Kenya serial killer appears in court

June 15, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 15 – Self-confessed serial killer Philip Onyancha and two of his alleged accomplices were on Tuesday charged with one count of murder.

Mr Onyancha together with Tobias Arad and Douglas Obiero were accused of murdering nine-year-old Anthony Njirua Muiruri at Ngando village in Dagoretti on April 14 this year. Muiruri’s decomposed body was found near the Lenana School, Nairobi a week ago.

They however did not answer to the charges since they didn’t have a lawyer.

High Court Judge Jessie Lessit directed that they be held at Kilimani Police Station as police conclude investigations. They are due back in court on June 29 for further directions.

The two men were arrested on Saturday after Mr Onyancha implicated them in some of the murders that he confessed to have committed in the last two years.

Head of the Special Crimes Prevention Unit (SCPU) Richard Katola said they were looking for the third suspect who had since gone into hiding.

“We are interrogating them, and from what we have established, they were accomplices of this man. They will definitely stand trial with him,” Mr Katola told reporters on Monday.

“We are finalising the investigations; the charges will include murder and abductions,” he added.

Mr Katola said Mr Onyancha had undergone medical tests and found to be fit to stand trial.

“He was tested in Nakuru in the course of last week. He is fit to stand trial,” Mr Katola said.

Another senior detective familiar with the progress of the case, told Capital News that Mr Onyancha and his accomplices would face murder charges for less than ten cases that they have completed investigations.

This includes the murder of Catherine Chelangat, 32, who went missing in November 22, 2008, and whose decomposed body was found on the rooftop of the offices of the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company in Karen as well as the killings of commercial sex workers Hellen Nyambura and Jackline Wambui, 25, whose bodies were found in lodging rooms at Rwambogo Bar and Restaurant and Suitable Bar in Thika in March this year.

Other murder charges lined up for the three include that of another nine-year-old boy, Natan Baraza and a 22-year-old woman whose killings Mr Onyancha has claimed responsibility.

Although, Mr Onyancha has confessed to killing 19 people, police said they have not finalised investigations on some of the killings because some of those killed remain unidentified to date.

“The files which are ready are those of people who were killed and are known or their relatives have been able to identify items found at murder scenes,” Mr Katola said and added “we will still prefer more charges on them once the other files are ready.”

In the meantime, detectives are still interrogating a female teacher implicated by Mr Onyancha as having initiated him into a blood-drinking cult but so far, she has not made any revelation.

Police were still interrogating her on Tuesday but complained that she was too uncooperative.

“We have not made any head way, we are going at her pace because she seems disturbed and sometimes, she chooses to just keep quiet,” one police officer said.

Mr Onyancha had told police and journalists that he was targeting 100 people in line with his cult after which he was to become a “very rich man”.


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