My Life in Crime

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My Life in Crime, The late 1960s and early 70s may be remembered as the years of the great. bank and other armed robberies in Kenya This is the true story of one of the. participants in some of those robberies John Kiriamiti In raw and candid. language he tells the story of how he dropped out of secondary school when. he was only fifteen years old and for a time became a novice pickpocket . before graduating into crimes like car breaking and ultimately into violent. robbery This spellbinding story takes the reader into the underworld of. crime and it depicts graphically the criminal s struggle for survival against. the forces of law , John Kiriamiti who was imprisoned on 6th January 1971 after being. convicted on a charge of committing robbery at Naivasha on 4 November. 1970 left Naivasha Maximum Security Prison in August 1984 just five. months after the publication of this fast selling novel . Spear Books, 1 Sugar Daddy s Lover Rosemarie Owino. 2 Lover in the Sky Sam Kahiga, 3 A Girl Cannot Go on Laughing All the Time Magaga Alot. 4 The Love Root Mwangi Ruheni, 5 Mystery Smugglers Mwangi Ruheni.
6 The Ivory Merchant Mwangi Gicheru, 7 A Brief Assignment Ayub Ndii. 8 Colour of Carnations Ayub Ndii, 9 A Taste of Business Aubrey Kalitera. 10 No Strings Attached Yusuf K Dawood,11 Queen of Gems Laban Erapu. 12 A Prisoner s Letter Aubrey Kalitera,13 A Woman Reborn Koigi wa Wamwere. 14 The Bhang Syndicate Frank Saisi,15 My Life in Crime John Kiriamiti.
16 Son of Fate John Kiriamiti,17 The Sinister Trophy John Kiriamiti. 18 My Life in Prison John Kiriamiti, 19 My Life with a Criminal Milly s Story John Kiriamiti. 20 Black Gold of Chepkube Wamugunda Geteria,21 Nice People Wamugunda Geteria. 22 Ben Kamba 009 in Operation DXT David Maillu,23 The Ayah David Maillu. 24 Son of Woman Charles Mangua,25 A Tail in the Mouth Charles Mangua.
26 Son of Woman in Mombasa Charles Mangua,27 Kenyatta s Jiggers Charles Mangua. 28 A Worm in the Head Charles K Githae,29 Comrade Inmate Charles K Githae. 30 Twilight Woman Thomas Akare, 31 Life and Times of a Bank Robber John Kiggia Kimani. 32 Prison is not a Holiday Camp John Kiggia Kimani. 33 The Operator Chris Mwangi, 34 Three Days on the Cross Wahome Mutahi. 35 Birds of Kamiti Benjamin Bundeh,36 Times Beyond Omondi Mak Oloo.
37 Lady in Chains Genga Idowu,38 Mayor in Prison Karuga Wandai. 39 Confession of an AIDS Victim Carolyne Adalla,40 The American Standard Sam DeSanto. 41 From Home Guard to Mau Mau Elisha Mbabu,42 The Girl was Mine David Karanja. 43 Links of a Chain Monica Genya,44 The Wrong Kind of Girl Monica Genya. 45 The Other Side of Love Monica Genya,46 Unmarried Wife Sitwala Imenda.
47 Dar es Salaam By Night Ben Mtobwa,48 A Place of No Return Mervill Powell. 49 The Verdict of Death Onduko bw Atebe,50 The Spurt of Flames Okelo Nyandong. 51 The Unbroken Spirit Wanjiru Waithaka,52 Tower of Terror Macharia Magu. 53 The Nest of my Heart Florence Mbaya, My Life in Crime. John Kiriamiti, Spear Books,Nairobi Kampala Dar es Salaam Kigali.
