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Marathoner Sammy Wanjiru possibly murdered, says pathologist

Wanjiru and Kebede

The 2008 Olympic marathon champion, Sammy Wanjiru, died from what was reported as a leap from his balcony in May of 2011, but one of Kenya’s top pathologists is now reporting he believes Wanjiru was killed after the jump from being struck in the head by a blunt object.

The then-24-year-old was known for erratic and eccentric behaviours, which included threatening to kill his wife and illegally owning an AK-47. He was reported to also have been a heavy drinker. When the Olympic champion’s wife returned home to him in bed with another woman, he leapt 4.5m from the balcony of his home. The runner was reported dead from suicide on May 15, 2011.

Now Dr. Moses Njue says that the height from which Wanjiru fell and the injuries to his limbs suggest the runner could not have been killed from that fall and he believes Wanjiru was killed of blunt trauma from being struck in the head after falling from the balcony.

“I am convinced that the deceased was independently hit by another person. This was after he had fallen off the balcony. The injury on the head was independently inflicted and not from the fall as a result of a heavy flat object with a maximum velocity,” Njue said to a court and the Kenyan media. “According to the injuries on his palms and knees, it means that he fell like a cat. It was not possible for the deceased to have fallen then rebounded back to sustain such serious injuries on the head.”

Njue’s inquest into the death was ordered after three earlier post-mortems all came back claiming different results.


Wanjiru is remembered as the youngest person since the 1930s to win the Olympic marathon and for his notably aggressive racing style.