After countless hours of research, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is proud to share its “Top 11 Strangest Stories of 2011.”
click on the links to see full story..
Indian Man with 39 Wives, 94 Children and 33 Grandchildren: It’s a safe bet that Ziona Chana would not be impressed watching “19 Kids and Counting” or “Sister Wives.” The 66 year old Indian man has 39 wives, 94 children and 33 grandchildren. They all live together in a four-story, 100 room building. “I once married 10 women in one year,” he said. He’s proof that there’s still hope for Kim Kardashian. Link
Implanting Organs in the Name of Art: Australian artist Stelarc spent 10 years before finally finding a surgeon who would give him an ear transplant – in his arm. Huh? His implant will eventually be fitted with a microphone and a transmitter so all can listen in on what his arm is hearing. “It isn’t for my benefit,” he says. “I have two perfectly good ears, but it’s to explore the idea of me becoming an acoustic device for other people.” Stelarc, let us know if you ever get tickets to a Paul McCartney concert and remember to wear short sleeves. Link
Liechtenstein for Hire at $70,000 a Night: What’s cooler than renting out a swanky Vegas hotel penthouse for a night? How about your own country? For $70,000 you can rent out the entire country of Liechtenstein. You and 149 of your closest friends can spend the night, sip wine with the prince, go sledding, ride in a horse-drawn carriage and more. There’s one catch – the country’s 35,000 residents get to stay while you pretend to own their homeland. Link
Blind Dog Gets Own Guide Dog: What do you do when your guide dog goes blind? Easy, you get him a guide dog. Graham Waspe’s lab Edward lost his eyes to glaucoma, so he enlisted Opal, another guide dog to steer them both. Link
“Cemetery Collector” with 29 Bodies Arrested: Russian police arrested a man for digging up 29 female corpses and turning them into life-sized dolls dressed in period costumes. Most were faceless, some wore blond wigs. Link
Alabama Company Turns Gun Lovers’ Ashes into Ammunition: Talk about “you’re fired!” An Alabama company called Holy Smoke will turn cremated ashes into ammo so family and friends can fire off a few rounds of Grandpa. A pound of ash gets you about 250 shotgun shells. Talk about going out with a bang! Link
Mexican Vampire Woman Maria Jose Cristerna Immortalized in Wax by Ripley’s: This strange story started right in the Ripley’s F/X department, as Maria the Mexican Vampire Woman came in to receive a full-body cast that will allow Ripley’s artists to make an exact mold of her body and create life-size wax figures of her. Maria, who has horns, fangs and head-to-toe tattoos, said “It’s my vampire dream to be immortal!” Trust us – she’s far more interesting and personable than any of those Twilight vampires. Link
Stop Wearing Bunny Suit, Police Tell Idaho Man: Police in Idaho Falls told a man to stop wearing a bunny suit in public after townspeople complained he had been frightening children. Some residents felt the 34 year old man went tutu far when he donned a skirt with his bunny suit. Others came to the defense of this rare hare, saying “he’s got a strange lifestyle at home, but we all do weird things at home.” Link
Airport Geese to be Cooked for Poor: In what could be called a real-life game of angry birds, New York City Airport officials hatched a plan to get rid of hundreds of nuisance geese by killing them and shipping them off to food banks in Pennsylvania. Evidently, they are being shipped out of state because hungry New Yorkers didn’t like where the birds have been. Link
Missus in a Bottle: Richard Morwood was stunned to discover that his wife is the same girl whose message in a bottle he answered 30 years ago. Mandy English was 13 when she went searching for a pen pal with a note in a bottle. Morwood, then six years old, found her bottle washed up on a beach and wrote her back. The two didn’t realize the amazing coincidence until 2011. Link
Japanese Tsunami Survivor Found 10 Miles Out at Sea: 60 year old Hiromitsu Shinkawa was rescued after the devastating tsunami in Japan; he was found on the roof of his floating house two days later – nearly 10 miles out at sea. Link
Kneeling down in her cramped kitchen, the pharmacist opens her fridge door and removes the freezer compartment drawer crammed with three packages wrapped in black bin liners.
As she carefully opens the brittle bundles, she boasts of her ability to use the contents to make a pill that can cure all known ills.
‘After taking two tablets a day you will feel the difference after just one week,’ she says.
