The research of journalist-researcher Angeliki Nikolouli in Giannena revealed the drama that Vangelis lived because of a group of his Cretan compatriots who practiced a constant and daily intimidation against him.
Many people were then identified with the unhappy young man and “Tunnel” was overwhelmed by complaints by people who had similar experiences in their lives.
This case suddenly made people talk openly about Bullying and for the first time victims were addressed to the Authorities but also to agencies asking for help.
The sophomore student at the Dairy School of Ioannina, the sensitive Vangelis from Crete, disappeared on Friday 6 February 2015 from his School.
His mother discovered he was missing when she tried to call him he did not answer. Anxious, because she’d been watching him because of his low performance at the School, she called his fellow students and asked them to search him.
That same evening, investigations began to locate Giakoumakis. Initially, they focused on the wider area of the School and the city in general, but later expanded across the country.
Cameras in the air, rescuers in mountains and lake
Since the news of the disappearance of the unfortunate young man became known, the mobilization of authorities and volunteers in the region was immediate.
Apart from the Police and the rescue team of EMAK, the Fire Brigade even recruited the Modeling Association of Ioannina.
Angeliki Nikolouli insisted from the beginning that the School hid the secret of the extinction and that Vangelis was somewhere around.
The journalist’s conviction strengthened her research at the School, where she spoke with all the children who had seen him last, among them the group of the “wild” Cretans, and around the School where he found evidence that the authorities had not found.
Material from security cameras, threw the first light into the dark. A camera of a gas station that had framed Vangelis’ last movements at the noon of his disappearance, proved that his secret was hiding in the surrounding area.
He was recorded walking on the street outside the school and looked like he turned on the dirt road leading to the lakeside because suddenly he was lost from the last camera at that point.
A witness had told Tunnel that she saw a young man that looked like him the afternoon that he was lost. At the point she indicated, he was later found dead. The description of his clothes matched those that Vangelis wore on that fateful day.
The area in which the witness was reported was investigated by the Police and volunteers, but they were unable to locate him.
With a new field survey in Ioannina and a representation outside the School, Angeliki Nikolouli proved that the main witness-bus driver had not taken Vaggelis from the School’s bus station that afternoon but his roommate. After that the researches focused again on the wider area of the Dairy School.
Forty days later, on March 15, a couple accidentally found the body of the unlucky young man when their car was stuck in the mud. The stagnant waters at that point had begun to subside, and in the early days of the investigations the area was flooded, which did not help locating the corpse.
He was recognized by his clothes as his body was in advanced decay and was attacked by wild animals. On his right wrist there was the trauma that deprived him of his life and near him was found the Cretan knife he allegedly used himself, according to the Coroner’s conclusion.
The allegations of the extreme attacks Vangelis received in his School had seen the light of publicity from Tunnel since the early days of his disappearance.
Workers at the Dairy School and students alight their fear and revealed in the show creepy attacks against the young Cretan.
After finding his body, meetings against violence and bullying were organized in various Greek cities in his memory, while further testimonies against Yakoumakis were revealed through the Tunnel.
In April 2015, the former Director of the School and the Home Officer were prosecuted for continued violation of their duties and for their erroneous handling in Giakoumaki’s case. The school leaders seemed helpless to strike the evil at its root and punish the students involved in incidents of violence. As they said, they lacked the data! Tunnel revealed that the manager himself had asked for help from advisers on the problem with the “tough Cretans” he faced in his School. Then the heads of the Ministry of Agriculture closed their eyes and ears, but when the bullying was revealed in the show, they mobilized.
On June 10, 2015, the prosecutor charged with the murder of the student, following his family’s objections and their legal representative Dimitris Boukas.
The tough group of the eight students charged with dangerous attacks, as revealed by the survey, also had a woman’s scent.
Aggeliki Nikolouli, through her research, had perceived the strange role of a stranger female.
On June 23, 2016, it was decided to refer a former minister to the trial for an offense of misconduct. The minister allegedly intervened in the director of the school to keep one of the Cretans in Hestia, which had caused damage to the building. At that time the case of Vangelis Giakoumakis was not yet known, but also the action of the particular students.
The Three-Member Appeal Court of Ioannina has dismissed the former Minister and the Head of the Department, and condemned the Director of the Dairy School for a breach of duty.
The Contribution of “Tunnel”
After the revelations of “Tunnel” for the simple rebuke of the school leaders to the responsible students and the wrath of the world, there was the punishment for the “hard-tempered” group.
Three of the six students of the Dairy School of Ioannina accused of the attacks on the Cretan student graduated without a degree, according to a decision of the Ministry of Rural Development.
For the remaining three, the Teachers’ Council decided to dismiss them from the School’s Home, classifying their behavior as “wretched.” They could attend their classes without having a right to stay in the Dormitory.
A total of eight students are accused of dangerous bodily injuries and unlawful joint violence. The case is still in the main investigation.
The lawyer of the Giakoumakis family, Mr. Boukas, referred to the contribution of Tunnel and the testimonies that came to light from the broadcast about the violent incidents against Vangelis.
“Publicity has benefited very much and Mrs. Nikoloulis’s broadcast as well. People came forward and felt the need to help, “he said.
The unjust death of Vangelis Giakoumakis was the most resounding message against the problem of school bullying in our country. It sensitized the citizens and created turbulence for those who were called to fill the huge vacancies in the field of education and the legislation on the punishment of bullying.
After the case of Giakoumakis the law changed in order to fill the gap that has been revealed, Bullying is now being punished.
The person who causes bullying will now be faced with Justice. If the offender is an adult and the minor victim is punished by imprisonment of 6 months to 5 years. If an adult is bullied by another adult, the penalty is from 10 days to 5 years.
In cases of bullying from a minor to another minor, they are impenetrable, but reformative measures are imposed unless an offender and victim have an age difference of more than three years, in which case there will be another treatment.