Kendiras turned himself over to TV talk show host Makis Triantafilopoulos outside his office in the Athens port of Piraeus. He was then arrested.
After his surrender, the gunman was seen bowing to the Japanese tourists in television footage supplied by Greece’s Alpha Channel, where Triantafilopoulos is the host of a late night talk show that often deals with social problems.
The bus passengers were being taken by police to an Athens hotel.
Alpha showed the gunman giving his shotgun to bus driver Giorgos Tsakonas before leaving the bus. He then went into Triantafilopoulos’ office with police officers, where he reportedly made a statement before a television camera.
Christos Kendiras had reportedly been talking to Triantafilopoulos during the afternoon.
The 11-hour ordeal began early Saturday when Kendiras shot and killed his mother-in-law, 77-year-old Georgia Spyrou, just outside the port village of Galata, police said.
He then drove into Galata and shot and killed Stamatis Taktikos, a friend he believed was having an affair with his wife, police said.
After the shootings, Kendiras drove about 20 miles north to Epidauros, a theater dating from the 4th century BC about 110 miles southwest of Athens.
In Epidauros, police said he used a container of fuel to set fire to his car and then stopped the passing bus. It was not immediately clear how he stopped or boarded the bus, which was carrying the 33 Japanese tourists as well as a Greek tour guide and the driver.
Kendiras first ordered the bus to head north toward Athens, but then directed the driver to turn around and head to Galata, where the killings took place, police said.
Kendiras was armed with a shotgun and also claimed to be carrying a 9mm pistol, said police Gen. Spyros Toundopoulos.
Reporters from the Antenna and Alpha television channels who spoke to the gunman said he didn’t threatened to kill any of the passengers.
The tourists arrived in Greece two days ago on a three-day trip to the Peloponnese, he said.
At one point in the hostage drama, Kendiras apparently shot at a patrol motorcycle as it approached the bus, police said. The policeman was slightly injured by broken glass from his bike’s shattered windshield.
Earlier, speaking to Alpha by mobile phone, Kendiras appeared agitated and spoke disjointedly about family problems. He said his wife had been cheating on him and he blamed her mother.
“I wanted to kill my mother-in-law. In other words, if I didn’t kill her she’d be going in for heart surgery anyway, the people were going to give money for nothing,” sad Kendiras, an auto body shop worker originally from the port of Piraeus.
He demanded to speak to his wife, and police attempted to arrange a meeting, authorities said.
After killing two people and taking 35 people aboard a bus hostage, Christos Kendiras, troubled over his wife’s alleged affair and arrest, committed suicide by jumping out of a window at the Athens police headquarters.