Village in panic as ex-convict lists 10 targets for murder

Murang'a villagers terrified after man issues 'murder list'

Police in Murang'a have launched a manhunt for an ex-convict who released a list of 10 people he intends to kill in his village in Mathioya Sub-county and has so far succeeded in killing two people.

According to Mathioya Sub-county Police boss Antony Muriuki, the suspect posted the list in his Chui village last Friday morning and is suspected to have immediately started executing his plan by killing two men.

The list, seen by Nation.Africa, contains six men and four women - with the killing of the two leaving eight on his hit list, four of each sex.

Those he is accused of killing have been identified as Stanley Kamau and Bernard Mahiu Mwangi, both bachelors aged 44.

Ironically, the two were murdered at the Chui police patrol base, which was built in 2016 but has never received an officer.

"The suspect's attempt to kill two others on the list - a man and a woman - backfired when they locked themselves in their houses and screamed in a manner that attracted villagers, causing him to run away," Mr Muriuki said.

Mr Muriuki said the suspect on the run was considered "deranged, wild and dangerous" and urged the public in the area and neighbouring villages to remain vigilant.

"He is a jailbird who was released from prison in 2022 after serving seven years behind bars for the murder of a couple in the same village," he said.

Mr Muriuki said the suspect served the term for killing Keziah Muthoni and Joseph Geita - who were husband and wife - in 2018. He was released under unclear circumstances.

In Friday's incident, Mr Muriuki said the suspect is believed to have attempted to carry out four cold-blooded murders, of which "we believe he succeeded in two and failed in two others where he was seen breaking the windows of a male target in an attempt to get at him after he fled and locked himself in his house".

Female target

The police boss said: 'After failing to reach the man through the window, he ran to another compound, but the female target saw him and ran into her house screaming.

It was only after neighbours ran in the direction of the screams that the assailant dropped his hit list and ran away, leaving behind a grieving and tense village.

The late Kamau's mother, Mrs Lillian Muthoni, said she did not understand why her son was targeted. "All I know is that they were drinking buddies and maybe differences in the pub made him a target. I really don't know and I'm sad," she said.

The late Mahiu's brother, Mr Stephen Maina, said they were both orphaned after their parents died in 2008 "and the only confidant I had in life is now the slain sibling".

Mr Joseph Kigera recalled an incident in 2001 when the suspect was behind a series of panga cuts on neighbours and drank their blood, saying he did it to "avoid being bewitched by them".

Residents said they were now living in fear and urged police to move quickly to arrest the man, who is believed to be hiding in nearby caves.

"We are afraid he might sneak back and kill more people. Even those who are not on his list are afraid because he might replace the names with new ones. We feel like candidates for death," said Mr Reuben Ndara.