Love Gone Sour: 10 Toxic Kenyan Relationships That Ended Fatally

Love Gone Sour: 10 Toxic Kenyan Relationships That Ended Fatally

We all desire healthy relationships filled with understanding, love (and good sex, lol) – one where you genuinely enjoy your partner’s company and things work out smoothly.

While some are lucky to find such relationships, others unfortunately find themselves in unhappy relationships.

In a toxic relationship, there is a constant feeling of being drained when spending time with your significant other. You may not seem to agree with your partner on anything, which can breed unhappiness, and in severe situations, lead to violence and even murder!

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about toxic relationships, and why you should walk out of the relationship immediately you spot the red flags.

But before we get to the signs of toxic relationships, here are 10 toxic Kenyan relationships that ended up in premium tears – and sadly – death!

Unsolved Toxic Relationships Cases in Kenya That Ended In Death

1. Tob Cohen and Sara Wairimu

Tob Cohen and Wife Sarah Wairimu Kamotho

Tob Cohen moved to Kenya as an employee of Philips East Africa. He would later establish his own company that dealt with planning golf safari trips.

Sarah Wairimu Kamotho worked as his personal assistant and in 2007 the two tied the knot.

However, in the years towards Cohen’s demise, the relationship had been deteriorating with frequent fights. 

The couple was seeking a divorce.

The billionaire had been missing for 2 months before his body was found buried in a septic tank at his home. The body was found blindfolded and with both hands tied, something that hints to possible torture. There was also a rope found tied around his neck.

Prior to his demise, the deceased had expressed fear for his life in letters sent to the Director of Public Prosecution. In the letter sent 8 days before his death, Cohen mentioned being mistreated by his wife and also pressed assault charges.

The tycoon reached out to his close confidant former Gatundu MP Patrick Muiruri on the day of his demise. He expressed fears for his life and said that a close relative would be responsible if he were to be found dead.

On the same day, Wairimu had sent letters to the Dutch Embassy claiming that her husband needed medical attention. 

More letters had also been sent. One to the Gigiri OCPD and Parklands OCS, instructing them to drop assault charges against Wairimu. The other was to lawyers instructing them to withdraw the divorce case.

It was an elaborate scheme involving the home’s workers who lied to Police about the events of that day. Detectives also discovered that new CCTV cameras had been installed just after Cohen went missing.

The case is still ongoing.

2. Ivy Wangeci Murder

The Moi University medical student was attacked and murdered outside the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret. 

Ivy Wangechi | Courtesy: Twitter @wangechig_

In a brutal attack, the then 28-year-old was hacked with an axe by Naftali Njahi Kinuthia in broad daylight. 

Kinuthia then tried to escape, but was cornered by angry boda boda operators who gave him the beating of his life. Police later arrived at the scene and found his face disfigured and bloody before taking him into custody.

Naphtali Kinuthia | Photo: Courtesy

Kinuthia revealed to the Eldoret East DCI that he had invested his time and money on Ivy. He, however, felt that this show of love was not being reciprocated by the deceased.

The suspect went on to explain that all had been well between them at first. However, toward the occurrence of the tragic incident her behavior had changed. 

He said that despite making plans and agreeing to meet numerous times, the deceased would switch off her phone. This, he said, was what provoked his anger towards Ivy and drove him to do what he did.

It is really unfortunate how one would not read between the lines and just keep his distance instead of doing such.

3. Major Peter Mugure (Soldier who killed wife and two children)

Major Peter Mugure was accused of killing his estranged wife Joyce Syombua, 34, and her 2 children Shanice Mugure, 10, and Peter Junior, 5. The three were reported missing after spending 2 days at Major Mugure’s home at the Laikipia Airbase Barracks. 

Former Major Peter Mugure | Photo: Courtesy

His co-accused, Collins Pamba, who was a casual labourer, is alleged to have assisted Mugure in burying the two bodies.

Pamba revealed to the court that Mugure called him to do a job for him. 

However on arriving at his home he was met with the dead bodies with shock. Mugure threatened his life if he were to say anything on the events and promised him a slot at the defence forces.

