Moses Kipchirchir

 Suspected serial killer Moses Kipchirchir hides his face at Mogotio police station on December 27, 2021.

| Cheboite Kigen | Nation Media Group

Self-confessed killer Moses Kipchirchir ‘humble but volatile’

He is known to have been humble and hardworking but short-tempered.

Those who had been close to Mr Moses Kipchirchir, in his early 30s and suspected to have murdered at least four people so far, say his demeanour would never point to his being a suspected serial killer.

They say he hopped from one casual job to another, as he never had a good education or job. His aunt, Ms Elma Chesire, says she had been staying with him at different times in the past 15 years after he left his parental home in Marigat to look for greener pastures in Mogotio, Baringo County.

Until his arrest last November for the murder of Nakuru businesswoman Veronicah Kanini, Mr Kipchirchir was a labourer.

Testimonies from friends and family point to a loner who preferred not to open up about his relationships, possessions or thoughts. And this explains why the disappearance of his wife and child was only discovered when he confessed to killing and burying them in a shallow grave on the bank of the Molo River.

Mr Kipchirchir’s mother, Rael Chebet, died in 2002 after a short illness, leaving him and his two siblings under the care of their father, only known as Mwendo, who later abandoned them. The three opted to look for menial jobs to sustain themselves.

Ms Chesire says when Mr Kipchirchir first moved to her house in 2008, he started working on farms to raise money.

“I am his mother’s sister, so he sought refuge in my house and I accommodated him; he stayed well with my sons. He would wake up very early in the morning to go to work and return in the evening,” she says.

Later, Kipchirchir, the firstborn in his family, moved to a house adjacent to his aunt’s in Mogotio, where he lived with another cousin. Subsequently, he met his wife and she moved in.

This happened even as his second-born brother secured a job as a matatu driver in Mogotio. His younger brother later died.

Ms Chesire says that after staying at her place for two years, Mr Kipchirchir left without disclosing where he was heading, only to return in 2012.

“Upon his return, he told us he had moved to Molo where he was offered a job as a charcoal burner but never disclosed many details about where he stayed or how the venture was faring.”

When he returned, he acted strangely and would sulk and be extremely quiet, Ms Chesire said.

“It was hard to know what was wrong with him. He did not talk to anyone about his problems or pleasures,” she said.

The suspect met Ms Purity Chebet in 2018 in Kapnyangale village and they started cohabiting together with a child she already had. They later got a son.

The aunt says he lived peacefully with his family until 2019, when they started having issues. He kept complaining about her drinking habits. But even then, it was the wife who occasionally reported his complaints to his aunt. “Their marriage started being troublesome and they mostly fought whenever the wife would come home drunk. I tried talking to them to stop that behaviour, but they did not listen to me.”

She added that the quarrel escalated when he attacked Purity with a Panga, slitting her right leg, for which he was prosecuted and sentenced to one year in prison but was released before completing his jail term through presidential pardon. He returned to Ms Chesire’s home.

“By the time he was being released, his wife had left but he convinced her to return and they had been living together until Ms Chebet and his 18-month-old son went missing.” she said.

Mr William Kiplagat, a resident, said he knew Kipchirchir as an honest and hardworking man.

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