I know that in court he vehemently denies it, but is after all still found guilty and in succession sent to Azkaban. I can't remember any definitive proof though, so is there any canon information about whether he actually did it?


Yes he most likely did, but he denied it to save himself from Azkaban.

The Death Eaters that tortured the Longbottoms were Bellatrix, Rabastan and Rodolphus Lestrange, and Barty Crouch Jr. However, except for Bellatrix, most of them deny their involvement. It certainly seems, though, like the four Death Eaters were all caught in the act of torturing the Longbottoms, and were therefore unable to get themselves out of going to Azkaban.

There is proof that he was a Death Eater, and that he was there when they were arrested.

Everything Barty Crouch Jr. said in his confession after being caught by Dumbledore, and that the Dark Lord chose to seek him out and referred to him as a faithful Death Eater, shows that he was indeed a Death Eater at the time, and did willingly serve the Dark Lord. What Sirius says shows that he was caught with the other Death Eaters who did indeed torture the Longbottoms into insanity. So he would have at least witnessed part of the torture.

But - we don't have evidence for how big his part in the torture of the Longbottoms was.

We don't know, however, how much of a role he played in the torturing of the Longbottoms. He was there, and he does prove himself to know how to effectively use the Cruciatus Curse when he demonstrated it to the students. But in that specific incident, he could have been anything from an active participant, to someone standing on the sidelines and just being present while other Death Eaters actually do the torturing. Knowing that he was a Death Eater at the time, though, and that the Dark Lord is so willing to trust him, he certainly couldn't have shown much displeasure at their actions, however much he did himself.

We do know that Bellatrix at least did in fact torture the Longbottoms. She says so herself.

“Longbottom?’ repeated Bellatrix, and a truly evil smile lit her gaunt face. ‘Why, I have had the pleasure of meeting your parents, boy.’

‘I DOE YOU HAB!’ roared Neville, and he fought so hard against his captor’s encircling grip that the Death Eater shouted, ‘Someone Stun him!’

‘No, no, no,’ said Bellatrix. She looked transported, alive with excitement as she glanced at Harry, then back at Neville. ‘No, let’s see how long Longbottom lasts before he cracks like his parents … unless Potter wants to give us the prophecy.”

“DON’D GIB ID DO DEM!’ roared Neville, who seemed beside himself, kicking and writhing as Bellatrix drew nearer to him and his captor, her wand raised. ‘DON’D GIB ID DO DEM, HARRY!’

Bellatrix raised her wand. ‘Crucio!’
*- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 35 (Beyond the Veil)

She clearly remembers not only that the Longbottoms were tortured using the Cruciatus Curse, but also casting it on them. She's clearly quite enjoying herself. So, at least one of the Death Eaters who was convicted of the Longbottoms' torture did do it.

‘You have been brought here before the Council of Magical Law,’ he said clearly, ‘so that we may pass judgement on you, for a crime so heinous –’

‘Father,’ said the boy with the straw-coloured hair. ‘Father … please …’ ‘– that we have rarely heard the like of it within this court,’ said Crouch, speaking more loudly, drowning out his son’s voice.

‘We have heard the evidence against you. The four of you stand accused of capturing an Auror – Frank Longbottom – and subjecting him to the Cruciatus Curse, believing him to have knowledge of the present whereabouts of your exiled master, He Who Must Not Be Named –’

‘Father, I didn’t!’ shrieked the boy in chains below. ‘I didn’t, I swear it, Father, don’t send me back to the Dementors –’

‘You are further accused,’ bellowed Mr Crouch, ‘of using the Cruciatus Curse on Frank Longbottom’s wife, when he would not give you information. You planned to restore He Who Must Not Be Named to power, and to resume the lives of violence you presumably led while he was strong. I now ask the jury –”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve)

Both Dumbledore and Sirius Black say they personally don't know if Barty Crouch Jr. was involved for sure.

‘Then Mr Crouch’s son might not have been involved?’ said Harry slowly.

Dumbledore shook his head. ‘As to that, I have no idea.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve)

Sirius isn't sure whether Crouch Jr. is guilty, but confirms that he was indeed found in the company of Death Eaters.

“Was his son a Death Eater?’ said Harry.

‘No idea,’ said Sirius, still stuffing down bread. ‘I was in Azkaban myself when he was brought in. This is mostly stuff I’ve found out since I got out. The boy was definitely caught in the company of people I’d bet my life were Death Eaters – but he might have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, just like the house-elf.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 27 (Padfoot Returns)

We know Barty Crouch Jr. was a Death Eater at the time, so he likely had some role in it.