Even though the parcels are frozen, they exude an unpleasant smell that quickly permeates her nondescript apartment in a small Northern Chinese town.
But pushing the plastic freezer box across the floor to her new-found customer, the woman, who works at a Chinese hospital, appears almost proud as she says: ‘Choose one. Please, choose one.’
Each of the bags contains a single aborted foetus; one of them is said to be of seven months’ gestation. The infants’ remains will be cut up into small pieces, dried, microwaved and then ground down into a coarse powder, to be made into tablets of an ‘alternative medicine’ that plays on centuries-old superstitions and folklore.
Each tablet, containing the infants’ flesh and bone, and possibly hair and nails, are believed by many to have fantastic healing powers which fight the ravages of ageing and are capable of defeating even cancer.
It is a sickening, cannibalistic and illegal trade that the Chinese authorities do not want the world to know exists.
Yet it is disturbingly widespread. This week the South Korean customs department revealed it had foiled 35 attempts to smuggle these ‘human-flesh pills’ across its border and seized more than 17,000 of them from China in just nine months. The contraband was either taken into the country in passengers’ luggage or posted in parcels registered as traditional Chinese herbal medicines.
This grotesquely unsavoury industry appears to cash in on China’s strict family planning laws, which limit most families to just one child each and are said to result in 13 million abortions a year, the equivalent of more than 35,000 terminations a day.
The country, which has a population of more than 1.3 billion, is said to have ‘dying rooms’ in hospitals where unwanted newborn babies are abandoned to perish. Those trying to avoid a huge fine for violating the one-child laws have even been known to commit outright infanticide.
Now, unscrupulous pharmacists, hospital workers and even the relatives of those having abortions are making money from archaic beliefs that consuming infant cells can cure and rejuvenate us.
This bizarre notion dates back hundreds of years to China’s Ming dynasty. And the belief if that the nearer the foetus is to its birth date, the more healing properties it harbours.
The true extent of the trade in China’s human-flesh pills emerged when an undercover team from South Korea’s SBS television channel highlighted the problem.
The footage taken by the team showed how placentas — the most common form of illegal human flesh traded in China for alternative medicine — are sold alongside the dried organs of creatures including snakes and bats from around the world to satisfy an appetite for powders, soups and potions said to have tremendous healing properties.
It also reveals how herb ‘clinics’ or ‘chemists’ in northern Chinese towns, including Yanji, Jilin, Qingdao and Tianjin, sell pills made from human foetuses.
Secretly filmed footage shows a pharmacist wearing pristine white overalls at one chemist admitting that she stocks ‘human-flesh capsules’.
She is filmed in a room containing huge wooden cabinets with row after row of small rectangular drawers containing drugs and rare herbs, and at one point she stands on tip-toe to reach a top shelf where she pulled down a hidden bag of red and yellow capsules.
She opens up a pill, agrees that the contents give off a bad smell, and then explains that the foetus that made this batch of tablets was nearly seven months old before its life was terminated.
‘They were made recently,’ she says. ‘These are really good for you. Take it twice a day. Don’t take too much, otherwise you will get a nosebleed.’ After agreeing the sale with the undercover reporter, she decants the tablets into a pill box marked with a prescription label for back pain.
Later, another shopkeeper advises ‘patients’ to take the pills only during colder months to avoid sweating out their health benefits.
What they fail to explain — quite apart from the appalling moral issues raised — is just how dangerous swallowing the powdered flesh of another human being can be. Tests on tablets seized recently by South Korean border control officers found the contents of some were made up of the DNA from three human foetuses.
The television crew discovered that the make-up of the pills they bought were between 97 per cent and 99 per cent human. And they all contained high levels of harmful bacteria, many of them of a type that could only have come from decomposing bodies.
According to ancient Oriental lore, material from babies or foetuses contains life-giving human properties inherent only in such young cells.
They are credited with boosting stamina for the frail and old, as well as improving sexual performance. They are also said to help those suffering respiratory problems or lung disease.
While the trade in such drugs is thought to be more frequent in communist China, smugglers see the capitalist state of South Korea as an increasingly lucrative market. Pills that were once sold for as little as 50p are believed to be fetching up to £25 among the population of China’s affluent near neighbour.
