On Monday 4th December 2023 at approximately 1700 hours, two men are driving to Motel 6 to meet a third man, who would later be identified as Mwithiga.
Notably, the driver is an informant only identified as EDMC CI, while his passenger is an undercover cop posing as a hit man.
They drive to a location where they meet the third man, who over the past few months has been actively trying to recruit an assassin to murder his wife.
Additionally, this man would later come to be identified as the 52-year-old Leonard Thuo Mwithiga, a retired banker with the Kenya Commercial Bank.
Shortly thereafter, the driver leaves the two men in his vehicle who converse for approximately an hour and a half.
Unbeknownst to Mwithiga, the man sited next to him is armed with audio and video surveillance equipment recording the whole encounter.
So, he proceeds to offer $300 in the form of three one-hundred-dollar bills, in “good faith” and a further $100 for EDMC CI (the taxi driver).
Mwithiga Orders Wife’s Execution
According to the police investigation report, it was agreed between Mwithiga and the undercover (hitman) that he was going to take Mwithiga’s wife only identified as victim #1 on a date.
Furthermore, the “hitman” was going to snort a line of cocaine while victim #1 was to snort a ‘hot batch’ which would be pure fentanyl, but the victim would believe to be cocaine.
Mwithiga further asked the undercover to research a slow death for victim #1, but ultimately agreed that the hitman could kill the victim in any manner.
According to Mwithiga, he wanted the death to occur between January 28, 2024, and February 3, 2024, when he would be in Kenya to avoid being a suspect.
The Psychology Behind Murder
But what could drive this seemingly silent and calm man to quit his job, fly thousands of miles across the Atlantic and attempt severally to recruit a hit man to have his wife murdered?
According to Psychology Today, a website dedicated to highlighting psychological issues, murderers or those with intent to kill are often victims of emotional damage and mental health problems.
Furthermore, the complications are perhaps exacerbated by being bullied and rejected by peers or abused and neglected at home.
They often experience profound sadness, depression, despair, self-aggrandizement, and narcissism.
Additionally, their lack of empathy for others, coupled with an apparent absence of guilt about their actions often have them justifying their actions.
In turn, they mask their ill intents with superficial charm, allowing them to lure potential victims into their web of destruction.
Nevertheless, there are seven phases, mentally, that a killer goes through before manifesting outwardly through their heinous acts of murder.
While there can be a genetic predisposition to violence, genes always interact with the environment.
Studies in epigenetics indicate that while our experiences don’t change our genes, they heavily influence how our genes are expressed.
In other words, you can have the genetic profile of a killer without ever hurting a fly.
So, it is possible that while many people may have the inborn ability to kill, they often do not because their surroundings prevent them to.
According to the People Daily newspaper, Mwithiga had initially confided in someone that he had family issues and was considering harming a family member.
Additionally, the Daily Nation reported that the accused was known to be a calm and soft-spoken person even amongst his former colleagues.
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Being a former Group Director-Shared services and ex-Information Technology Director of KCB, the man had risen in the fast and competitive corporate world with impressive credentials.
However, beneath that calmness and that soft-spoken demeanor, lay a vindictive and quite evidently committed abuser who would stop at nothing to get his way.
Having convinced himself that the wife was an evil that had to be eliminated, he would stop at nothing to see her in the ground and not even the distance nor the risk of arrest could stop him.
Leonard Mwithiga’s actions are similar to those of narcissists whose actions are always about advancing their own interests even at the expense of everyone else’s.
In addition, as the court documents would show, the ex-banker had a long history of assaulting his wife, intimidation, and a controlling behavior.
Despite numerous promises of changing, as well as family interventions, he never did which resulted in his wife running away to the US at least in the hopes of maintaining that distance.
And so, as Mwithiga awaits his trial in America, perhaps his story should be a cautionary tale for people out there, that still waters run deep.
The writer, Francis Mwaura Muroki, is Lawyer/Counseling Psychologist: firstname.lastname@example.org