The laborer further revealed that he asked Mugure why he had committed the heinous act. Mugure replied that Syombua was beautiful and he wanted to marry her as a second wife. However, she was unfaithful to him and only wanted his money for herself and her children.

The question many ask is why take it out on the innocent children who couldn’t comprehend what was going on?

4. Pastor Elisha Misiko

From Mombasa County, Pastor Elisha Misiko stabbed his wife Anne Mughoi several times before taking his own life. He was found dead inside his church in Bamburi, Mombasa County.

Ground for God’s Gospel 3G Ministries Church, Mombasa, Kenya | Photo: Courtesy

The incident, which shocked many, took place during a sermon.

 As the congregants were deep in prayer, the Pastor approached his wife of 20 years with 2 knives hidden under his shirt. He stabbed her repeatedly, killing her on the spot. The troubled man then slit his throat.

In a suicide note titled Betrayal and Consequences, Misiko revealed details of what led to his actions. He claimed infidelity on the part of his wife as the two had been living apart for a while. Misiko further revealed that he sent most of his money to his wife and children. 

This was in contrast to his wife’s claims that he doesn’t buy clothes or pay fees for his children. 

He revealed that he worked hard to buy the plot of land and build the church with his wife. However, together with some of the church members, his wife conspired to change the land’s ownership.

“She took away everything we accumulated for over 19 years. She took away my plot of land and church equipment by force,” he wrote.

The wrangles date back to 2013, and it is quite unfortunate for such an occurrence to have happened inside a religious institution.

5. Anne Kanario Murder

21-year-old Ann Kanario Kaura was a student at the Kenya Methodist University Main Campus in Meru County. She and one Obed Nyaga Njagi, were found dead in her apartment located next to KeMU.

Ann Kanario and Obed Nyaga | Photo: Courtesy

Officers were met with decomposing bodies of the two with the lady having visible stab wounds and the man hanging close to the bathroom. 

It is believed that Njagi killed Ann and went ahead to take his own life.

The motive of the killings has still not been established by Police. However, a close friend of the deceased lady hinted at a case of love gone sour. 

According to the friend, Ann and Njagi had been dating for a while with the man showing signs of jealousy. They eventually broke up and this did not sit well with the man.

The Bachelor of Business Administration student was in her final semester and was preparing to go for her attachment.

6. Margaret Muchemi Murder

34-year-old Margaret Muchemi was also brutally murdered by her estranged lover Charles Oluenyi. According to Police, Muchemi was tied to the bed and set on fire.

Left: Charles Oluenyi trying to jump off a building. Right: Margaret Muchemi | Courtesy: [PHOTO: Victor Mogoa: K24 Digital
On the day of the occurrence, she had invited Oluenyi over to her home for them to talk and iron out their differences. Oluenyi was greeted by 2 of Muchemi’s nannies who offered him a drink. The nannies, Damaris Nyamusi and Zainab Nalia said he declined the offer and looked visibly upset. 

The deceased then sent them out together with her 4-year-old son to go get some food. They came back only to be sent away again, with Margaret sending them some more money for food.

It was while they were having the meal that they received a call from one of their neighbors. They rushed home to find smoke coming out of their house. The lifeless body was tied to the bed and completely charred.

The nannies say they overheard a phone conversation of Oluenyi demanding Ksh. 37,000 from Muchemi. However, one would wonder why someone would kill their lover for money.

The suspect was later traced to Kayole and cornered, threatening to jump from an apartment building. He was, however, arrested, not before getting a thorough beating from the irate crowd waiting for him.

7. Caroline Kagongo

Corporal Caroline Kangogo was attached to the Kasarani Police Station in Nakuru County. Kangogo was the main suspect in the murders of fellow constable John Ongweno and Mr. Peter Ndwiga.

Corporal Caroline Kangogo on duty | Photo: Courtesy

According to police, the two are believed to have been her lovers, aiding her in committing various offences. It is alleged that the jilted cop, who was married, turned against her lovers, killing them in cold blood. 

