LetsRun.com Goes To Kenya - Post #1: Sammy Wanjiru Was Not Murdered
LetsRun.com Explains How One Can Get Locked Into A Bedroom In Kenya

By Robert Johnson
July 12, 2011

Editor's Note: A few weeks ago, LetsRun.com co-founder Robert Johnson traveled to Kenya, spending two-plus weeks in the country. Over the next week or so, he will be providing a series of posts about the trip to give you insight into the country that is home to many of the world's greatest distance runners.

Post #1: Sammy Wanjiru Was Not Murdered - LetsRun.com Explains How One Can Get Locked Into A Bedroom In Kenya

Early on during my trip, I had breakfast with a prominent running journalist and asked him about the Sammy Wanjiru case. He confirmed to me what Wanjiru's agent had said as well and what the police had initially said as well - his death was an accident.

The journalist said that the murder innuendo was primarily the result of a few things.

1) Media members trying to sell papers - a possible murder of an Olympic champion is definitely a juicy story. This certainly seemed to be the case, as whenever I asked the average Kenyan person on the street about running, many of them seemed to know little about running but if I asked them specifically about Wanjiru, nearly everyone seemed to know he had died and many were wondering themselves if he'd been murdered.

2) Media members trying to cover the story from Nairobi and not from where his death actually took place.

3) Greed/craziness from Sammy's mother. Apparently, Sammy's money is controlled by a trust which a lot of different people help manage, but if the wife is implicated in Wanjiru's death, then that is one less person standing between Wanjiru's mom and the money.

In case you haven't realized it, Wanjiru's mother certainly hasn't come off looking good after his death, as at one point she literally took out a machete to prevent his burial. We know many people haven't seen the video, but it reveals a lot about the whole case and thus we list it below for you to watch.

We also have posted below our own video from Kenya. Many Americans reading about Wanjiru's death were perplexed by one key aspect. Some press reports indicated that Wanjiru got in a fight with his wife and then tried to jump off the balcony to go after her after he was locked into his own bedroom. When reading this, many American visitors had a simple question as this message board topic indicates: Can someone explain how you get locked IN a bedroom??

The answer in Kenya is very simple. Virtually every single door we saw in Kenya can be locked from the front or back with a key - unlike in America, where normally only a key works from the outside. See for yourself below.

 
A Standard Kenyan Door Can Be
Locked With A Key From Both Sides


Sammy Wanjiru's Mother With A Machete

Oh yeah, one more thing. The journalist we had breakfast with said he'd seen Sammy jump of the balcony himself prior to his death. He said after a long run, Sammy went inside to get some sort of Gatorade-type drink he had in his room and he leapt down after grabbing it. I mention this just so people realize that Wanjiru trying to jump off the balcony wasn't a crazy notion that he'd only do if he trying to commit suicide or if he was pushed and murdered. Rather it was something he had done before and might try again - except if you are intoxicated and mess up and hit your head, then you are in serious trouble.


Side #1 Of Door With Lock
(Note: this is a different door than the one in the video above)


Side #2 Of Door With Lock
(Note: this is a different door than the one in the video above)

Previous Kenya Coverage From 2007:
Kenya: LetsRun.com's Wejo went to Kenya for the World XC Championships and then he toured the country and explored the secrets of some of the Kenyan greats. See some of his insights on this incredible country.
Controlled Chaos
Read about the incredible, one-of-kind 2007 World XC Championships in Mombasa, Kenya. Tens of thousands of people packed like sardines, hanging in trees, in oppressive heat, all to see the Cross-Country Championships for the first time in Kenya. There will never be a party like this one again.
Kenyan Distance Running Part I: Kenya, The Land Of Opportunity
 
You've seen the highly-praised photos, read the incredible  race recap - now learn about the Kenyan distance phenomenon. In this article, Wejo looks at the motivations of Kenyan runners. "Running in Kenya is by-and-large about one thing: money opportunity.
Wejo's Kenya Photos
 546 Photos from His Post-World XC Trip
 See how the Kenyans live and train in Eldoret and Iten. Plus photos of Kip Keino's center, St. Patrick's High School, Singore Girls School, Lornah Kiplagat's, and the Kimbia house. Not to mention photos of Tergat, Tanui, Kiplagat, and many more.

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