According to the undercover team, the smell at this stage was overpowering. Hair and nails were discernable in the human material
The pills used to be shipped to South Korea brazenly in clear plastic cellophane bags, but more recently smugglers have had to become increasingly sophisticated and use orthodox dark brown pill bottles, with sealed caps and labelled with the names of legitimate drugs or more traditional Chinese herbal medicines to evade detection.
Ground-up aromatic herbs have also been added to the capsules to try to disguise the smell of what is, to all intents and purpose, rotting dried flesh.
The frozen ‘raw ingredients’ (a euphemism for freeze-dried human flesh) are also for sale. A single foetus fetches hundreds of pounds because it can be ‘processed’ into so many tablets with a far more lucrative street value. An entire placenta sells for about £100.
Perhaps the most distressing element of this horrifying trade is the pitiless nature of the manufacturing process. During the undercover filming last year, the SBS journalists saw how a foetus could be turned into pills in just two days.
Once the hospital pharmacist had defrosted the foetus stored in her kitchen fridge, she cut it into ‘manageable pieces’. Overnight she dried it out on absorbent paper before slowly microwaving it on a low heat.
According to the undercover team, the smell at this stage was overpowering. Hair and nails were discernable in the human material.
Once it was thoroughly dried, the pharmacist placed the flesh into a herbal grinder, not unlike a kitchen food processor, to render it down to a coarse, light brown powder, similar to the texture of human ashes following a cremation. That powder would then be put into soluble capsules which were counted out into bags for packing, shipment and sale.
Those who have sold or taken such pills speak remarkably candidly to the television team about the perceived effects of the tablets.
A Korean woman living in China explained how she had given her son the pills because he had a lung problem. She says: ‘The hospital had said they couldn’t help him. My child took the capsules for one month and he got better.’
A small trader at a market in Seoul, South Korea, adds: ‘A couple of years ago we took them many times. When we ran out I contacted my son living in North East China who posted them to us.’ At that time she was just paying about 50p per tablet, and would get them shipped to her in batches of 100 or 120.
She adds: ‘It’s really good medicine. You will be jumping around because you will be so full of energy. But the pills are now expensive.’
Another woman had so much faith in the treatment that she bought a foetus on the black market and ground it down to make her own tablets. ‘I would get it raw, cut it, burn it and powder it,’ she says, adding: ‘It’s widely known that it’s very good for you.’
Modern research has shown all such health claims to be baseless. Indeed, far from being curative, the pills are far more likely to be poisonous.
Earlier this week, China’s Ministry of Health spokesman Deng Haihau said his officers would investigate reports of the trade, but said no proof that such capsules were being manufactured had yet been presented to him.
‘Improvements have been made in the regulation of such drugs, but we do come across bad practices’Professor Dali Yang, University of Chicago’s Beijing School
Last night a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman refused to comment on the South Korean customs findings or the investigation by the television journalists.
But Professor Dali Yang, of the University of Chicago’s Beijing School, said that while there had been a concerted effort by Chinese authorities to tighten up food standards, traditional medicines had been largely overlooked.
‘The traditional Chinese medicine sector has been under-regulated and this is because there has always been a claim by the manufactures that their medicines contain a secret ingredient, but they refuse to offer details,’ he says.
Professor Yang believes the practice of using human flesh in pills exists, but is probably quite rare.
‘Historically, in traditional Chinese medicine, the placenta has been used,’ he said. ‘If aborted babies have been used in this instance, I would say it is an isolated case.
‘Regulation of such drugs in China is a work in progress. There have been improvements but at the same time, because of the size of the industry, we do come across bad practices.’
Clearly, if true, the claims by South Korean customs would suggest the trade is rather more widespread. And the concern in the months to come will be just how seriously the Chinese authorities take the allegations — for it is a state that does not take kindly to criticism
……again, I ask would you do anything just to get better…to get rid of that chronic cough or back pain??!!…Is this what they meant when they said research was promising and “in the right direction”… some mortifying, horrific version of stem cell research??
The most dangerous drug in the world: ‘Devil’s Breath’ chemical from Colombia can block free will, wipe memory and even kill
Scopolamine often blown into faces of victims or added to drinks
Within minutes, victims are like ‘zombies’ – coherent, but with no free will
Some victims report emptying bank accounts to robbers or helping them pillage own house
Drug is made from borrachero tree, which is common in Colombia
A hazardous drug that eliminates free will and can wipe the memory of its victims is currently being dealt on the streets of Colombia.
