Inside London’s Billionaires Row: The Greek fashion tycoon’s home that became a Reddit-famous murder scene on New Year’s Day 1985

Elena and Aristos Constantinou outside their home on Billionaires Row. ITN
  • A mile-long road in London has been the city’s “Billionaires Row” since World War II: a destination for luxury, scandal, murder, and secrecy.
  • 66 The Bishops Avenue in 1985 became the scene of one of London’s most famous unsolved murders.
  • Fashion tycoon Aristos Constantinou was shot with six bullets – four to the body, two to the head – in the family chapel.
  • The case has become one of the most popular topics on Reddit’s r/UnsolvedMysteries thread.
  • This post is part of an interactive series by Insider profiling Billionaires Row.

Heath Lodge lies at the southern tip of The Bishops Avenue.

It is the last of 66 mansions on a street famed for excess and decay, where many homes lies empty and dilapidated, yet still accruing value in London’s burgeoning property market.

The seven-bedroom house, built in 1976, is dwarfed by its neighbours. But it played host to one of London’s most high-profile unsolved crimes, which has continued to fascinate more than 30 years on.

In the mid 1980s, the house was owned by rags-to-riches Cypriot fashion entrepreneur Aristos Constantinou.

66 The Bishops Avenue Heath Lodge
66 The Bishops Avenue, also known as Heath Lodge. INSIDER/Bill Bostock

Constantinou moved in next to fabulously wealthy neighbours, including Iranian and Brunei royalty.

He paid £400,000 for Heath Lodge -which would be worth around £2.5 million ($US3.2 million) today – and lived there with his wife Elena and their three children.

The businessman made his millions through the fashion brand Ariella, which he founded with his brother Achilleas in 1966.

Areilla designs Constantinou
Three of Areilla’s early designs, created by Achilleas and Aristos Constantinou. Ariella

The Constantinou couple, in their maroon Range Rover, were returning from a New Year’s Eve party as 1984 became 1985. Constantinou was 40 and his wife was 36, The Independent reported.

That night, in the early hours of January 1, while kneeling at prayer inside his private chapel, Constantinou was hit with six bullets – four to the body, two to the head – from a .25 handgun,The Ham & High local newspaper reported.

The newspaper said the bullets were made by the Italian manufacturer Fiocchi, and coloured silver. None have been manufactured since 1961.

Constantinou murder bishops avenue
The Constantinou’s Range Rover, was found still parked outside 66 The Bishops Avenue when police arrived. ITN

The circumstances of the murder were also mysterious.

The couple got home at 1 a.m., Elena told London’s Metropolitan Police, and were ambushed by two black-clad burglars in carnival masks, The Telegraph and Daily Mail reported.

They locked her in a bathroom, Elena told police, but she got away through an open window, clambering down the drainpipe. In the meantime her husband was taken away and shot.

The police were not convinced by Elena’s story, the Daily Mail reported.

Heath lodge the bishops avenue 66
A satellite photo of 66 The Bishops Avenue, and gardens, taken in 2019 Google Maps

Officers found only old fingerprints, and no smudge marks from gloves found near the emptied safe, which had once contained £50,000 ($US75,000) in foreign currency but was found empty.

A pathologist, The Sunday Times reported, noted that the gun used to kill Constantinou was under four inches in length, uncommon for such a burglary.

Decades on, the murder is still good for business, estate agent Trevor Abrahmsohn, who sold the property soon after the murder, told Insider.

“We sold the place with a silver bullet embedded in the wall,” he said.

Aristos and Achilleas Constantinous
Brother’s and business partners Aristos (L) and Achilleas (R.) Ariella

In the years since, Constantinou’s story has attracted vast attention from the amateur investigators of the Reddit discussion board r/UnresolvedMysteries.

Theories include that he was killed in a business dispute, given his brand was flying high, or that he was the victim of a robbery gone wrong, owning to gloves found at the scene.

Several Redditors have placed the blame on Elena and ask why the burglars or assassins would leave her alive.

Others feel, even if Elena was guilty, the details are too confused and the case dragged on too long for it to be labelled the “perfect crime.”

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police told Insider that officers remain committed to one day finding the perpetrator who “brutally murdered” Constantinou.