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Suspected Kenyan serial killer stares at death date in Texas

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A Kenyan-born man is staring at a possibility of being hanged for allegedly killing at least 22 grannies at care homes for the elderly in Dallas, North Texas.

Mr Billy Chemirmir, 47, was born and raised at Kabunyony village in Eldama Ravine, Baringo County, before moving to the United States in the 1990s after his elder sister secured him a visa.

On marrying an American woman, he became a US citizen through naturalisation.

But today, he is cooling his heels at the Dallas County jail after he was accused of suffocating at least 22 old women at North Texas independent living complexes.

He has been charged with the capital murder of 14 senior citizens while families have separately accused him of killing eight more grandmothers in care homes.

The victims include Juanita Purdy, who died July 31, 2016, and Leah Corken, who died August 19, 2016, according to a report by Dallas News site.

According to Dallas Police, the string of murders was committed at various care homes, including seven at Preston Place, dating back to 2016.

New victims Police say the accused posed as a maintenance worker to gain entry into apartments and homes before smothering residents with pillows and stealing valuables to sell online.

READ ALSO:   Suspected Kenyan serial killer faces death penalty in US

It is investigations into the loss of the valuables, which included gold chains and rings, that blew Chemirmir’s cover as detective made a major breakthrough in their investigations in 2018.

Police say he was arrested after he was spotted dumping a gold chain into a dumpster — a large open container for putting rubbish — after realising that detectives were pursuing him.

The man, who faces the death penalty if convicted was locked up in prison after he failed to raise $11.6 million (approximately Sh1.175 billion) bail.

Capital murder in Texas carries either an automatic sentence of life in

prison without parole or the death penalty.

And even though prosecutors reserve the death penalty for crimes deemed especially heinous, legal pundits says Mr Chemirmir’s goose is already cooked because beyond the courts, the case has seized the national imagination with different parties citing it to suit their arguments.

The case, has been getting complicated by the day as new victims spring up and new suits are added to the previous ones.

In most of the new cases, the cause of death had been indicated as natural but families now believe Chemirmir killed their grandparents.

Victims smothering For instance, a new suit has identified two more alleged victims of smothering.

Among those named is motherin-law of former Dallas Cowboys celebrated star, Cliff Harris.

READ ALSO:   Kenyan charged with 11 murders in Texas

Mr Chemirmir was arrested in March 2018 after Ms Harris was found dead in her home with a pillow near her, and her make-up smeared on it.

According to Dallas Police, the police during a surveillance prompted by suspicion by a relative, found Mr Chemirmir throwing some items in a dumpster.

“During the arrest, Mr Chemirmir was holding jewellery and money. In the dumpster, the officers found a jewellery box containing jewellery and a woman’s name. They were able to associate the name to an address in the city of Dallas,” the police report reads in part.

“Dallas Police officers went to the address and found the victim, Lu Thi Harris, an 81-year-old Asian female, dead from homicidal violence.”

Mr Chemirmir was taken to Dallas Police headquarters and interrogated before a capital murder warrant was obtained.

Detectives also started tracking the suspect’s activities after two other families reported they suspected he had been responsible for the deaths of two other old women.

He was also linked to another attempted murder and robbery incident.

Before his arrest, Mr Chemirmir was under surveillance after he reportedly attempted to smother another 93-year-old woman on October 29, 2017.

The elderly woman told police that Mr Chemirmir entered her house posing as a maintenance worker, pushed her to the ground and attempted to suffocate her with a pillow.

READ ALSO:   Suspected Kenyan serial killer faces death penalty in US

In March 2018, Fox News reported that the police in the Dallas suburb of Plano suspected that Mr Chemirmir may have been behind the attempted murder of another 91-year-old woman in her apartment.

“The woman was smothered with a pillow into unconsciousness and robbed. However, Plano paramedics revived her and she told investigators that her attacker had stolen a box containing her jewellery,” Fox news reported.