The drug is called scopolamine, but is colloquially known as ‘The Devil’s Breath,’ and is derived from a particular type of tree common to South America.
Stories surrounding the drug are the stuff of urban legends, with some telling horror stories of how people were raped, forced to empty their bank accounts, and even coerced into giving up an organ
Deadly drug: Scopolamine is made from the Borrachero tree, which blooms with deceptively beautiful white and yellow flowers
VICE’s Ryan Duffy travelled to the country to find out more about the powerful drug. In two segments, he revealed the shocking culture of another Colombian drug world, interviewing those who deal the drug and those who have fallen victim to it.
Demencia Black, a drug dealer in the capital of Bogota, said the drug is frightening for the simplicity in which it can be administered.
He told Vice that Scopolamine can be blown in the face of a passer-by on the street, and within minutes, that person is under the drug’s effect – scopolamine is odourless and tasteless.
‘You can guide them wherever you want,’ he explained. ‘It’s like they’re a child.’
Black said that one gram of Scopolamine is similar to a gram of cocaine, but later called it ‘worse than anthrax.’
In high doses, it is lethal.
The drug, he said, turns people into complete zombies and blocks memories from forming. So even after the drug wears off, victims have no recollection as to what happened.
One victim told Vice that a man approached her on the street asking her for directions. Since it was close by, she helped take the man to his destination, and they drank juice together.
‘You can guide them wherever you want. It’s like they’re a child.’
She took the man to her house and helped him gather all of her belongings, including her boyfriend’s cameras and savings.
‘It is painful to have lost money,’ the woman said,’ but I was actually quite lucky.’
According to the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, the drug – also known as hyoscine – causes the same level of memory loss as diazepam.
In ancient times, the drug was given to the mistresses of dead Colombian leaders – they were told to enter their master’s grave, where they were buried alive.
Devil’s Breath: The drug is odourless and tasteless and can simply be blown in the face of someone on the street; their free will vanishes after being exposed to it
In modern times, the CIA used the drug as part of Cold War interrogations, with the hope of using it like a truth serum.
However, because of the drug’s chemical makeup, it also induces powerful hallucinations.
The tree common around Colombia, and is called the ‘borrachero’ tree – loosely translated as the ‘get-you-drunk’ tree.
It is said that Colombian mothers warn their children not to fall asleep under the tree, though the leafy green canopies and large yellow and white flowers seem appealing.
Experts are baffled as to why Colombia is riddled with scopolamine-related crimes, but wager much of it has to do with the country’s torn drug-culture past, and on-going civil war.
click here to watch a documentary on it….WARNING: CONTENT MAY BE UNSUITABLE FOR SOME READERS!
OH my. Barack Obama’s caught in a love triangle and it may harm his election chances.
The Amateur, written by Edward Klein, a former editor of the New York Times Magazine, says the First Lady became jealous of Oprah’s access to her husband shortly after he won the 2008 election.
It claims Mr Obama used to drop everything to take Oprah’s calls and the talk show host began to believe she had earned right to shape White House since she was instrumental in helping him win the election.
But the relationship soon started to cool, as extracts of the book published in the New York Post make clear:
“It soon became apparent that something had gone wrong between Oprah and the new administration – or, more precisely, between Oprah and Michelle Obama,” Klein says in the book.
“The problem seemed to originate from two of Michelle’s advisers, Valerie Jarrett and Desirée Rogers, the new White House social secretary. They resented Oprah’s meddling. Among other things, Oprah had a plan to redecorate the Lincoln bedroom. She also had ideas about how Michelle could put more zing into White House social events.
“As the person who controlled access to the first couple, Valerie Jarrett saw Oprah as a potential threat to her power. If Oprah went unchecked, she would bypass Valerie and go directly to the president and First Lady. And so Valerie set about turning Michelle against Oprah. Oprah was too close to the president . . . Oprah was acting like she was the first lady . . . Oprah didn’t know her place . . . Oprah was a bad influence . . . Valerie advised Michelle to ‘distance herself’ from Oprah and cut her out of the White House inner circle.
