“Where are we with the ‘Gay Killer’ case, detective?” Chief Inspector Mainga asked.
“Nowhere, sir,” detective Nelson Waigwa said. “So far what we have is just the bodies. No signature card, no nothing.”
“Does that mean you are at the end of your wits? What do you do at the academy these days – simulate everything on computers?”
“Sir, the modus operandi of this killer if off the textbook. He is smarter, careful, clean and elusive and I sure as hell know that he is calculating, cold and bloodthirsty.”
“The whole of Nairobi is terrified. Who knows where and when he will strike again, or who is the next victim?”
“Sir, we are doing all we can to catch this killer. I sense rage and vengeance in his crimes. That is good. He will start making mistakes soon, and his first mistake will be his undoing, and fortieth day…”
“Today is the thirty-ninth day. Tomorrow is the fortieth. You will start the countdown again…?”
“Sir, I did not mean it literally…”
“I know what you meant, detective. A gay serial killer on the prowl is worse than the ‘Vampire of Naivasha’. At least the vampire had the kindness of heart not to kill his victims.”
I left the morning brief feeling wired. This ‘Gay Killer’ was giving the county police commander heart palpitations. Well, it was just a matter of time before human rights activists, the National Police Oversight Authority (NAPOA), the opposition politicians and the whole horde of media jackals launched an insidious attack thirsting for blood. The Inspector General of Police would also be a casualty, along with the Cabinet Secretary for Internal Security when shove came to push.
The Gay Killer has been killing boys and men, after sodomizing them. As far as psychopathy goes this one is really pushing it. It’s not bizarre when a woman is brutally murdered after being raped, but a man? No. It’s unheard of.
This killer will be caught. Or perhaps won’t. From the look of things, he will kill for the next decade before he gets bored and moves on to something else more challenging.
“Elsie, Elsie,” Inspector Esther Naimanya heard the unmistakeable hoarse voice of Detective Nelson Waigwa.
“I told you not to call me that,” Esther replied.
“I can’t help it,” Nelson replied. “Not with you looking the way you look in that uniform…”
“Listen, we are at work, not some fancy restaurant with you trying to win me over. And as for my uniform, ladies on the force stopped dressing provocatively aeons ago. Who wants to create another media furore and lose her job?”
“We don’t work together. I am from Special Crimes Unit. You are from…”
“Detective, I know where I work. SCU and Anti-Narcotics Units is one and the same thing, same difference. So, work romances, as I categorically told you, are not my thing.”
“Come on Elsie, make a guy’s day.”
“Go catch your killer. From the look of things you’ll soon be jobless if you continue chasing after skirts instead of working. How about that piece of advice for making your day?”
“You give me the jitters, Elsie…”
“Trust the Chief Inspector to make good his threat. You think he will go down alone?”
“And you know this…”
“…because I know him, and I know you – he never breaks his word, and you never listen…” and with that Esther left the love boy who wanted her heart – no, body – wondering what the hell was that about.
Nelson, feeling lost and confused, wished Esther’s retreating back, his eyes fixed on her plumpish bottom, a nice day and went to plan his next move on catching the Gay Killer.
Nelson made a call to his friend in the Criminal Investigation Department whom he had asked for a favour in digging out info about known gays in the city. One of them was probably killing his friends, perhaps a jilted lover. Nothing had come out of it. Apart from maintaining their facades, all gays went about their lives normally. Despite being put on surveillance, the murders continued.
“What if you are looking for the killer in the wrong places? What if the killer is not gay but he is posing as gay? What if the killer is someone on the force, or close to the investigation, the reason why he is elusive? What if the killer has someone on the inside who keeps him abreast with everything about the case? What if…?”
“That’s a lot of ‘what ifs’, Simon,” Nelson interjected. “But if the killer is not gay and is posing as gay, how come all the victims are sodomized…” Realization hit Nelson like a tornado. That explained why there was no semen or hairs on the victims. He even ruled out his earlier theory that the killer used to wear condoms or forced the victims to shower after raping and before killing them.
The pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place.
“The killer is a woman,” Nelson shouted. “Thank you, Simon. You just made my day.”
When I was seven, my dad raped me. He had had a fight with mom, their routine. They came home drunk shouting at each other. I scampered to my hiding spot under the bed just before he stormed into the room and locked the door behind him. I was barricaded with him.
Mom pounded on the door until she wore out and gave up. She perhaps went to sleep. My heart was pounding like a mill, trembling so hard that my knees knocked against each other loudly – how dad knew where I was.
I could feel it from his touch, body. He wanted to take it out on me. Whatever had happened between them to make him avenge on mom through me I did not know.
He raped me for hours. My body tore into two like the biblical curtain of the temple of Jerusalem before it shattered into shards and scattered everywhere. I couldn’t take any more.
When I came to, I was in a hospital feeling like a spider – webs of tubes emanated from my tiny body to a bank of screens that monitored my progress. Mom and dad were nowhere to be found. They are still at large to date.
An aunt, mom’s sister, took me in and took care of me. After high school she did not have enough money to take me to college. Or put it bluntly, her husband did not want to. I was excess baggage.
They had to get rid of me. He bribed the chief police recruiting officer to have me on the force. Even when the recruitment was marred by corruption allegations and was repeated I still ended up in the police force.
“I have another theory,” Nelson said. “I think the killer is a woman.”
The whole tactical room went silent. They stared at him as though he had just sprout antennae.