The news channel also said police identified Mr Chemirmir from a licence plate number and were able to find and tail him when they watched him throw a jewellery box into a trash bin. In his prison cell, the accused maintained he is innocent.

He is represented by a court appointed attorney, Phillip Hayes, who never speaks to the press.

His family and neighbours in Eldama Ravine described him as quiet and humble. In the US, those who knew him, said he lived a life of exclusion.

“He didn’t want to mix with other Kenyans in Plano and he rarely attended Kenyan functions,” said a Kenyan who only wanted to be identified as Sam.

 

BY CHRIS WAMALWA AND HARRY MISIKO


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The life lessons I learnt from a brief stay with my grandfather

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With the schools closed, my parents got tired of me and my three siblings quarrelling and sent us to the village to stay with my grandparents.

More than any book or class, this visit taught me so much about appreciating what I have in my life and being open to the differences that I was blind to.

I protested going to the village at first, but now I am happy I did.

I had never liked being around my grandfather for so long because he is such a strict disciplinarian.

However, staying around him taught me why he is the way he is. He taught me about the value of hard work and integrity.

My grandfather is not one to stand lazy and idle people. So he taught me that I needed to structure my day to the tasks I needed to accomplish and spend time in the evening enjoying leisure.

So in this plan, we wake up in the morning to sweep the compound clean. My sisters then join my grandmother in the kitchen to make breakfast, as my brother and I help grandfather feed the cows before milking them.

Tending the animals

After breakfast, we would all go to the farm to weed. The afternoons were more of reading and playing. My brother soon gravitated towards tending the animals while I enjoyed working on the farm with my grandmother.

READ ALSO:   Suspected Kenyan serial killer faces death penalty in US

I also loved fetching water from the stream. We then spent the evening watching television to catch up with the news.

The discipline also made us more mindful about how our lives affected others, even when no one was watching.

We carried enough sanitisers and face masks to last us the duration of our imposed stay. We were careful because our grandparents were at that age of being vulnerable to the virus.

I noticed that many villagers were sceptical of the existence of Covid-19. They argued and dismissed the global pandemic as a hoax.

Some said they were yet to see anyone who had succumbed to the virus. Some were really tickled to see us donning face masks all the time, but we stayed true to the act knowing my grandparents’ lives depended on it.

This is how my grandfather raised my father and his eight siblings, and I am happy I got to learn this.

by nation.co.ke


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Foul smell leads to recovery of couple

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Crime Scene Tape
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Decomposing bodies of a couple that has been missing for more than a week were found in their house in Laini centre off the Nairobi-Nakuru highway, yesterday.

A foul smell emanating from the house of the 72-year-old-man and his wife, 62, led to their recovery. Police have launched investigations into the incident.

There were conflicting reports about the deaths with some claiming that the two were murdered while others suspected that they could have died of carbon monoxide emitted from a jiko.

Police declined to give names of the deceased until the next of kin are informed. Emotions ran high as locals viewed the bodies.

A village elder, Moses Mwathi, revealed that the couple was working in a quarry before they went missing.

Mwathi said neighbours thought that they had travelled to their rural home but got concerned after a foul smell started emanating from their house.

“On checking they noticed that the house was locked from inside and the bodies could be seen lying on their bed,” he said.

Police gained access into the house after breaking the door. The bodies were taken to the mortuary

Naivasha OCPD Samuel Waweru said initial investigations pointed to carbon monoxide poisoning from a jiko.

READ ALSO:   Kenyan charged with 11 murders in Texas

“We can’t, however, rule out murder at this moment and only a post-mortem examination will establish the real cause of the death,” said the police boss.

And in the nearby Kinungi village, a 35-year-old farmworker committed suicide by hanging himself in a house.

The body was found by his employer before police were called in. Jim Kimani, a friend to the deceased, said he was in low spirits over debts.

“He claimed that some people he owed money were harassing him but we never thought that he would commit suicide,” Kimani said.

by Standardmedia.co.ke


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Business

LET’S HOLD HANDS WITH OPTIVEN FOUNDATION

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You are well on your way to achieving your own dream!

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