“It didn’t take much to convince Michelle. As far as Michelle was concerned, Oprah’s billions and her elite lifestyle disqualified her as an adviser to Barack.”
The book further alleges that Mrs Obama made a jibe about Oprah’s weight and refers to an alleged disagreement the pair had over Mrs Obama’s childhood obesity campaign.
Oprah allegedly screamed out to a friend after being dropped: “Michelle hates fat people and doesn’t want me waddling around the White House!”
A White House spokesman has said that Klein has made up stories to sell his book. “Nobody in their right mind would believe the nonsense in this one.”
Although the Obamas have appeared on Oprah’s shows since the alleged rift, Oprah isn’t as close to Obama’s election campaign as she was in 2007 and the book will put a further strain on the relationship.
….as they say with great power comes great responsibility…..or is it, keep your friends close,but your enemies closer..?? whatever the case, they rich, they’re powerfull…this shouldn’t affect you in any way whatsoever.?!! I think!
…this is a video that caught many with utter disbelief….shock, disappointment, dis-approval..even disgust. A young girl of 15, 9th grade, believe she’s all grown up and ready to have her own baby.
At this tender age, the girl has slept with men over 300 times…wait for it….without any kind of protection whatsoever!!! She went live on an American show Late last year, with her mother…on set…crying and breaking down!
“….WHATEVA! I DO WHAT I WANT AND I GONNA HAVE MAH BABY!!!!!..” she says..
the Video went viral since then…if you haven’t watched it…click to play…
Now, am not an expert on behavioral science, so i wouldn’t know what you would do to her if she was your daughter…but best bilieve, I know Kenyans, and its safe to assume, that if she was Kenyan, her folks wuda knocked the lights…or is it senses, into her!!
New book raises more questions on the death of Olympics star
A Dutch writer who has been documenting the circumstances surrounding the death of Olympic champion Samuel Wanjiru for months describes his tragic fall as “strongly suspicious”.
In an exclusive interview about a new book marking the first anniversary of the star’s death, Frits Conijn makes a series of extraordinary claims regarding the mysterious death of the runner in his home on the night of May 15, last year.
“The evidence concerning his death is not conclusive. But I can smell a rat,” says Conijn, who has co-authored Death Runner, the tragic end of Olympic marathon champion with Simon Maziku.
“The technical evidence is very strange — blood in the bedroom, maybe he cut himself shaving — but the contradictions in the testimonies are even stranger.”
Next Tuesday, the sports world will mark the first anniversary of Olympic marathon champion Samuel Kamau Wanjiru’s death.
And to commemorate the star’s passing, Dutch journalist Frits Conijn on Tuesday launched a book that seeks to answer many questions that surrounded the star’s mysterious death following a night fall from the balcony of his Nyahururu home.
The 288-page book titled Doodloper – Het tragische einde van Olympisch marathonkampioen Samuel Wanjiru), which translates to “Death Runner – The tragic end of Olympic marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru,” has been published by Tirion Uitgevers of Herculesplein in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
The Dutch version hit the shelves on Tuesday with the launch of the English version expected soon.
Doodloper is a story about unique talent, adultery, poverty, witchcraft, humiliation and the world of top sport.
“I knew Samuel Wanjiru as someone with a perpetual smile on his face,” top athletics manager Jos Hermens of The Netherlands said in his foreward.
“This story clarifies the tragedy that was hiding behind it,” the Global Sports Communications head adds.
“Kenya was plunged in deep mourning. Samuel Wanjiru, the Olympic marathon winner of 2008 fell from his balcony and died at an early age,” Conijn, who co-authored the book with Tanzania-born Simon Maziku, now a Dutch citizen, told the Daily Nation on Wednesday.
“There were rumours of suicide and murder in international media but a thorough investigation after his untimely death was not carried out.
Until today, speculations about his fatal fall continue.”
Conijn and Maziku spoke to people from Wanjiru’s inner circle.
In their book, they describe how the super athlete is confronted with the downsides of his international fame.
How he ran on a road with a dead end.
In collaboration with a Dutch pathologist, the authors found evidence of a cover up and their final conclusions are staggering.
Wanjiru remains an intriguing character, a man who gave the marathon a whole new dimension.
