The Most Notorious Criminals Kenya has Ever Had!

Back in the day when The Directorate of Criminal Investigations offices were still at the current Supreme Court buildings, these were the men who gave sleuths a run for their money.
Operating under former President Moi’s near-military rule, these hardcore criminals lived at a time when extra-judicial killings were widespread, and police activity shrouded in a cloud of mystery.

Peter Mwea (Alias Mwakinyonga)

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Terrorizing the sprawling streets of Nairobi, Mwakinyonga whose name draws some semblance of “strangling” in Swahili, was every policeman’s nightmare in Nairobi.
Operating covertly from the Kangemi, Mwakinyonga was feared even by then President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.
It was no coincidence that when Jomo Kenyatta died in his sleep while at the Mombasa State Lodge in 1978, Mwakinyonga was to follow thereafter.

This was after his string of bank heists got out of hand, earning him an Sh100, 000 bounty on his head in the 70s!
A coordinated police operation was to later in 1978 put Mwakinyonga in the centre of a major shootout killing the criminal on the spot.

Gerald Wambugu Munyera AKA Wanugu

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Beginning his criminal activity at an early age, Wanugu was a ruthless serial killer who got police officers and the general public scurrying home after work before it could get dark.
He lived a flashy life from the series of bank robberies that he masterminded during his criminal ‘career’.
In fact, at the time of his killing, Wanugu used his girlfriend as a human shield to block the raining bullets of Flying Squad officers from the DCI (formerly known as CID).

He died in 1996 in Nakuru from the hail of bullets alongside his troubled girlfriend.

Edward Shimoli (The Jackal)

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Nicknamed after the most slippery criminal of all time, Carlos the Jackal, Edward Shimoli was straight out from hell into Kenya.
Just like the Venezuelan hardcore criminal he was named after, Shimoli went ahead to rape about 88 women, and killing 14.
The number could even be more due to under-reporting of the criminal cases.

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He escaped jail for more than 4 times during his bad days. While police thought he would reform after escaping prison, Shimoli was to mastermind even more bizarre activities.
In his ill-fated fifth prison-break attempt, Shimoli was met with wrath from a platoon of sharp-shooters who had been phoned about the incident.

Shimoli had coordinated with a group of five most-wanted criminals to come and rescue him from prison.
Armed to the teeth, the police are said to have been tipped on the impending ambush which was to happen at the penitentiary.
The platoon trailing the criminals from behind marooned them against the prison wall.
What happened next is a ‘massacre’ that saw Shimoli’ and all his colleagues torn apart in the shooting spree that ensued.

John Kiriamiti

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Perhaps Kenya’s most intelligent criminal, Kiriamiti was a bad man of the 70s, and at one point even a threat to the Presidency.
Kiriamiti was a man ahead of his time. He masterminded a string of bank robberies that often turned bloody.
He was incarcerated for 20 years in prison for robbery with violence.
President Moi was to later rearrest the criminal and send him back in prison, only being released on the basis of good conduct.

Phllip Onyancha

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Currently serving a prison sentence, Onyancha is said to have killed more than 20 women, and drank their blood. His main targets were prostitutes and street children wondering on the streets.

Baffled cops and the general public at one point thought Onyancha was in a cult with satanic rituals.

Bernard Matheri AKA Rasta

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Rasta was one-of-a-kind gangster. He was meticulous and slippery on police.
Worse, he maintained a lean gang of not more than four criminals who accompanied him to the crime scenes during his time in the 90s.
Rasta killed more people including his own gang members whom he thought were a threat to his grip on the gang leadership.
One of his loyal gang members was John Kibera- the infamous coffin thief who reformed and says he is saved.

Anthony Ngugi Kanagi aka Wacucu

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Wacucu, a former matatu conductor was a seasoned criminal who led police into wild goose chases that became synonymous with dingy Nairobi streets.
Wacucu masterminded a couple of high-profile bank robberies where several people were murdered.
For close to a decade, Wacucu cemented his criminal career, often evading police operations, putting his head down after major crimes and changing hideouts.

In his last stretch, police led a full-blast chase from Nairobi CBD all through to neighbouring Kajiado County where Wacucu was shot dead in the chase.

Simon Matheri

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The coldest criminal in Kenya was Simon Matheri.
Walking through the busy streets of Nairobi, Matheri was a criminal hated by the government and wanted by police officers.
At one point, it is said that police officers had placed a secret bounty on which group would bring in his head first.
After killing a number of people in Kenya including foreign nationals and the wife of a US embassy employee, a troop of about 100 armed police officers tattered the slim frame of Matheri.
They even forgot to remove handcuffs from his hands during the shootout that witnesses said had dismembered the body of Kenya’s most-wanted criminal of 2007.


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