“That explains the rage and the brutality of the murders,” he continued. “It is a woman angry with men. Perhaps she was defiled while she was young and hated men since then…”
“Explain about the sodomy thing, detective,” his partner in crime-solving said. “So far it is a human penis that has been at work, not a crude metallic thing inserted into them…”
“Jacob, how much does a dildo cost?” Nelson asked. “How many adult sex stores are there in the city as of yesterday?”
“Even if what you’re saying is true, it will take ages – well, not within seven days – to find out where this woman of yours buys her dildos…”
Nelson thought for a moment. A man buying a dildo would raise eyebrows. Westerners may, but not a sizeable number of Africans, especially Kenyans.
Something flashbulbed in his mind. SCU and ANU – same difference. That’s what Inspector Esther Naimanya had said. He could bring her in to help. A single woman would buy such stuff easily. Lesbians too. That’s where Elsie would come in – pose as a customer while at the same time trying to find out regular customers.
“I know the right person for the job,” Nelson said. “Inspector Esther Naimanya.”
My phone rang for the umpteenth time and I ignored it. Men don’t take NO for an answer. I had told the SCU detective, that Nelson Waigwa guy, that I was not interested in him over and over. Hell, I am not interested in men at all, and FYI I’m not lesbian. But he kept on calling.
When he called for the trillionth time, I picked up ready to scream at him and give him a chunk of my mind for the last time. Turned out I was wrong.
“It’s a nice proposition,” I said, “but you’ve got to clear with my superior first…”
“Already done. I wanted to break the news first, kind of good friends’ relationship thing, before you get it officially…”
“Am I supposed to be flattered?”
“None the least. This is work, and I know your policy even though I am hoping I would get to have you close…”
“Nelson, birds of a feather flock together, but eagles fly alone.”
“Whoa! Whao! And I thought the last of sages and adages died in 1999…”
“You thought wrong then,” I said. “I look forward to working with you, and helping you catch the Gay Killer, your job security dangles on it.”
“You don’t have to rub it in…” I hung up on him before he could finish what he wanted to say.
Thirty minutes later I was in the Special Crimes Unit tactical room strategizing and planning on how to catch the Gay Killer with Nelson and his partner.
Though I was part of the team, by the time all courses of action were laid out and I was told what my job was, I knew that the killer will never be caught.
And I knew who the next victim was.
That night, the Gay Killer dressed in wine-black from head to toe, black ninja mask and gloves. The killer was going to kill again.
Detective Nelson Waigwa drove his unmarked police car to his apartment in Kitengela, a breach of security protocol, and dived into the ocean of his empty house. Ever since his fiancée was killed and mangled to pulp in a hit-and-run accident on Waiyaki Way three years before, he had not dated anyone. He had cast his net on Esther Naimanya, but she was playing catch-me-if-you-can. Why do women always do that, he wondered.
Nelson entered his house and the pungent smell that had become a constant reminder that his bachelorhood days were long from over hit his nose. He was tired, wired and famished, yet he couldn’t do anything about it.
In the dark, he groped the wall for the light switch and flipped it on. Nothing happened. As though he thought it was some mistake or he had caught the socket, which wasn’t there in the first place, instead of the switch, he did it again: nothing.
He decided to fumble his way in the darkness to where he kept his rechargeable lamp. He never made it. Something heavy and blunt hit him from behind. He saw a dozen stars twinkle in the darkness and felt the floor beneath his feet start to go round. Hardly had he hit the floor when strong arms grabbed him and pushed him to the sofa.
Through the haze of delirium, he felt his belt buckle being pulled, the zipper of his trouser being pried open and pulled down his knees. He then felt the attacker’s hand parting the cheeks of his buttocks before something rock hard drilled in to his anal canal.
It’s the gay killer, Nelson screamed in his head. I am a victim. His mind splintered into planks and shards as the gay killer sodomized him. He felt the killer’s phallus inside him, tearing each wall it glazed.
Then, his limbs started to give in. He couldn’t command them to do anything. The ordeal went on and on, until he could feel nothing at all.
The call came some minutes before I woke up. It was Nelson’s partner. At first I thought there was a terror attack in town. Turned out Nelson was dead. The Gay Killer killed him. Was anyone safe? I was wanted at the scene of crime immediately.
The whole police force was there, all the way from the deputy inspector general of police. The IG himself was leaving the country at that very minute one of his boys was being photographed by crime scene guys.
When one of us is killed it affects all of us. The camaraderie we have extends beyond that. Everybody wants to see justice done, faster, quicker. It becomes everyone’s responsibility and chant that they will bring the culprit to the book. This was no different. Nelson’s partner was angry, so was I. Nelson’s murder couldn’t go unavenged. Everyone thirsted for the killer’s blood.
I joined the police force because I was excess baggage offloaded. After graduation, I knew that I was not only a law enforcer but also a law breaker.
During training I had to offer my body to get through the training without undergoing strenuous and risky exercises, food and sleep deprivation and worse, being expelled for indiscipline. That’s how it is being a woman in the forces, right from National Youth Service to the military. Even male recruits want a piece of you.
After the training, many a woman has to pay (in advance) her superiors in kind to be promoted. As long as I want the Gay Killer caught I am silently hoping and praying the killer is never caught. For me it is a dish of revenge served cold to men for hurting women. It started with my father, and all others who came along.
I am a law enforcer. I do my job. But if it’s aiding and abetting the Gay Killer not to be caught I am ready to break the law. Sometimes I break the law for common good, or for justice not served. I know the Gay Killer will never be caught. I pray for the killer daily to do it again and again. It’s time men got what’s coming to them.
I know the Gay Killer will never be caught because I am the Gay Killer.