“He was someone who brought Kenyan tribes together, but ironically the dark circumstances around his death drove them apart again,” Conijn said on Wednesday.
Conijn raises numerous questions regarding the statements made at the time by his widow Terezah Njeri, with whom they had well publicised run-ins before and, apparently, on the night he died.
The athlete died on the day he returned to Nyahururu from a training camp in Eldoret at the request of his wife, who said she was ill and in need of medical treatment.
After arriving at 9pm to find no one home, the runner drove into town and set on a drinking spree before returning home for the last time.
It is clear that he returned home later that night with a female companion, Margaret Nduta, and that Terezah found them and stormed out in a huff but no one knows yet what precisely happened next as to lead to the runner’s death.
In emailed responses to the Saturday Nation, Conijn is scathing of the police investigation and their failure to extract more information from Terezah, Nduta and the watchman who must have seen more than he said.
He castigates the police for failing to protect the crime scene that was visited by numerous people allowed into the compound on the ill-fated night, saying this was a deliberate move to cover up evidence.
After a year’s review of the evidence and interviews with witnesses and acquaintances of the family, the author lists numerous contradictions that have yet to be answered:
How come Terezah, Nduta and the watchman were never thoroughly interrogated?
One time Terezah says she discovered Sammy and Nduta in the living room, next time it is the bedroom. Which is the truth?
Terezah says she only knew the next day her husband died. But two witnesses (independent from each other) told the author that they found her at the police station 20 minutes after Wanjiru’s death.
How come Terezah was not aware of the fall of her husband? She could not have been far and round that time of the night it is very quiet.
Terezah is not very clear on the reason why she wanted Sammy to come back to Nyahururu. First she says it was about dowry payment, then to ‘take her to hospital’, and lastly she wanted them to discuss about an investment in a transport firm.
Terezah is not very clear on when she came back from Nairobi. And why would she come to hospital in Nyahururu when there are better facilities in Nairobi where she was?
Where did the blood in the bedroom come from? Whose was it and did detectives carry out any tests?
Why did the police do such shoddy investigation?
How come the watchman knows nothing? He claims he knew of the events when he saw Wanjiru under the balcony. Strange, if the story of Terezah is true, there was a lot of shouting before.
How come the watchman did not see Nduta in the car when Sammy wanted to enter the compound? The star stopped at the gate and asked him if Terezah was home.
Why was Terezah insisting on the funeral? Why not wait till the investigation was finished and the results were published then she would have been off the hook for good?
Why are the authorities not cooperating with Sammy’s mother, Hannah, push for more investigation?
The author claims the plot to kill the athlete could have been hatched five months earlier when police found foreign currency equivalent to Sh33 million in his house during a swoop for an alleged illegal pistol.
“On December 31, 2010, police stormed Wanjiru’s house and allegedly found an AK-47 rifle and also took away a small portable safe where they believed a pistol was after Wanjiru declined to open it.
“According to three witnesses (independent from each other) there was Sh33 million ($390,842 by today’s exchange rate). So maybe the police wanted to cover this up, now Wanjiru can never claim the money again.”
Prior to this Wanjiru would buy friends and strangers drinks at local pubs and then proceed to engage in rowdy behaviour, fighting and breaking glasses in pubs which he would later pay with a handsome ‘tip’ for the waiters.
Police officers called to the pub would quickly withdraw after receiving instructions from their seniors not to ‘touch’ Wanjiru.
On December 31, 2010, Wanjiru came home drunk and a quarrel erupted with his wife. Terezah fled as Wanjiru went to collect a gun to “teach her a lesson”.
She ran to Nyahururu Police Station where she reported the matter.
Then Divisional Police Commander Jasper Ombati and CID counterpart Isaac Onyango led a raid on the house during which an AK-47 rifle was recovered and Wanjiru arrested for threatening to kill his wife and his then watchman William Masinde, who had allowed Terezah to drive out of the compound.
Terezah later dropped the charges saying she had forgiven her husband. She also disclosed that they would invest jointly and spend more time together to cement their relationship.
The couple kept off the limelight until February 14 when they turned up for the Valentine’s dinner at the Carnivore Restaurant in Nairobi.
The couple was evidently smitten with each other and the public display of love convinced many people that they had recovered from the tumultuous events that led to the athlete being charged in court for violent conduct.
