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Kiambu family murders: The making of a classic whodunit

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In Summary
  • A spate of gruesome murders and attempted murders have stalked the Nicholas Warunge family since the year 2016.
  • In 2017, Kenneth Mwangi, was hit behind the head with a blunt object and died.
  • The previous year,  Allan Njire was nearly killed after being shot at by unknown persons in Kiambu.

Detectives investigating the gruesome murder of four family members in Karura village, Kiambu County, are unravelling leads in what appears to be a classic whodunit.  

It is emerging that the main gate of the homestead where Nicholas Warunge, wife Ann Wanjiku and their children Maxwell and Christian were found dead, was locked from inside.

Yesterday, police revealed that the family had planned on installing CCTV cameras at the home. The homestead also has a distress alarm system, which nevertheless, was not activated on the night of the murders.

Mason Decapitated

On January 5, the night before the discovery of the murders, the decapitated body of a mason was found in the neighbourhood. Were the two incidents related?

“I received a phone call from one of the Warunge family members that they tried calling him in vain, and after going to the house, they found the main gate locked from inside,” Francis Munga, Assistant Chief, Wangunyu Sub-location, told TV47Digital yesterday.

Family members reportedly “forcibly entered the compound” to be met by the gory scene. The body of Warunge was near the gate, others sprawled at different locations inside the house.

Curious neighbours peeping through the windows of the family house. Bodies of the children and their mother were sprawled at different locations. PHOTO/TV47

According to a police report, Warunge had stab wounds on the forehead and behind the head. Both his hands were broken, indicative of self-defense. Maxwell, who was a Class Seven pupil at Wangunyu Primary School had four cuts on the head and about 20 on the chest. His brother Christian had more than 15 stab wounds around the chest and back.  Their mother Ann had stab wounds on the forehead, and behind the head. Her hands too were broken.  

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“It was a gruesome scene,” said Chief Munga. “Shocking, confounding.”

“You cannot understand the bitterness the killers had with the family to subject them to such a painful death,” said Kiambu County Commissioner Wilson Wanyanga.

Police suspect that the murder of the family members and the mason are related. “The two murder incidences are suspected to have been executed at around the same time by the same culprits since at the time of the previous night incident, the family of Nicholas was contacted and there was no response. However nobody suspected that they had been attacked too,” says a report from Rweno Police Station.

String of Family Deaths

Warunge worked as a nurse in the US and had just come home for the December holidays. The wife was also a nurse, working at a hospital in Kiambu County.

Still, detectives are trying to ascertain whether the latest deaths are linked to a murder and attempted murder of Warunge’s brothers several months apart.

Murder Karura Kiambu
A relative mourns the dead at the scene. The latest murders within the family point to a possible family extermination plot. “You cannot understand the bitterness the killers had,” said Kiambu County Commissioner Wilson Wanyanga. PHOTO/TV47

In 2017, Kenneth Mwangi, was hit behind the head with a blunt object and died. The previous year,  Allan Njire was nearly killed after being shot at by unknown persons in Kiambu.

The compound is the Warunges has been sealed off by scene-of-crime detectives for forensic investigations. The bodies of the victims were moved to Kihara Level Four Hospital mortuary for post-mortem.

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