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“He ate food cooked by mother he’d just killed, showered and slept”

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In Summary
  • The murderous rampage started with a purchase of a knife in Thika town.
  • En route his parents’ home, Lawrence passed by Uhuru Park and Holy Family Basilica.

Confidential police details now reveal step-by-step how Lawrence Warunge may have murdered his parents, two children and a farmhand in Wangunyu village, Karura, Kiambu County last week.

The horrendous deed, which converted a warm and cosy family home into a cuckoo’s nest – and crime scene-, aborted at least three times.

In one of these instances, the alleged killer planned to exterminate his family members using carbon monoxide. He had reportedly tried to use his girlfriend as an alibi, whom he lured into drinking and smoking bhang- to stupefy her.

 The murders of Nicholas Warunge, his wife Ann, children Christian and Maxwell, and a farmhand James Kinyanjui have captured the attention of the nation, with many wondering why a baby-faced, innocuous-looking, 22-year-old university student would resort to such a demonic act.

CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP, LEFT: Christian, Ann, Nicholas, and Maxwell. PHOTO/COURTESY

Yesterday, it was revealed that Lawrence was inspired by a British TV series Killing Eve. He modelled his actions on Villanelle, a psychopathic assassin who appears in the series.  

Lawrence allegedly started his rampage in Thika when he asked his girlfriend to buy for him a knife. The girlfriend reportedly lived in Runda in the outskirts of the busy town, an area popular with students. In Runda, booze and bhang flow freely. The knife, 9-inches long, was sharpened to the hilt.

Doll’s Head Cut Off

Lawrence also bought a pair of trousers, a jacket, lady’s shoes, wig and a female doll. “He later cut off the doll’s head,” writes local newspaper People Daily. It is not clear whether he was practicing the savagery.

From Thika, he boarded a matatu to Nairobi city centre. He had two destinations in mind: Uhuru Park and Holy Family Basilica. The Basilica is the headquarters of the Catholic church in Kenya and features a large cathedral. Uhuru Park is popular for its sprawling, open space. Perhaps, he was digging the recesses of his soul, internalising what he was planning to do.

“Fearing that he could be searched at the church, he proceeded to one of the supermarkets where he deposited his luggage which were in a red carrier bag, containing the things he bought, plus the knife,” writes the newspaper.  “He left the supermarket with the luggage tag, leaving his bag behind, and proceeded to the church. At around 4pm, he boarded a Limuru-bound passenger vehicle and on reaching Limuru he took another vehicle home in Wangunyu, Kiambaa.”

Asked For A Metal Bar

When he reached home, Lawrence requested for a metal bar from the family farmhand, James Kinyanjui. Kinyanjui noticed that the boy looked disturbed. Upon asking him about it, he said he was stressed. Kinyanjui would be the killer’s first victim. He was struck at the back of the head with the metal bar. When his death did not come as soon as the killer expected, he was slit on the throat with a knife.

 “A blood spatter analysis would later confirm that the blood pattern on the wall curtain emanated from a high pressure vein, the throat,” writes the newspaper.

Lawrence then settled down until around 8pm when his father arrived home in a cab. He was carrying several bottles of Balozi, his favourite tipple. He walked upstairs and plonked himself on a sofa. From the farmhand’s house, Lawrence climbed up the perimeter wall of the family main house, braving shocks from the electric fence. He was brandishing a rag, drenched in paraffin.

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Killing Season II

 He spotted his mother in the kitchen, preparing dinner. Lawrence allegedly switched off the lights at the main switch, sending the entire house into darkness. He set alight the rag. Killing, season II had just began.

As the mother- Ann Warunge- paced forwards to ascertain the source of the fire, he struck her with the metal bar, sending her to the ground. One of his (the suspect’s) brothers responded to the kerfuffle. Lawrence allegedly trained his murderous rampage on him.

The noise and sudden power outage prompted his father to walk downstairs and investigate. He met the son who was drenched in the blood of his victims.

Nicholas Warunge clambered back upstairs in fear with his son in hot pursuit. He jumped from the bedroom balcony and Lawrence followed, catching up with him and stabbing him at least 15 times.

Nicholas reportedly crawled towards the gate, gasping for life, help, but the killer spotted him and followed. He stabbed him in the abdomen, leaving his intestines out.  According to police reports, Lawrence ditched his shoes, which were soaked in blood and continued the rampage while only in socks.

Showered, Ate Food

He then killed Maxwell and Christian, the latter who was hiding under his bed in his room. Christian reportedly pleaded with him to spare his life.  “After killing the family members, he showered and ate the food the mother was preparing and later sat down and watched a programme of television,” reports indicate.

It has also emerged that the killer was right under the police noses on the day they arrived to remove Kinyanjui’s body. A man identified as Steve Njehu reportedly told detectives that he went to Kinyanjui’s house at around 9pm and found him lying in a pool of blood.  He called police who, after taking away the body, knocked on the gate of the Warunge’s main house to inquire whether they had heard anything. Lawrence, upstairs, was monitoring the police’s every move. The cops left after assuming the Warunges had retired to bed.

The following morning, Lawrence arose at 4am and made for Mai Mahiu. It was the rural home of his girlfriend, where he hid the murder weapon in a pit latrine, and burnt some of the blood-soaked clothes. He also burnt his parents’ mobile phones.

DCI homicide detectives retrieve murder evidence from a pit latrine in Mai Mahiu. Lawrence has reportedly confessed to the murder of five people. PHOTO/COURTESY

Unaware that police would track him using his phone signal, he reportedly turned on his phone last Friday at midnight and investigators promptly picked the signal. He was arrested at a hide-out in Lower Kabete.

Warunge reportedly said his parents were “satanic and killers”, and seemingly had a grudge against him. The family’s other children were away in boarding school at the time of the murders. One schools at St Angela Girls, the other at Ngiriambu Girls, Kirinyaga. Warunge worked as a nurse in the US and had come back home just weeks prior for Christmas.

“The recovered items will be subjected to further forensic analysis at the DCI Forensic Lab, to provide a watertight case for the prosecution, once presented in court,” said DCI.

DCI detectives will also visit the scenes of crime with the suspect to re-enact how the murders took place.

The bodies of the Warunges are at the Kenyatta University mortuary.  

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