The Murder of Julie Ward


I’m hoping to get this story started early March ’11...if anyone has any useful information please email me at

Julie as a child and below with her brothers

New Kenya probe on Julie Ward murder

Kenya Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe. PHOTO/ FILE  

By PAUL REDFERN, Nation correspondent in London

Posted Sunday, October 11 2009 at 16:06

A new probe into the murder of the British tourist Julie Ward is set to begin after senior UK police officers persuaded their Kenyan counterparts that an investigation was possible based on the advances in forensic science.

Despite the difficulties in mounting an investigation – not the least of which is because of witness reliability 21 years after the murder – UK police officers including John Yates, the head of Scotland Yard’s anti terrorism squad appear to have convinced Kenyan officers that a new trial was possible, based on the identification of human DNA from the murder scene, which is believed to belong to one of her attackers.

The visit of Mr Yates who visited Kenya recently with two other senior Metropolitan Police detectives and John Ward, Miss Ward’s father, “was shrouded in secrecy because of Mr Yates’ sensitive role as head of the anti-terrorism squad and because Kenya has witnessed devastating attacks by al-Qaeda,” according to the Sunday Telegraph newspaper in the UK.

Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said files of murder investigations are never closed so that the probe can continue whenever new evidence come up.

“Am aware of correspondences (with the UK detectives) to that effect and any new leads will be pursued but and am yet to know the details,” he said.

But Mr Ward who has spent nearly £2 million and made more than 100 visits to Kenya in a relentless pursuit of his daughter’s killers, is delighted with the news.

The new inquiry will be headed by the Kenyan police but it will be aided by at least two Scotland Yard detectives, the report said.

The Sunday Telegraph added that although the Julie Ward case has no link to terrorism, Mr Yates has decided to continue to head a handful of high-profile murder investigations that he had taken on in his former role as head of the Met’s Special Crime Directorate.

The new case is also said to be based on a “credible” new witness who has come forward claiming that she knows where some of the remains of Miss Ward were buried after her murder on the Maasai Mara game reserve in September 1988.

The woman, approached Mr Ward through a lawyer saying that the charred remains of Miss Ward that were found 21 years ago were placed in a remote area of the Maasai Mara to throw investigators off the scent of where the murder had actually taken place.

Mr Ward, 75, a retired hotelier from Brockley, Suffolk, welcomed the new inquiry yesterday and praised the determination of Scotland Yard to try to solve the case. He hopes a systematic dig will be carried out at the scene – a town on the edge of the Maasai Mara – where the witness says some of Miss Ward’s remains have been hidden.

“I welcome the new inquiry,” he told the Sunday Telegraph. “This case is solvable because we haven’t run out of leads yet. Armed with the new DNA evidence, what we need now is the full co-operation of the Kenyan authorities.”

Mr Yates has now flown home to Britain after meeting former Police Commissioner Major General Mohammed Ali. The other two officers travelled with Mr Ward to the crime scene on the Masai Mara during a visit in the summer.

Miss Ward was last seen alive in Kenya on September 6, 1988, after she travelled to the Maasai Mara with Dr Glen Burns, an Australian friend.

Her remains were found by her father on September 13.

An inquest in Britain in 2004 recorded a verdict of unlawful killing and there have been two separate murder trials in Kenya.

Two game wardens were accused of murder after Scotland Yard’s initial investigation but were acquitted in 1992. Seven years later, Simon Makallah, the head warden of the Masai Mara at the time of Miss Ward’s death, was tried for murder and also acquitted.

An investigation last year also revealed that the British authorities had deliberately obstructed Mr Ward in his pursuit of justice over her brutal murder. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the British High Commission in Kenya were heavily criticised in an unpublished independent police report on the case, which highlighted mistakes and cover-ups over the murder.


above: Sand River Keeborok

left: the track Graham Searle believes Julie took on her final journey

below: Dr Shafer the pathologist who first stated that Julie was murdered