He does confess himself to being a Death Eater, and plotting to restore the Dark Lord to power, when he's caught pretending to be Mad-Eye Moody. The Dark Lord hadn't been around for years to recruit new Death Eaters, and until that year the Death Eaters had been inactive. Barty Crouch Jr. refers to the Dark Lord as his master, and speaks of returning to his service, which proves that he would have have to been a Death Eater before the Dark Lord's fall.

“When I had recovered my strength, I thought only of finding my master … of returning to his service.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)

Even more conclusively, the Dark Lord comes to find Barty Crouch Jr. and trusts him with an undercover mission, which he wouldn't have done if he wasn't actually a Death Eater.

“And then … and then …’ Crouch’s head rolled on his neck, and an insane grin spread across his face. ‘My master came for me. ‘He arrived at our house late one night, in the arms of his servant Wormtail. My master had found out that I was still alive.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)

It's likely that Barty Crouch Jr. is at least somewhat overestimating how much the Dark Lord values him, but still, the Dark Lord does come and seek him out.

“She told him my father kept me imprisoned to prevent me seeking my master. And so my master knew that I was still his faithful servant – perhaps the most faithful of all. My master conceived a plan, based upon the information Bertha had given him. He needed me. He arrived at our house near midnight. My father answered the door.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)

From this, we can see the Dark Lord trusted him enough to believe he could become Moody and help restore him to power. The Dark Lord does not trust easily, and wouldn't likely be willing to give such an important task to someone who hasn't proven his worth somehow.

“He asked me whether I was ready to risk everything for him. I was ready. It was my dream, my greatest ambition, to serve him, to prove myself to him. He told me he needed to place a faithful servant at Hogwarts.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)

He also clearly craves the Dark Lord's approval.

“The Dark Lord and I,’ said Moody, and he looked completely insane now, towering over Harry, leering down at him, ‘have much in common. Both of us, for instance, had very disappointing fathers … very disappointing indeed. Both of us suffered the indignity, Harry, of being named after those fathers. And both of us had the pleasure … the very great pleasure … of killing our fathers, to ensure the continued rise of the Dark Order!” - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)

He seeks more than just power or wealth, he wants the Dark Lord to honor and respect him.

“Turned it into a Portkey. My master’s plan worked. He is returned to power and I will be honoured by him beyond the dreams of wizards.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)

The Dark Lord also calls Barty Crouch Jr. a faithful Death Eater, when he's disappointed in most of them. He doesn't refer to him by name, but it later becomes clear who he means in both instances. Barty Crouch Jr. later says he's the one who cast the Dark Mark into the sky.

“And yet you ran from my Mark, when a faithful Death Eater sent it into the sky last summer?”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 33 (The Death Eaters)

As well as the servant who is at Hogwarts and is the reason Harry was brought to the graveyard.

“… and one, who remains my most faithful servant, and who has already re-entered my service.’ The Death Eaters stirred; Harry saw their eyes dart sideways at each
other through their masks. ‘He is at Hogwarts, that faithful servant, and it was through his efforts that our young friend arrived tonight …”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 33 (The Death Eaters)

  • good answer - Jr has a pretty adamant appreciation for the Dark Lord at the end of book 4; an attitude he'd not likely have if he were innocent. Sirius, though innocent, did not turn to the Dark Lord in Azkaban, rather he focused on his innocence and proving the injustice. Why would the same not happen to Crouch? No - he most definitely was in on it - even if he just stood there laughing – NKCampbell Jul 24 '17 at 21:09
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    But being a Death Eater and being an active participant in this special incident are two different things. IMO your quotes show pretty clearly that he was a Death Eater, but it still seems possible that he wasn't ruthless enough for actually torturing and let Bellatrix & Co do all of the "work". – MaxD Jul 24 '17 at 21:18
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    To add to this excellent answer : "Moody raised his wand again, pointed it at the spider, and muttered, “Crucio!” At once, the spider’s legs bent in upon its body; it rolled over and began to twitch horribly, rocking from side to side. No sound came from it, but Harry was sure that if it could have given voice, it would have been screaming. Moody did not remove his wand, and the spider started to shudder and jerk more violently — “Stop it!” Hermione said shrilly. " - it seems our guy has sadistic tendencies... – user68762 Jul 24 '17 at 21:51
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    The other Death Eaters would likely have insisted that Barty Jr participate in the torture, as a test of his current loyalty and to give him reason not to go to the authorities afterwards. They know who his father is, after all. – Gaultheria Jul 24 '17 at 22:42

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