The corporal was later found dead at her parents’ home in Elgeyo Marakwet County, in what police allege to have been suicide.

8. Kiambu Murder – Jonathan Mukundi Shoots Wife, Philomena Njeri, Then Shoots Himself

On 3rd, August, 2021, businessman Jonathan Mukundi Gachunga, 42, was found dead alongside his wife Philomena Njeri, 30. The bodies were found inside their bedroom that had been locked from inside. Also recovered at the scene was a mini Glock gun.

A friend of the deceased, identified as Robert Charangi Njuguna, 35, notified the police after unsuccessfully trying to reach Gachunga. Police then raided the deceased house and found the lifeless bodies.

Detectives believed that the businessman, who was a licensed firearm owner, shot his wife in the head. He then shot himself in the head too.

Jonathan Mukundi Gachunga and his wife Phelomena Njeri Photo: Courtesy|

Though investigations into the incident are still ongoing, details have emerged that Njeri was expecting someone else’s child.

9. Velvine Nungari – Raped And Left For Dead With Serious Injuries

The story of Velvine Nungari Kinyanjui was one that also sparked outrage and stirred conversations among Kenyans. 

The 24-year-old was sexually assaulted and left in a hotel room with serious injuries. This was after she had gone on a date with one Joseph Kinyua Murimi.

Nungari would later on breathe her last while receiving treatment at the Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital.

Velvine Nungari | Photo: Courtesy

According to police, the main suspect Murimi had met the deceased days before their planned date on February 23. It was during the day of the date that the assault occurred, leaving Nungari with a fractured spinal cord.

Due to the nature of the injuries, police believe that the former waitress was sexually assaulted by more than one assailant.

Quite sad.

10. Cop Kills Lover in Hospital Then Kills Himself

A police officer named Bernard Kivo is said to have shot and killed his girlfriend. Ms Mary Nyambura had sought treatment at the Njoro Sub-County Hospital for a fractured right leg. This was after being assaulted by the cop. 

Deceased Mary Nyambura | Photo: Courtesy Cheboite Kigen : Nation Media Group

The officer would be sought to record a statement at the Njoro Police Station, where he was attached to. He later left the station and sought Ms Nyambura.

At the hospital, the officer shot Ms Nyambura in the head, killing her on the spot. Kivo returned to the Njoro Police Station, shooting aimlessly, and killed himself.

7 Signs of Toxic Relationships

1. Always Finding Faults In You

A toxic partner will not acknowledge their own faults and will not work on improving their own behavior. They won’t show any interest in your hobbies or interests, or even help you achieve your dreams. Your partner will instead constantly suggest to you where you need to improve.

This can be really discouraging at times and may breed feelings of self doubt. It is therefore important that once one notices such behavior they find friends and family that are positive and reassuring.

2. Taking Away Your Self Esteem

Your partner shouldn’t make you feel bad about yourself or make you doubt your decisions. They should instead show their confidence in you. 

“I don’t like that dress.”

“Cut your hair.”

“I don’t like it like that.”

“Why are you wearing so much makeup?”

“Why do you have to see your friends tonight? I thought you were going to stay home.”

Those are some questions a toxic partner will ask their significant other. These also lead to the next sign.

3. Controlling and Excessively Jealous

Your significant other always asking you where you are is a sign of an unhealthy relationship. Them getting upset whenever you do not reply to texts on time is also a red flag. These are signs of a partner trying to control you.

A partner should not insist on following you around all the time or always keeping tabs on your movements. They should understand that you as an individual also need your Me Time.

If this is not addressed early enough, controlling behavior may lead to physical abuse in a relationship.

4. Insecurities

These are inner feelings of being threatened or inadequacy that a partner may have. It is normal to have feelings of self doubt once in a while. On the other hand, chronic insecurity can damage your proactiveness and can equally damage your relationships.

In a healthy relationship, partners compliment each other. This enhances confidence in oneself and confidence that your partner cares about you.

Feelings of inadequacy deny you inner peace and prevent you from engaging with your partner in an open and relaxed manner. Instead, jealousy takes over as one feels that they are not enough for their partner. This is then manifested in acts such as snooping.

