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Julie Ward murder infographic
Graphic shows area where Julie Ward murdered.

Julie Ward murder case

February 10, 1992 - The trial begins today in Nairobi, Kenya, of two men charged with the murder of British tourist Julie Ward at a game reserve in September 1988.

Two game wardens, Jonah Tagev Magiroi, 29, and Peter Kipeen, 27, face the death penalty if found guilty.

The trial, at which 31 witnesses are due to appear, follows more than 3 years of investigation by John Ward to identify his daughter’s killers. It has cost Ward nearly £340,000 and taken him to Kenya 24 times as well as Canada, America, South Africa, Egypt and around Europe.
Julie, a 28-year old from Suffolk, disappeared while spending a weekend photographing wildlife on the Masai Mara game reserve. Her father flew to Kenya to search for her but found only the charred remains of her body far out in the bush near the Kenyan-Tanzanian border.

The Kenyan authorities claimed that she had been eaten by wild animals after losing her way in the bush but Ward was certain that she had been murdered.

He claimed that Kenyan police tried to conceal the cause of Julie’s death by altering the original autopsy, forging her signature in a game reserve register and hiding evidence.

The prosecution case alleges that Magiroi and Kipeen abducted Julie after her Suzuki jeep broke down near the Sand River camp. They imprisoned her at the Makari game post for up to six days, raped her, murdered her then dismembered and burnt the body to destroy evidence.

The strongest forensic evidence includes strands of Julie’s hair and the battery from her Olympus camera found at the game post.

PUBLISHED: 10/2/1992; STORY: Graphic News