But to capture Zaharias alive was an impossible task and would put the individuals life in great danger. The Turks decided to come up with a plan to assassinate Zaharias. They found the potential assassin who went by the name of Koukeas, in which he also was a koubaros of Zaharias. Koukeas invited Zaharias to his residence in order to supply him with vital information pertaining to the Turkish fleet, which was anchored near the village of Kitries. Zaharias went to Koukeas, who was located in the village of Tseria, near Kardamili, and was assassinated on July 20, 1804. *** However, it is still uncertain if Koukeas commited this crime so that he could get the position and the reward money or for personal reasons.
After the assassination, Sermetbay, who requested that Zaharias be captured alive, cut off the legs and arms of Koukeas, who was punished for not complying with his request. It was a common fait during this era for assassins to be executed after they carried out their mission.
Many songs were written and sung by the people, never forgetting what Zaharias did. The songs were mainly about his life, battles, and death. Since then, the people of Laconia have always remembered the courage of Zaharias, his good heart (philanthropist) towards the people and his strong inner will.
Nikos Mathaios is currently writing a book about the entire history and life of Kapetan Zaharias which wll be titled "O Protoklephtis Zaharias Oi Epohe Tou Kai To '21." ****
Notes: * During the era of Zaharias the village of Varvitsa was actually pronounced as Barbitsa, but later on it changed to Varvitsa. Zaharias was known to the people as Kapetan Zaharias Barbitsiotis, or as Kapetan Zaharias (the) Barbitsioti, since he was from the village of Barbitsa. He would use the name Barbitsiotis, in order to pay respect for the village he came from.
** Some historians believe that the Pantelakos family originated in the Mani region.
*** Other historians believe that Zaharias was assassinated in October 1805.
**** The book by Nikos Matheos was actually published in 1998, and is about 700 pages.
Flag of Kapetan Zaharias