Marathon hero Wanjiru was ‘murdered in bedroom’- Mother
The mother of the late Beijing Olympics men marathon champion Samuel Kamau Wanjiru sensationally claimed at an inquest into his death on Tuesday that his son was murdered by six men who had conspired with his widow Trizah Njeri.
During an inquest hearing at Nairobi’s Milimani Law Courts, Hannah Wanjiru Kamau further charged that the twice Chicago and London marathon winner was slain in his bedroom before he was thrown over the balcony of his Nyahururu home on the night of May, 15 2011.
Led to testimony, Hannah told the inquest in a stunning claim that a sister to his widow known as Wangeci was locked in the late marathon star’s bedroom allegedly to clean up blood after her son was murdered by heavy objects.
The mother to the deceased 2009 and 2010 Chicago Marathon added it was Trizah who ordered Wangeci to open the door adding she was surprised to see her in the bedroom since according to their Kikuyu community customs; it is a taboo for a lady to access her married sister’s sleeping quarters.
The court before Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi was also told by Hannah that they found two metallic bars in the bedroom apart from the blood stains that were spotted on the sitting room table and on the bedroom door.
Basing her narration on the eight CCTV cameras that had been installed within Wanjiru’s residence, the mother told the court that they noted only one which captures the compound from the gate was functional and had recorded the occurrences of the night May 15, 2011.
The others had been interfered with, she alleged.
Hannah told the court that footage showed that Wanjiru came into the compound driving himself in his coach Claudio Berardelli’s vehicle through the main gate.
At the time Berardelli was working for his manager Federico Rosa and he had been given permission to travel to Nyahururu from Eldoret where he was training by his coach.
After some time, Hannah recounted Trizah came in through the small gate.
She was then followed minutes later by a strange lady to the mother.
“After the lady went into the house, the compound was engulfed in darkness as power went off. In the CCTV footage, I counted six men who had a spot light with them coming into the compound,” Hannah said.
Still in the dark, Hannah told the Court that in the CCTV footage, a car belonging to Wanjiru was driven into the compound by a person she could not tell due to darkness.
The screen in which the footage was being watched remained dark for quite some time with no activity before the lights came back in the compound.
According to Hannah, activity resumed when Trizah is seen to have come out of the house and headed towards the gate before turning and making some gestures with her hands, a sign that she was also talking to someone at the balcony.
By this time the mother charged, the compound had been cleared and Trizah also left the compound while she was on phone.
While still watching CCTV footage, she noted that after some period of calm in the compound, three people she recognized came into the compound through the small gate.
They were a former driver, who drove a lorry belonging to the deceased but had been fired the previous month by Hannah, Wanjiru’s brother and a friend who was also an athlete.
“On seeing the three in the footage, since we were watching the recording in a group including the widow, I asked her what the three had come to do and she told me that they had come to pick Wanjiru.
“I then asked how they had learnt that he had fallen from the balcony but instead of answering, she started crying and left the room where we were all seated and went out,” narrated Hannah.
The inquest was adjourned due to time constraints and will resume in May this year when Trizah is expected to tell the court her side of the story.
Wanjiru’s death stunned the world having won five out of six marathons started including running course records (since broken) at London and Chicago in 2009 besides breaking the World Half Marathon twice in 2007.
Wanjiru also won the 2006 Fukuoka Marathon on his debut and finished second to compatriot Martin Lel at the 2008 London city race before going on to become the first Kenyan male Olympics champion that summer.
Rio 2016 Olympics champion, Eliud Kipchoge dedicated his victory to Wanjiru as he became the second Kenyan to achieve that feat eight years later but his 2:08:08 winning time was almost two minutes short of the record ran in China.
The Abbott World Marathon Majors trophy that is awarded to the men and women winners who share the USD1m series jackpot at the end of the two-year competition cycle is named after Wanjiru.