Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Honeymoon Murder of Anni Dewani

Shrien and Anni

Shrien and Anni Dewani were married in a lavish three-day ceremony in Mumbai on October 29, 2010. Following the ceremony, the wealthy British couple traveled to South Africa for an extended honeymoon in a series of South Africa's most exclusive vacation properties. It must have seemed a dream come true — to escape the dreary confines of the looming English winter to spend a couple of weeks reveling in their new love and their new life in a warm climate.

Shrien and Anni Dewani
Shrien and Anni Dewani
Anni Dewani's family had survived brutality and hardship in the past. Ugandans of Indian descent, they had fled the brutal dictatorship of Idi Amin in the 1970s, accepting an offer of asylum from Sweden. Anni was born roughly a decade later, in 1982, and she thrived in the liberal Scandinavian nation. After excelling at school, Anni sought advanced training as an engineer and, after completing her studies, she joined the telecommunications giant Ericksson. As beautiful as she was brilliant, she also modeled. Anni excelled at her work, and according to friends and family she was quite happy in Sweden. Her life took on a new direction in 2009 when she visited her cousin in London. It was on that trip that she met Shrien Dewani, the man who would become her husband.

At 30, Shrien Dewani was two years older than his wife. Raised in the suburbs of Bristol, England, Shrien trained and practiced as an accountant before resigning from his job in order to run his family's chain of nursing homes. More of a practical businessman than a dreamer, he helped build the chain of homes into a highly lucrative business, making himself a millionaire along the way.

The couple's first date was to see a performance of the musical The Lion King, and soon thereafter they were deeply involved. In June 2009, Shrien proposed to Anni, offering her a massive engagement ring worth nearly $40,000. The couple's engagement seemed almost ideal, if a bit strained by distance. At first they alternated weekends between Stockholm and Bristol, but, after a few months of hectic travel, Anni resigned her position with the telecom company and moved to Bristol to help Shrien run the family business. She also entered as a contestant in the British version of the popular reality show, "Top Model."

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