When Wanjiru won the Olympics gold medal, he organised two homecoming celebrations sponsored by corporate giants. The first was to celebrate the country’s first marathon victory and the second for winning a Sh100 million jackpot marathon in October 2009.
There were meet-the-people tours in Nairobi, Nyeri, Nyahururu, Kinangop, Kipipiri and Ol Kalou which culminated in a State House trip that confirmed Wanjiru’s moment had come early at 21.
Looking back, his Japanese coach could have been right to say the Kenyans who turned out for the tours never took care of Wanjiru’s soul.
And the few who passed for his friends only cared about his deep pockets (money).
“According to me there should be programmes for young athletes. How can you expect them to deal with such amounts of money without any education? Maybe the youngsters should be connected with experienced or former ones who experienced everything,” said Mr Koichi Morishita.
In Japan everybody described him as a very kind young man. When he was second in London and already a big star, he still paced for his team-mates to help them make the Olympics cut. Sammy was an excellent pacer, but in the last few metres he wanted to win, adds Japanese international athletic coach Koichi Morishita.
Morishita says he knew Wanjiru, liked him very much but was still puzzled that he (Wanjiru) remained largely ‘unpredictable’.
“To me it feels as if the tribal culture was insufficient for Wanjiru. Normally the youngsters are controlled by a lack of money and by the elderly. But what to do with a young man who earned more than $6 million? The only solution is they (elders) can control themselves (to keep away from Wanjiru), but the tribal culture seems to be more about social control,” he said in the interview.
That Wanjiru never appreciated his new status is not news. He was often caught up in pub fist fights, and was said to have once drawn a pistol on a pastor after their vehicles were involved in a minor accident.
The shocked pastor reported the incident to police but no action was taken. Only a group of local coaches and athletes visited the marathon icon and urged him to shun binge drinking.
Wanjiru loved his beer and would revel with non-athletes late into the night. Anybody who cared for a free drink, including security officers, was invited to the open party as long as they continued singing praises of the star. As many would say, this was one generous man who knew how to buy beer and liked being praised for what he was.
To fit his stature, Wanjiru would change cars like clothes with top of the range vehicles being his favourite.
But amid all this chaos, the father of two would also find them to nurture, support and donate cash to budding athletes in Nyahururu. He set up a training camp for them.
After the gun fiasco, Wanjiru left Nyahururu and reportedly bought a house in Nairobi where he moved with his young family to escape the bad publicity that was threatening to overcome his prowess on the track.
The Dutch author says Terezah ‘really’ wanted to meet Wanjiru in Nyahururu and not in Nakuru or at their Nairobi home.
“It is not very clear on when she came back from Nairobi. Strange to come back for the hospital in Nyahururu! Why did she want to see Sammy? Sometimes it is about the dowry, the next time he has to take her to the hospital, another time they have to talk about an investment in a transport firm” says the Dutchman.
Wanjiru’s close associates say Terezah kept calling him as he left Eldoret where he had been training for an international race.
Judy Wambui, who bore Wanjiru a son he never saw, says when the star arrived at her house in Nakuru, Terezah called him several times. Wanjiru would later travel to Nyahururu that evening.
And when he arrived, he went drinking turning up at home with Jane Nduta. It’s here that the detail is lost in contradicting tales by the police, his widow and watchman.
Conijn does not believe that Terezah learnt about her husband’s death the next morning. He says Gatheru and a Mr Ngatia said they found her at the police station 20 minutes after the incident.
“How comes Terezah was not aware of the fall of her husband?
According to Nduta, Wanjiru opened balcony door after Njeri locked them in the bedroom.
The CCTV shows Terezah leaving the small gate followed by the watchman who then abruptly turns round and runs towards the balcony.
Confused he runs to the pedestrian gate and goes out. He returns and runs back to the guard house then towards the balcony gesticulating in despair.
Nduta, in an earlier interview with the Nation, said she followed the star to the balcony only to find him missing. She then called the watchman.
“The watchman asked me, can’t you see him lying down here”, but this could not be verified as the security camera at the balcony was not working.
The watchman said Wanjiru jumped over the balcony in a bid to stop Terezah from telling the world he had a woman in the house despite his earlier promise that he would never do that again.