Top 7 most notorious criminals in Kenya

Kenya's most notorious criminals who will be remembered for their flawlessness in disturbing peace.


In Brief

– Details of the most notorious criminals who terrorized the country until they were gunned down.

Just like any country or state, Kenya has had criminals who broke the law and gave the police force a hard time. Ranging from murder, rape, robbery with violence cases, Kenya most popular thugs go into history as a real pain in the law and order fraternity.

Here are some of Kenya’s notorious criminals who will be remembered for their flawlessness in disturbing peace.

John Kiriamiti

John Kiriamiti was regarded as a cunning and calculating armed robber who gave Kenyan police officers sleepless nights. He was involved in dozens of armed robberies mostly targeting banks in the late sixties and was jailed for 20 years in 1971 for his crimes.

Kiriamiti was detained in 1986 after being accused of being part of those planning to dethrone the then-president Moi. In prison, Kiriamiti wrote several books such as “My Life in Crime” being his most outstanding book. He was released 13 years later for portraying good conduct.

Also Read: The “crimes” of Governor Ferdinand Waititu – Kiambu MCAs

Gerald Wambugu Munyera alias Wanugu

Gerald Wambugu Munyera alias Wanugu started his life in crime in the late ’80s and by the ’90s was seen as a ruthless gangster who cared for nothing but himself. He was feared not just by ordinary Kenyans but Also by the police themselves and was involved in several bank heists in the country.

His reign of terror ended in 1996 in Nakuru when he was gunned down by flying squad officers alongside his girlfriend whom he had used as a human shield.

Peter Mwea Wakinyonga alias Wakinyonga

Peter Mwea Wakinyonga alias Wakinyonga was a famous bank robber and a cold-blooded killer. His surname Wakinyonga is Swahili for strangling. He is the Godfather in the history of Kenyan crime due to the lots of gangsters that he influenced.

In the 1970s, Wakinyonga was the most wanted man in Kenya with a bounty of KES 100, 000 (USD 1,160) on his head. In his lifetime, he robbed millions of shillings from various banks countrywide. He was killed in 1978 after a dramatic gunfight with the police in a club in Kangemi, Nairobi.

Also Read: Not guilty – Babu denies committing crime

Edward Shimoli

Edward Shimoli was a cunning criminal who gave Kenyan cops a hard time. He was nicknamed after ‘Carlos the Jackal’, the terrorist from Venezuela who managed to escape from the police numerous times.

He is reported to have been involved in 88 rape incidents and the murder of 14 people. Shimoli is also famously known for escaping jail more than four times and took police 10 years to catch him again. In 1996, Shimoli was rescued by his gang members from a maximum-security prison as he awaited his death sentence. He was shot with five others along Kangundo road in 2007.

Bernard Matheri aka Rasta

Bernard Matheri aka Rasta in the criminal world was regarded as a no-nonsense criminal who hated opposition from his band of followers.

Rasta is said to have executed fellow criminals who he regarded as a threat to his activities as well as police informers. Rasta was killed in a hail of bullets by police officers who had been tracking him in 1997. His gang consisted of four.

Two years later; his lover was arrested and jailed for seven years in prison when a robbery attempt on an armoured vehicle went wrong. The other member was John Kibera, the famous coffin robber later got saved after escaping death.

The last member, Timothy Ndegwa, is currently serving a life sentence at Kamiti Maximum Prison.

Also Read: No gun, security for VIPs involved in crime — National Police Service

Anthony Ngugi Kanagi alias Wacucu

Anthony Ngugi Kanagi alias Wacucu was part of a gang that reigned supreme for almost a decade in the 80s to the 90s.

He committed hundreds of armed robberies, bank heists, and murders. Initially a matatu driver, he skillfully engaged the police in exceptional chases though they finally caught up with him in 1996 in Rongai in Kajiado County.

Simon Matheri Ikere

Simon Matheri Ikere was arrested and jailed for arson for five years at Kamiti Prison. He is said to have shot and killed or wounded prominent African AIDS researcher, Job Bwayo; Lois Anderson, a Presbyterian missionary, and her daughter Zelda White, the wife of a U.S. embassy employee, Carol Briggs, a missionary volunteer.

He was killed in a police swoop by over 100 police officers who, after riddling his body with bullets forgot to remove handcuffs from his hands. His death made it to national headlines in 2007.