Africa

Kenya 'serial killer' charged with murder

Philip Onyancha (third from left) (Photo: East African Standard)
Image caption Philip Onyancha (third from left) with police searching for victims last week

A self-confessed serial killer in Kenya has been charged with the murder of a nine-year-old boy in April.

Philip Onyancha, 32, and two suspected accomplices appeared in the high court in the capital, Nairobi.

Since his arrest nearly two weeks ago, he has been leading police on a hunt for the bodies of his alleged victims.

He says he has killed 19 people and intended to kill 100 after joining a cult which told him to drink their blood for good fortune.

He said he was recruited into the cult while at school by a teacher, who was arrested last week and is being questioned by police.

Richard Katola, head of Kenya's Special Crimes Prevention Unit, told Kenya's Capital News radio station that more murder charges were likely to follow, but some bodies had not been identified.

"The files which are ready are those of people who were killed and are known or their relatives have been able to identify items found at murder scenes," he said.

According to Kenya's East African Standard newspaper, Mr Onyancha was arrested after the father of nine-year-old Anthony Njirua Muiruri reported that he had paid a ransom to kidnappers who said they were holding his son.

Police were able to track down Mr Onyancha through the mobile phone Samuel Muiruri had transferred money to electronically.

After his arrest, Mr Onyancha confessed to other murders, including several prostitutes, and led them to the site where Anthony Muiruri's remains were found.

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