CONTENTS,Chapter One,Chapter Two,Chapter Three,Chapter Four. Chapter Five,Chapter Six,Chapter Seven,Chapter Eight. Chapter Nine,Chapter Ten,Chapter Eleven,Chapter Twelve. Chapter Thirteen,Chapter Fourteen,Copyright, Except for the names of persons the names of places and the scenes of the. crimes referred to in this story every other element is true . The preparation and the plans of each crime really took place in one place. or the other I have tried to keep as much to the truth as possible If any name. of a person or any place coincided with those in this book the reader should. stay aware that nothing of the sort had been intended . Most of the characters referred to in fictitious names are serving from 14 to. 45 years imprisonment some are serving life sentences while others have. been sentenced to death and some are dead The escape to Congo and the. return to Kenya is as true as the rest of the book . As concerns my part in it be good and forget it I am already a reformed. person , John Kiriamiti, CHAPTER ONE, Before my life in crime I never believed that a man or group of people could.
sit together and conspire to rob blackmail kidnap murder or commit other. acts of felony But now I know , I am about thirty as I write this book I was born on 14th February 1950. and I was imprisoned on 6th January 1971 So eight of those years have been. wasted in prison I still have others ahead of me The judge who sentenced. me knew exactly what he was doing I always think in his life he had never. heard of the word mercy and if he had he did not care what the hell it meant . I was born to a relatively well to do family My father Albert Kiriamiti . and my mother Anne Wanjiru were teachers and therefore in my youth I. was well provided for I completed my primary education in Thuita School . Thuita School is in Murang a about fifteen miles from the town In the lower. primary my mother was one of the teachers and I ll say I never enjoyed it. because she used to beat me so hard that I often thought of escaping from. school As a mother she was very sweet but I never brought myself to. believe that she was the same woman when we went to school When I went. to the upper primary I was glad to know that I would no longer be in her. class , In 1963 after I had passed my K A P E I went to St Mary s Secondary. School in Murang a town I never liked the school and before the end of my. first year I applied for a place at New Nairobi High School later renamed St . Mark s High School I did not care what kind of a school it was all I wanted. was to be in Nairobi If only I knew Nairobi would turn me into a helpless. person I would have hated the look of it for good as I now do My brother. Sammy who had caught up with me in primary school was also in Nairobi at. the Prince of Wales School He was a boarder but I was a day student so. mother took me to stay with her brother in Bahati . After two years in secondary school I did my K J S E and got good. results I did not want to go back to school but since I did not have anything. else to do I was forced by circumstances to go back In 1965 before the end. of the third year I was expelled from school for taking part in a strike I was. the ring leader and so I was expelled with my followers I never reported this. to my parents since I needed the money they gave me for school fees and the. daily bus fare I got from my uncle I would therefore wake up early as usual . taking my bag and busfare and I would go to town Sometimes I was given. money to eat out and sometimes I would go home for lunch . It would have worked out all right or so I thought if my brother Sammy. had not interfered I think he became jealous of the fact that I was fitting. myself better with my school fees I have told you of that part of my uncle. since I always think that it was the cause of all my troubles I was then used. to town life going from this nightclub to the other and I was sure there was. nothing better in life except may be the movies I do not know even today. how my brother came to know about all this but he knew He wrote home and. informed my parents without my knowledge They must have written to my. uncle to tell him they would come for as I came to work out later he knew. they were coming My aunt was not aware for she would have told me since. we were on very good terms She had arrived a week before my parents . One bright Saturday morning my uncle told me not to go out to town He. said he would come back soon and wanted a word with me I should have. guessed then but I didn t At about twelve my mother arrived at four o clock. my father arrived with my brother Sammy I was not surprised to see them. for they used to make such visits at least once every month In the evening. when we had all taken our supper my father started We were all seated. around the table discussing one thing or other He said How are you doing. in school young boys I said I was doing well Brother Sammy said he was. doing well too , You look very bright these days Jack very smart too Seems as if your. uncle spares you a lot of pocket money , I did not answer him and neither did the phrase surprise me as it had been. said to me several times since I left school After a short silence he turned to. me again I did not want to meet his eyes for if I did so I would not be able to. talk myself out of his many tricks , Jack I don t see why we should beat around the bush I know as well as.
