Teary farewell for executed gangster
JOHN Macris' reality TV star wife broke down in tears at the Aussie gangster's Greek Orthodox funeral service in the plush Athens seaside neighbourhood where he lived and where he was gunned down execution-style.
Macris' glamorous blonde wife Viktoria Karida arrived at Saint Nektarios church in the Voula district along with his father Stelios, his younger brother Alex, who had rushed to Greece from Australia to attend the ceremony, and the couple's two young children Alexandra and Achilles.
Around 150 mourners attended the 30-minute ceremony to pay their respects to the 46-year-old Greek-Australian, who was shot four times on Wednesday evening outside his minimalist villa in the hills above the church.
Police have made no arrests for the murder but Greek media said that a hitman had been likely been brought in from abroad - from Albania or Russia - to kill Macris, who has drug convictions in Australia.
Police would not comment on the motive for the killing, but are investigating local battles with Greek gangsters and the shooting of an Athens underworld figure a week earlier in the port of Piraeus.
They are also looking into whether the hit might have been ordered by Macris' rivals in Australia.
However, local newspaper Ta Nea says Macris' distraught wife is living in fear in Athens and is considering a move to Australia with her two young children.
The Athens news outlet claims to have heard a leaked deposition of Ms Karida, who reportedly told police: "He wasn't scared of anything. He hadn't told us of death threats he had received. We led a quiet life," the newspaper quoted her as saying.
Macris, an ex-boyfriend of Sydney PR queen Roxy Jacenko, previously had a long-running feud with Sydney's Ibrahim family. It is not suggested they had anything to do with the hit.
Emotions ran high at the funeral service at Saint Nektarios church.
Mourners who were inside the church said the coffin was opened during the ceremony to let family and friends bid their last farewells to the man who had started a highrolling new life in Athens with his model wife and his business ventures in the security sector.
Ms Karida, dressed in a black trouser suit and wearing dark sunglasses, arrived and then walked up the broad sweeping steps to the beige-coloured church.
She was followed a few steps behind by her husband's father, Stelios Macris.
The star of a Greek reality TV show titled My Style Rocks broke down in tears and had to be comforted by a friend. Her mother-in-law held her granddaughter's hand, while a friend comforted the son Achilles.
No family members made eulogies during the service, which was presided over by Father Serafim Lazaros.
Apart from relatives, the mourners included Greek and Australian friends of the Macris family and models and TV personalities who worked with Ms Karida, who was modelling on a catwalk in Athens at the moment her husband was murdered.
After the ceremony the coffin was carried down the steep church steps by a group of burly men dressed in black and then driven away in a hearse. Macris' remains were due to be sent to Australia for burial there later this week.
Two Australian television networks covered the event along with a handful of Greek journalists. Several Greek journalists News Corp spoke to said they were afraid to be seen at the church for fear of falling foul of the entourage.
While Ms Karida was a well-known figure in Greece, Macris was unknown to most Greeks before he met his grisly end last week.
Since his death, his high-flying connections in the capital have been exposed, with news that one of his associates in the security businesses he set up in Greece was a former government minister.
His neighbours at the hilltop villa where he lived, and where he kept a Lamborghini, had only good to say of him, describing him as discreet and a devoted family man with whom they would often chat when they bumped into him out walking his dog, a pug.
They said he appeared to live a charmed life.
But that was brought to a sudden and violent end on Wednesday as he got into his car to drive to a party to inaugurate the new offices of his security business.