If left unaddressed, insecurities kill trust in the relationship, pushing partners away.

5. Toxic Communication

Communication is key in any relationship. It is not only important to be understood, but also to understand your partner.

Effective communication in a relationship is where one is clear about what they feel and their partners recognize this. This can be both verbally or nonverbally.

Because communication is a two-way process, it is important for both partners to give each other enough time to express themselves well. You may sometimes need to put aside your own thoughts in order to understand your partner’s feelings, intentions, needs and wants. 

When talking to your partner, put that phone aside, mute or switch off the TV. 

Give them your full attention, be empathetic!

If your partner doesn’t show empathy while you are conversing, doesn’t give you time to express yourself, that’s a red flag. Lack of empathy eventually makes the relationship hostile and unwanted.

6. You’re Not Practicing Self-Care

As mentioned above, you as an individual need to have time for yourself.

Before getting into the relationship you were your own person with your own individual responsibilities. This may be work or family related. 

Sometimes you also just need to spend time with your girls, or watch a game while catching up with the boys. Other times you may just feel like taking a walk at the park or engaging in some of your hobbies.

Your ‘Me Time’ is an important part of your own well-being and the health of your relationship. It gives you space to breathe, to rejuvenate relationships with other important people in your life. If this is not done then you will find yourself bringing frustrations back into your relationship, making it toxic.

7. You Notice The Signs But Wait/Hope For Them To Change

Instead of missing your significant other, you dread the next time you’ll be seeing them again. You also feel like their presence is literally sucking the energy out of you. 

Despite feeling all this, many still choose to stay!

This is due to having a false hope that their partner may realize their mistakes and change their behaviour sooner rather than later. 

The reality is that when you are in a toxic relationship, your judgement is often clouded. 

Whatever the little positives you may be receiving in a toxic relationship, your mental and emotional well-being are paramount. So don’t hesitate to walk out, siz, or bro! 

4 Ways To Avoid A Toxic Relationship

Here are some things you can do to avoid toxic relationships.

1. Identify And Focus on What You Need, Not What You Want

Sometimes what we want to hear sounds sweeter than what we need to hear. By nature, we tend to gravitate towards those that like us.

As an individual, it is important that you identify what you need first. Most of the time this is also what we lack or yearn for and can therefore be confused with our wants. Clearly separating the two will help you in choosing the right company.

2. Keep The Right Company

As the saying goes, you are who you surround yourself with. Positive people will help bring out the best in you. Negative people, of course, will pull you down.

It’s important that you have company that encourages you to be a better version of yourself.

These may be people that don’t have what you have. The key factor is that they help you improve on your flaws.

A toxic individual will capitalize on bringing you down for your flaws because they are afraid of your potential, so don’t stick around at all. 

3. Focus on Quality Relationships, Not on Sexual Satisfaction or Materials

Relationships are an investment, they require your emotions and time. As such, there has to be a balance between what you are investing and what you are gaining in return. 

Right from the onset of friendship, both parties have to give freely and unconditionally from the heart.

Quality will have nothing to do with the amount of things given, or time spent with someone. It is the amount of fulfilment felt when these are shown.

Notice these things before making a commitment with someone and you’ll be one step closer to making the right choice.

4. Red Flags Mean Walk Out

As mentioned, many in toxic relationships notice the signs early enough. However, they still choose to ignore them with the hope that their partner will change. This is despite the relationship draining them of their happiness.

A toxic relationship will be detrimental to your other relationships, as well as your own mental and emotional health. If you find yourself in a toxic relationship, you have to find the courage to let it go.

Wrapping Up

Relationships filled with love and understanding are what everyone desires and deserves. When you genuinely enjoy your partner’s company, life becomes easier and fulfilling.

There will obviously be some ups and downs in any relationship. But in a loving healthy relationship, things just kind of work. You openly discuss any problems that arise and make decisions together because of the trust you have in each other.

It is therefore important to identify the signs of a toxic relationship early enough. With this, you can be able to act accordingly and avoid the mental and emotional distress that comes with this.

Nick Tembo
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