Kenya: Puzzle of How Serial Killer Escaped Police Custody

Three officers on duty when a suspected serial killer escaped from a city police station have been detained.

Police were last evening unable to explain how the man who confessed to murdering 13 people after sexually molesting them and drinking their blood managed to escape from custody just hours before he was to be charged in court.

Mr Masten Wanjala, who was arrested in July after a five-year killing spree escaped from his cell at the Jogoo Road Police Station on Tuesday night without breaking any window or door.

He had been remanded at the station for 30 days, pending a court appearance yesterday morning to answer to murder charges.

However, during the 6am mandatory roll call for all people being held in the cells, the duty officer discovered Mr Wanjala was missing.

The window to his cell was not broken and neither was the door, which can only be locked or opened from the outside. The cells at police station are located behind the reporting desk, meaning no one can enter or leave without the duty officer noticing.

Big question

The Nation understands that Mr Wanjala was not being held in solitary confinement and that there were other people with him in the cell. The station has just two cells – one for women and the other for men.

The big question now is whether someone helped him to escape, or took him out of police custody for other purposes.

“It was reported by No 73739 PC Alphonse Oderekong and No 106275 PC Lizzy Rimba, report office and cell sentry respectively, that one prisoner, namely Masten Milimo Wanjala, who was held for the offence of murder and was pending to take plea today, was not in the cells,” said a police report about the incident.

“The officers noticed when they were taking over the report office and cell sentry duties,” reads an OB report.

Mr Wanjala, who had been earlier remanded at the Kabete Approved School, made headlines in September after he admitted to killing 13 people, mostly children, in Nairobi and Bungoma counties, over a span of five years.

Confessed killer

His confession came after Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officers tracked him to Kitengela town, Kajiado County. His cover was blown after he abducted two children from Majengo slum in Nairobi and attempted to solicit a ransom from their parents.

While in custody, the suspect allegedly confessed to police that he had been killing children for five years, from when he was 16. His first victim, Purity Maweu, 12, was kidnapped from Kiima Kimwe in Machakos County. Mr Wanjala told police that he sucked her blood.

His confession made the police travel across the country with the suspect in search of his victims’ graves, leaving Kenyans shocked.

By last evening, top officers from the Jogoo Road Police Station had recorded statements with the DCI.

This as the National Police Service announced that it had launched a nationwide hunt for Mr Wanjala, who has now been classified as “armed and dangerous”.

“Wanjala was due to face charges for the murder of three children. Further investigations are ongoing on similar murders involving other children where he is a suspect. Court summonses have been issued to the OCS Jogoo Police Station and DCIO Buruburu to report on the matter,” said the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

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