you do that you are no longer in school For almost one year you have. cheated me off a handful of money intended for your school fees Anyway I. will forget about that but your foolish tricks have come to a brick wall Now. tell me why did you leave school , I was expelled I said . I knew the game was up I knew too that he had not come there to persuade. me to go back to school but to take me home back to the reserve a place I. had come to hate , Why were you expelled he asked me . They said that I had engineered a strike because we were not getting. enough text books and fees were high but I was not involved . Then why didn t you tell me Why did you keep on asking me for your. school fees if you are as good as you pretend to be I would have taken you. to another school or found you something better to do Now you have wasted. a lot of my money for nothing , He was now very annoyed I was afraid he would start something worse. but the fact that there were many people restrained him . Anyway you know the penalty he continued Pack everything you have. for at this time tomorrow you will be at home , For the first time since my father started talking someone else spoke It. was my uncle Jack say something I never thought there would be a time. you d have nothing to say Persuade your father not to take you home You. know I want you around here Since you came I feel my house is more secure. even when I am out , I was very annoyed for I knew he was mocking me I knew he liked me as.
much as he liked a rattle snake beside him in bed I knew he wanted me as far. away from his house as possible only he could not be frank enough to say so . I therefore turned to him and said Look here Tom do not think even for one. second that you ll be able to cheat me and these people I know as well as. you do that you don t like me I have been standing between you and a lot of. things you have always wanted to do I realised this the day I came home. earlier than my usual time only to find the door locked from the inside You. have now forgotten the way you behaved when I saw the girl you had. brought home That girl who sells Kenya Charity Sweepstake tickets on. Government Road , I said that to let the others know that not only did I know that he brought. women home but that I also knew which women Not that that was the. particular girl who was then with him but I wanted my accusations to have. some weight I also knew how harsh his wife was especially where other. women were concerned so I continued You also seem to have forgotten the. other one who came and , My mother here interfered by telling me to behave myself and not show off. in front of them but before she managed to quieten me completely my aunt. jumped in She seemed to think that my mother was defending her brother. and she told her that if she did not mind her husband fooling about with other. women my aunt did and that it was her business if There was a lot of noise. as the men joined in each telling his wife to hold her tongue I was smiling. broadly and for the first time since we had started talking I felt happy . When all was quiet I stood up and looked at all surrounding the table I. then looked at the photos on the picture rail on the wall I stared at each as if. it were my first time to see them I looked at my brother once more and I. hated him I then went to the window drew the curtains a little bit and. looked outside I saw a bus come to a stop pick up some people and drop. some , This is what town life is like I thought and went back to my seat I was. very quiet and did not say anything As I sat down I forced a cough . wondering what would be next I was well aware that this would be my last. day in Nairobi as long as I was to stay under my parents rule I also knew. that I had spoilt everything Even if I escaped from home after being taken. there Tom would not accommodate me even for a night I therefore pulled. myself together and prepared for the worst I came to a conclusion that even. if I went home I would go back to Nairobi with or without their consent We. did not talk more that night and after a time we all went to bed . I tried to sleep but I could not I had so many thoughts in my mind But. eventually I fell asleep I woke up very late the following day I did not want. to talk to anybody so I took my box and started packing By twelve o clock. that day we were at the Machakos bus stop waiting for a bus to Murang a . I did not give a damn for I was doing all that to please them A day or two. after arriving home I would board another bus for Nairobi . At home I was welcomed by my young brothers and sisters They were. very happy to see me They did not seem to know that it was not through my. My Life in Crime The late 1960s and early 70s may be remembered as the years of the great bank and other armed robberies in Kenya This is the true story of one of the participants in some of those robberies John Kiriamiti In raw and candid language he tells the story of how he dropped out of secondary school when

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