Saturday, June 12, 2010

Why there are more serial killers in Kenya than you want to know

Philip Onyancha: Was serial killer a lady’s man or did he really possess "powers"?

It was sometime in 2000 and I received a call to rush to a scene somewhere along Ngong Road in Nairobi next to the RFUEA rugby grounds. When I arrived on the scene I could not believe what my eyes. It was difficult to tell how long the man had been dead because even the blood wasn’t oozing out any more. He was middle-aged and his body was stark naked, lying face down in the long grass. But something else attracted my attention. A huge chunk of flesh had been cut out of the back of his upper thigh. It was missing and nowhere to be seen anywhere at the scene of the crime.
But more surprises were to follow. That evening there was no report in the media about the grisly murder victim. I scanned all the newspapers the next morning and they too had absolutely nothing about this bizarre crime. That was the day I realized that Kenya was in trouble and at the mercy of serial killers.

In the years that followed things worsened. Under intense public pressure to address increased crime the Kenya police became less and less open about what was really going on. The cops even established a public relations department mainly to filter the information on crimes going out to the public. The whole idea was to prove to Kenyans that crime was under control and going down rapidly.

With this kind of background the startling revelations that started last Sunday about a self-confessed serial killer called Philip Onyancha (pictured in our graphic above) just confirmed my worst fears for years.

Onyancha a 32 year old former guard with G4S security company has been taking investigators and the press around the country on a gory tour to show them crime scenes and decomposing remains of some of his 19 victims.

It is rather obvious that Onyancha was either a man of the ladies or his claims about having “powers” is true. How do you so easily lure a woman you have only recently met to a secluded loft on some ceiling? And yet the woman is not even a prostitute? While it is true he killed at least half a dozen prostitutes, Onyancha also lured many other women that he hardly knew who were not twilight girls, to their death. His preferred method of killing was by strangulation.

But even more sickening was Onyacha’s confession to murdering small children (including a 9 year old whose skull he led police to near Lenana High school. Onyancha would then continue to pester the family of his victims for ransom money even when he knew that he had already killed their loved ones. Interestingly this serial killer got so confident that he used the same cell phone number for a long time without worrying about getting caught. His explanation? The evil spirits controlling him and giving him the urge to take human life convinced him that he was “protected” and would never be arrested. And that is why investigators were puzzled at what he told them when they arrived very heavily armed to arrest him. He told them; “You are too powerful to have been able to arrest me.”

But for me what was most disturbing by far was the chilling confession of the motive behind the whole grisly affair. Onyancha said that he had been recruited into a cult by a former female teacher of his in high school and had been told that he would be an extremely wealthy man when he reached the target of killing 100 people. Those who are aware of the level of poverty in Kenya can appreciate how rapidly any such recruiter would have been able to recruit serial killers with such a promise.

The bottom line is that even as Kenyans call for Onyacha to be locked up and the key thrown as far away as possible, the truth is that there are many more ruthless serial killers out there. It appears that even as the rich worry about criminals who will kill them for their car or ATM card, now it seems that the poor too have reason to worry about a new breed of criminal who will kill them for their blood. Or to ask ransom from their jobless relatives.

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Anonymous said...

Wacha zako Chris.

I am able to get women whom I have just met to do almost anything... and I am not a serail killer. It is easy. Very easy.

M. Pesa said...

I have some simple questions and please dear Kenyans help me with some answers however poxy they may be.

1. The records shown to the media by Onyancha's former school reveal that he was a bully and had sodomised young boys when he was in form three. So why wasn't he expelled and only suspended briefly?

2. He never bothered to get his leaving certificate all these years, so how on earth did he get a job with G4S?

3. Did G4S bother to contact Onyancha's former school to check his records which clearly show he was a bully?

4. Even though he regularly received money thru Mpesa and never bothered to change his number, why didn't the police track him earlier despite repeated pleas from the victim's families?

5. Don't these dingy lodgings where prostitutes were murdered keep records of their guests by verifying their ID cards?

6. According to the media reports, Onyancha had been arrested some years back for rape then mysteriously released from remand, so how on earth did this happen?

7. Why don't we Kenyans try and monitor all the school leavers who have a bad record like Onyancha for the rest of their lives?

M. Pesa said...

Last but not least, will heads roll in the police force especially at Langata and Karen stations where these horrendous crimes were reported yet they did absolutely nothing despite all the available clues? (Don't hold your breath!)

Anonymous said...

If you live in Kenya and have ever been in a situation that required police to act or investigte,then you very well know that the police rarely act or agree to visit a crime scene if there's no whiff of a bribe.You can go to them with all the evidence needed to prosecute a person but if you're going to the station empty handed,then you might as well not bother,they simply wont be interested!

Anonymous said...


thank god for extra security provide by Kibaki

Anonymous said...

@ M. Pesa,

We need to do away with the colonial boarding school system. It is detrimental to our youth. It is the responsibility of Parents and family members to be the primary disciplinarian coaches of children and not teachers. The savings of converting to day schooling would make secondary education free and we can convert the domitories to labs and extra classrooms so everybody can be gauranteed free secondary education.

Anonymous said...

This is the Kenya we live in pple.A banana republic.People can do woteva they want and GET AWAY with it.I gave up on reporting anything to cops.The victim is victimised even more in police station.Like the cops telling you that your missing loved one eloped when you go to report them missing.I mean even sniffer dogs could have found these bodies if the cops do any Crime Scene Investigation but naaah they are busy lounging in the station,harassing poor wanainchi who go to them for help and soliciting bribes.Police Commish Iteere and Spokesman Kiraithe whop are against Police reforms advocated by Alston and KNHCR wot do u have to say. You're mighty quiet - unlike your usual defensive stance whenever cops are put on the spot.May God Help us!

Anonymous said...

I'm a Kenya citizen but I would rather go to America to report a crime because American police will investigate andare never bribed unlike Kenyan Police. If u go to report of a crime without a bribe, they will never listen to you. Kenya the rich and mighty go Scot free. I hate Kenyan police with a passion. . .

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