Home   Medway   News   Article

Revealed: Double life of eccentric businessman who lay dead in Chatham kitchen for two years

Konstantinos Georgakopolos, who lay dead after two years
Konstantinos Georgakopolos, who lay dead after two years

This is the first picture of the man who lay dead in his kitchen, forgotten for almost two years.

But Konstantinos Georgakopolos was no hermit, no pauper - at least he didn't used to be.

On Friday we revealed how the 75-year-old was finally found at his home in Luton Road, Chatham, after lying dead for almost two years.

When bailiffs finally came to his home, classical music was still playing and the heating was on.

We passed the tale to a journalist in his native Greece, who has now revealed his luxurious life.

She found "Kostas" or "Gus" was an eccentric, self-made businessman who was never without his trademark dark glasses.

He founded a clothes boutique called Playboy in Kartali Street, Volos, the heart of a coastal city a little smaller than Medway.

Locals remember him driving a Rolls Royce and a Lotus sports model around car meetings in the 1970s, a cigarette between his teeth.

When he died in his basement, his Greek life - including his modern open-plan apartment in Volos - froze in time.

18 Luton Road, with the Linda Matthews letting agent next door
18 Luton Road, with the Linda Matthews letting agent next door

Vaso Samakovli, a reporter for his local newspaper, Taxydromos, found his Lotus still parked outside his apartment.

She said: “I spoke with many friends and they knew about his car very well. He was well-known to many people.”

How could a man so well-known lie forgotten for so long?

It seemed Kostas' fate was a terrible consequence of living across two countries.

Brits thought he was safe and well in Volos, while his Greek friends thought he was living in Chatham.

Volos, Greece, where Konstantinos Georgakopolos built his business
Volos, Greece, where Konstantinos Georgakopolos built his business

Kostas expanded his business interests to Britain 20 years ago. He bought number 18 Luton Road on October 18, 1994. More property in Thanet added to his empire.

He divided his time between Volos and Chatham, disappearing for months at a time, then returning and popping into corner shops to buy tea and coffee.

Several shopkeepers in Luton Road remember him. He was a character, they said – he had peculiar mannerisms and turns of phrase.

When bailiffs found his remains last September, plane tickets for November 14, 2010, were unused and classical music was still playing on the stereo.

Kostas, who was born in Greece on July 19, 1937, had graduated from six years in the Volos trade school and spent time living in America, acquiring the nickname "Gus" – and a genuine pair of cowboy boots.

The Lotus still parked outside his apartment
The Lotus still parked outside his apartment

On his return to Volos he wore them to bars in the long, hot Greek summers.

Miss Samakovli said: “His friends were limited. He was simultaneously social and open, and aloof, depending on what he chose, and he was always on time to maintain his shop."

When he was about 40, Kostas is said to have married a woman 20 years his junior, but they parted ways when she left to study in Italy.

He had a niece and a nephew. They were in contact with the Medway coroner's office, but could not say for sure what he did for a living.

Our efforts to contact them were unsuccessful.

Front page in Greece
Front page in Greece

No one attended the inquest into Kostas' death and it is not known what happened about his funeral.

Those who knew him in Chatham have expressed regret.

Maria Bruce, 24, of the next-door lettings agency Linda Matthews, who was among the group who found him, said: "I would have gone to the funeral."

Ralph Tebbutt, 76, helped launch the Medway Pensioners' Forum in 1999. He urged readers to check on their elderly neighbours this week.

He said: "This is an extreme case, but I don't think it's rare. I live in Twydall and I can speak to 10 or 12 people every time I go out. But beyond that, there's not the contact.

"It's not that people don't care, but the way our society is we're very reserved. We don't like to interfere."

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More