Family or friends of a murdered victim usually hope the murderer gets arrested and face justice. However, this can be a farfetched dream as some killers plan to great details and execute their evil deeds in a perfect manner that leaves no trace behind. Solving a perfect crime is a herculean task that most experienced detectives have been cut down and reduced to amateurs. Let’s have a look at some unsolved murders in Kenya whose trail has gathered dust with little to no possibility of unmasking the true culprits.
Most Famous Unsolved Murders in KJenya
10. The murder of Mercy Keino
In the wee hours of 18th July 2007, mutilated body of an unknown woman in her mid twenties was discovered along Waiyaki way. She was later identified as Mercy Keino, Masters in journalism student at University of Nairobi. Hours before her body was found, she had been in company of her school friend in an evening party hosted by a local politician William Kambogo in Wasini luxury apartments. However, at around 2am in the morning, she got drunk and disorderly. She later got into an argument with her host who physically assaulted and kicked her out of the party. What happened next is still shrouded with mystery.
Immediately after Mercy and her friend left, she stepped back to get her purse and when she came back, Mercy was gone. Her body was later discovered lying on the road badly mutilated. One witness recalled to have seen her walk passed the security gate with three unknown men in pursuit. At around the same time, a motorist driving down the same road is reported to have seen a desperate girl with similar description waving at the passing motorists.
Being drunk, the police theorized Keino staggered on to an oncoming traffic and was killed by a hit and run motorist. This theory would have put the matter to rest had it not been for one major setback, her brain was virtually missing on the accident scene and the pathologist report failed to conclusively determine the cause of her death owing to massive trauma.
During an enquiry, a motorist testified to have seen a suspicious Mercedes Benz driven on the wrong side of the road with human legs protruding beneath the car and swerved to avoid the dumped body. He took the registration details of the car and reported to the police. The car was later traced and dusted but no sign of foul play was found. The circumstances behind her death are still unsolved.
9. The death of Samuel Wanjiru
Samuel Wanjiru rose from humble beginnings to conquer Olympic records in Beijing Olympics in 2008. 24years old at the time he broke the records, his short life in controversy had just begun. With plenty of money and time in his hands, Samuel embarked on car shopping sprees, alcohol, and being a girl’s man, he ran afoul his wife Triza Njeri when he threatened to shoot her to death. Njeri sued but later dropped the charges after reconciliation, but his troubles were far from over. Weeks later, he crashed his car into a market stall while drunk. He swiftly cleared up the mess and drove away, courtesy of his deep pockets and before the dust settled, one of his many girlfriends pressed charges against him for physically assaulting her in the car after rejecting his sexual advances. As usual, he opted for an out of court settlement for undisclosed amount of money.
On 15th May 2011, the world woke up to news of his death. His wife Triza Njeri is reported to have walked home at their luxurious Muthaiga estate to find Wanjiru with another woman in bed. In a feat of rage, she locked in the two love birds and headed downstairs. Wanjiru attempted to break down the door but failed. In an act of rage, he made a fateful decision to climb down the balcony but apparently lost his grip and plunged to his death. The chief Pathologist doubted this as the fall itself wasn’t sufficient to explain the bruises in the back of the neck, testis, sprains on the chest and ankles as well. He reasoned if Samuel had landed on his four’s like a cat, the injuries would be evident on his hands, ankles, chest and forehead and not vice versa. The injuries to the back of the head are thought to have been inflicted immediately after he fell by a blunt object.
8. The murder of JM Kariuki
Josiah Mwangi Kariuki, alias JM was a vocal politician in the late seventy’s who went missing after being accosted with a top government security chief Ben Gethi on 2nd March 1975. Kariuki had been chattering with his colleague only identified as Njoroge over a cup of coffee in Hilton hotel when Gethi arrived and led him away apparently for a confidential talk. After waiting for a couple of minutes, Njoroge walked down the hotel lobby and caught sight of the two disappearing at a street entrance. Njoroge negotiated a corner and emerging out of a glass barrier, he was met by a speeding car with Kariuki sandwiched between two unknown men. Sensing something was amiss, he pleaded with a nearby taxi to give chase as JM was still in possession of his car keys, but was apparently turned down. In the following days, speculation mounted as to his whereabouts and to curb tension, the government through ministry of foreign affairs issued a statement stating Kariuki had flown to Zambia. This was suspicious as his travelling documents were still at home. Prior to Kariuki’s abduction, Njoroge had reported to have been trailed by a white Volvo while driving JM’s Benz. After negotiating several turns, he climbed out of the car and realized it was Patrick Shaw, a controversial police reservist.
His body was later discovered in Ngong forest by a Maasai herdsman and taken to the morgue on 3rd March 1975. Several fingers had been chopped off and an acid poured on his face to reduce chances of identification. When the news surfaced of an unclaimed body lying in the morgue, his wife paid a visit and she positively identified her husband lying on a concrete slab and his face appeared darker than usual.
