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Just like any other country in the world, Kenya has had its fair share of hardened criminals who terrorized society and gave law enforcement agencies sleepless nights.

Below is a list of the most notorious Kenyan criminals who gained entry into Kenya’s history books.

  1. 1 John Kiriamiti


    This Kenyan criminal was a household name, albeit for the wrong reasons. He masterminded several break-ins, armed robberies, and audacious bank heists.

    John Kiriamiti nearly got away with the crimes, only for the Moi government to arrest him in 1986, accusing of being a member of a group that wanted to bring down the KANU government. In 1971, he was sentenced to serve 20 years behind bars.

    He reformed and become a best-selling writer.

  2. 2 Philip Onyancha

    Onyancha is widely considered to be the most brutal serial killer in Kenyan history and one of Kenya's greatest criminal.

    Philip Onyancha confessed to having killed and drunk the blood of 17 women in a bizarre Satanic ritual.

    His main targets were vulnerable commercial sex workers and street children.

    He is currently in prison

  3. 3 Bernard Matheri/Rasta


    Matheri was probably the most known Kenyan criminal who operated like a Mafia don. He did not tolerate opposition or dissent even from the most loyal of his followers.

    Bernard Matheri was to order the executions of fellow criminals whom he saw as a threat to his power base. Police informers who came to his attention were also not spared.

    He went down in a hail of bullets after the police finally caught up with him.

  4. 4 Anthony Ngugi Kanagi/Wacucu


    Wacucu and his gang terrorized Kenyans from the 80s to the late 90s. He so notorious, that even those of us born in the late 80s and early 90s grew up with the tales of his exploits.

    He was initially a matatu driver before transforming into on the most wanted crime lords in the country. 

    He was known for engaging the police in colorful car chases before disappearing into the ether. The cops finally apprehended him in 1996.

  5. 5 Peter Mwea/Wakinyonga

    He is widely considered as the ‘Godfather’ of Kenyan crimes due to the number of budding criminals he mentored and inspired.

    In the 70s, Wakinyonga made it to the top of Kenya’s most-wanted list, with a bounty of Ksh. 100,000 on his head.

    He was shot dead in 1978 after a shootout with cops at a club in Kangemi.

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