Post mortem results revealed the cause of his death as two gunshots wound to the shoulder. Three of his lower teeth were missing as well. Shortly after the body was discovered, his lawyer walked into his house and requested a blue file which he promptly burnt alleging it would ruin the family if discovered by the government officials. To date, nobody knows what the file contained. Though several top government figures were implicated in the murder, forty years later, it’s still unsolved.
7. The murder of Careen Chepchumba
On 14th February 2012, Careen Chepchumba, an employee of Kenya power and lighting company [KPLC] failed to turn up for work and her phone had been switched off. Unable to contact her, his brother Emmanuel drove to her apartment and discovered her lifeless body neatly tucked between the bed sheets.
A piece of mysterious, handwritten note addressed to his boyfriend, Louis Otieno; a celebrated Kenyan television personality was also found at the scene; ‘’I wish they would let me do my way. Even if we were not together, you are still in my heart. You will still remain so dear to me Louis’’. Though she lived in a gated community, the security guards testified to have seen her being dropped by his brother at approximately 9pm and no suspicious activity was noted until her body was found the next day. Postmortem examination revealed she had died as a result of strangulation and had engaged in sexual act with her killer before or immediately after her death. The police theorized she was close to her killer as there was no sign of forced entry.
Since she was contemplating separation and had earlier complained of harassment from Louis, suspicion immediately fell on him and stood accused in public court of opinion, accusation he vehemently denied. Though he was cleared of any wrong doing, he later sunk into depression and became an alcoholic. Her death is still unsolved.
6. The shooting of Moses Mpoe
On the evening of December 3, 2010, Moses Mpoe, a land activist, his brother Joseph Mpoe and a colleague Parsaaiyia ole Kitu were driving along Nakuru highway when they got stuck in a traffic jam. Unknown to them, lone gunman pulled up alongside their car on a motorbike and opened fire killing Moses and Parsaaiyia on the spot, Joseph was fatally wounded but survived. Prior to his murder, Moses had been in a tussle pitting him against Eddah Wanjiru Koinange; her employer and several government officials over 4,923 acres of land valued in excess of $2.5million. The land was alleged to have been taken from a minority ethnic group of the Maasai by the former British colonial government and later bought by the Koinange family after independence.
Though the Maasai were still adamant they wanted their land back, matters came to a dead end after the postelection violence in 2007. The government in a bid to resettle the internally displaced proposed a plan of buying several pieces of land across the country and as usual, their attention was among other things drawn to the expansive Mutheka farm owned by the Koinange. Mpoe, who was the farm manager at the time, was having none of it and demanded the land be returned to the original owners. After a series of protests and running battles, Moses moved to court to halt the plans of selling the land. But before final court verdict could be read, he was gunned down. Shortly after his murder, Koinange’s Widow Eddah alongside her stepson David Njuro and a farm worker were arrested on suspicion of the murder and conspiracy theorists alleged Mrs. Koinange had earlier travelled out of town to fine tune their plans. Despite Joseph positively identifying the farm worker, as the shooter, they were subsequently acquitted for lack of evidence.
5. The mysterious killing of Zebedeo Maina
Zebedeo needs no introduction in police circles as his sheer brutality of strangling, shooting and mutilating ‘’Mungiki outlaws’’ was well known and it’s safe to assume he was one of the most brutal police officers in Kenya’s history. A title only rivaled by Patrick Shaw. In his heydays, he headed the ‘’kwekwe police squad‘’ an infamous police branch that was primarily set up counter the spread of ‘’Mungiki’’ who were responsible for extortions, kidnappings, massacres, and occasional gunfights with the police. At its peak, their population was estimated to be approximately 500,000 and growing fast. Following public outcry, the government swung into action and the dreaded ‘’kwekwe police squad’’ was formed. Its activities were shrouded in secrecy and soon, mutilated bodies of Mungiki suspects began popping up in different parts of the country. Several other Mungiki members were arrested and vanished without a trace. One such incident was the abduction and disappearance of Mungiki treasurer Ruo Kimani, in 2007. Kimani had just been acquitted for his roles with the sect when he was accosted by plain clothe police officers. He was bungled into a car and driven off to unknown location, his fate is still unknown. His disappearance continued to baffled the state before a former ‘’kwekwe squad’’ member confessed to have tortured and killed him in a forest and his body set alight under Maina’s watch. The exact scene was lost to time.
Zebedeo continued elicit fear among his colleagues and the Mungiki members alike before he was gunned by one of his juniors under controversial circumstances. On August 3, 2013, Zebedeo alongside his fellow officers went to Kitui town on a trail of a kidnapped girl from Nairobi. After tracking the phone used by the kidnappers, they laid in wait and soon identified two passing men as the culprits. He approached and realizing they had been cornered, a scuffle ensured and Maina withdrew his pistol and fired into the air to deter a curious group of onlookers. In the midst of the struggle, one of his juniors opened fire on him twice, once on the buttocks and on the stomach. He died few hours later. As of this writing, no conviction has been made.
4. The murder of Father Kaiser
The Death of Father Kaiser has been up for debate since his lifeless body was found lying in a ditch in August 24, 2000. The cause of his death was a single gunshot to the back of the head and the shotgun laid a couple of inches from the body. Prior to his death, Kaiser had made several complains his life was in danger and a number of prominent persons in the former government of president Moi wanted him dead. His bold accusations that the President was the main perpetrator of the bloody tribal war in the Akiwumi Commission immediately got him into trouble with the law enforcers. He was roughed up the police, beaten and abandoned in the bushes but he didn’t get the memo yet.
Throughout the nineties, Kaiser had several run-ins with the law and was placed under house arrest but he wasn’t done. Accusing a fellow man of rape is a serious allegation but when it turns out he is a wealthy and influential minister in the government, it takes the game to a whole new level. However, Kaiser took the bull by the horns and pressed charges against Julias Sunkuli, Minister of State affairs, for defiling two school girls and offering money for abortion. Mr. Sunkuli was never charged and the case was subsequently dropped. Shortly afterwards, he was accused of being in the country illegally and sort refuge in his friend’s house in Kissi town. His permit was only renewed after the intervention of American Ambassador Johnnie Carson.
In the late nineties, Kaiser became paranoid and his colleagues described him as ‘’tense’’ and ‘’exceptionally nervous’’. Several witnesses testified to have seen him weeping during his last mass before he set out for Nairobi to meet one of the pontiff’s representatives. In the evening of 23rd, he set of for home but never arrived. His lifeless body was discovered by the roadside by two brothers. Suicide was ruled to be cause of his death owing to sudden mood swings and a bullet was found in his pocket. However, the pathologist theorized he had been shot few feet’s away, typically impossible with suicide. The spent cartridges were never recovered.
3. The bizarre death of Alexander Monson
Alexander Monson, son of Baron Monson, a British aristocrat who wouldn’t keep out of trouble in England. In 2008, he flew to Kenya but the change of environment didn’t help either. Known for his drinking, smoking and partying sprees, he quickly acclimatized and as before, he carried on. Only this time, things took a wrong turn. In May 19, 2012, Alexander was arrested on suspicion of smoking and cannabis possession outside a Diani club. He was taken into the police custody and locked up in the cells. Minutes later, he started slipping in and out of consciousness. His concerned mother who was in Nairobi at the time called one of his family friend to help bail Alexander out but the request was denied by the police. His condition deteriorated and was rushed to the hospital by a close family associate. Hours later, his mother flew to Diani and headed to the hospital and found his son totally unresponsive and guarded by two police officers. He died an hour later.
The police issued a statement Monson had died as a result of drug overdose. However, toxicology report indicated no drugs in his system, and had internal injuries in the head as a result of blunt force trauma as well as defensive marks in both hands and testis. How he came about these injuries is still unknown.
2. The murder of Meshack Yebei
Meshack Yebei was scheduled to testify as defense witness for William Ruto, the vice president of Kenya indicted in International Criminal Court following post election violence in 2007. On 28th December 2014 he took his ailing son to a local dispensary for treatment. Yebei is reported to have left to collect drinking water and was never heard from again. Hours after he was reported missing, his mother and a close friend received a suspicious message from unrecognized number ‘’ I hope you are okay, I went to Uganda urgently. Am with bensouda’s people Patrick and lugusa. This is…am alright don’t worry and this is my number’’ [sic]. A few weeks later, unidentified body was found in a river and initially thought to be that of Yebei. However, DNA test proved to be that of a missing matatu crew. Yebei’s nude and decomposition body was later discovered in a thicket in Tsavo national park, approximately, 497miles from the area of last sighting with his eyes gouged out and visible injuries to the leg, hand and penis as well. Though the ICC had offered Yebei a new residence in a secure lotion, he turned down the offer and travelled back to his hometown prior to his abduction. His death remains unsolved.
1. The killing of Aboud Rogo
Rogo needs no introduction among Islamic circles in the country. Known for his controversial preaching and radicalization of youth in Mombasa, he had long list of run-ins’ with the law in his lifetime. Rogo first caught the attention of the police when he was linked to a twin bomblast in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 that left more than 250 people dead. Four years later, he was arrested for his connection in Kikambala bombing incident that left thirteen people dead. During the course of investigation, it was revealed a group of newly arrived Israelites were at the center of the target but the case fell apart due to lack of evidence. Only three Israelites and ten local entertainers were killed in the blast but he wasn’t done yet.
Aboud Rogo became much vocal against government move of dispatching defense forces into Somalia to counter the insurgency issues that was threatening to spill into the country. Though he clearly knew of the risks involved, he wasn’t deterred and soon propaganda materials of his teachings began popping up in various towns drumming support for the terror groups in Somali. His house was subsequently raided and several rounds of ammunition were found along with rifles, grenades and detonators. An accusation he vehemently denied and instead accused the police of planting the incriminating evidence in his house. He was charged but released on bail.
On 27th August 2012, his van was blocked by an unmarked car as he drove his wife to hospital and sprayed with bullets. He died instantly after taking seventeen shots. His wife sustained injuries to the legs while his daughter escaped unhurt. Shortly after the shooting, angry mobs torched churches and engaged the police for two days before calm was finally restored. One person was killed in the fracas and several injured. As of this writing, no arrest and conviction has been done.
List Compiled by Moses Onyango.