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Alexander KINYUA





Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: Cannibalism - Dismemberment - Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: May 25, 2012
Date of arrest: 4 days after
Date of birth: October 23, 1990
Victim profile: Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie, 37
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Harford County, Maryland, USA
Status: Indefinitely committed to a Maryland mental institution

photo gallery


District Court of Maryland
For Harford County

Application for statement of charges

Murder of Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie

The murder of Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie, an exchange student from Ghana, is alleged to have been carried out by Alexander Kinyua (born October 23, 1990 in Nairobi) in Maryland, United States.

Kinyua is alleged to have eaten Agyei-Kodies' organs in an act of cannibalism. The killing came after Kinyua was released on bail following a separate brutal attack.


Kinyua emigrated from Kenya to the United States as a child and became a U.S. citizen. At the time of the alleged murder and cannibalism, 21-year-old Kinyua was an engineering student at Morgan State University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). His father is a professor at the school.

Kinya had posted nonsensical and bizarre writings on his Facebook page, for example, two days before Kinyua's arrest, he wrote:


Kinyua's mother posted on her Facebook:

Our son, Alexander Kimanthi Kinyua, was arrested on Saturday, May 19, for being involved in a fight in his dormitory room at Morgan State University. The charge against him is “1st Degree Assault and Excessive Endangerment of Life”. His bail has been set for US $220,000.00. In order to get him the best defense possible, we need to secure an attorney who will take his case and leave no stone unturned.

While Kinyua was out on bail for 1st Degree Assault and Excessive Endangerment of Life, he allegedly murdered and cannibalized illegal alien Kujoe Agyei-Kodie.

Killing of Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie

Agyei-Kodie was staying with the Kinyua family pending deportation to his home country due to non-compliance with the terms of his visa. He had first met Antony Kinyua, the father of his alleged killer, while pursuing a doctoral degree at Morgan State University. On Friday, May 25, 2012, Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie was reported missing by Kinyua's father.

Police reported to the Kinyua residence on May 31 after being contacted by Kinyua's brother to report what looked like body parts in two tins in the basement. Further remains were found in a dumpster outside a church about a mile away. Alexander Kinyua was arrested and charged with first degree murder, along with first and second degree assault.


Morgan State established a chief public safety officer position in the wake of the killing. Kinyua's father has returned to teaching. His son, Alexander Kinyua, has undergone mental health evaluations and faces a possible death penalty at trial.

Kinyua was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

Kinyua has been indefinitely committed to a Maryland mental institution.


Court: No enough evidence against Alexander Kinyua

By Chris Wamalwa -

April 18, 2013

Maryland, USA: A man of Kenyan decent may escape the hangman’s noose after the Harford County’s top prosecutor said Wednesday that he does not have enough evidence to show that he is criminally responsible for killing a family friend and eating his organs last year.

A state psychiatric hospital previously found that Alexander Kinyua, 22, a Kenyan born naturalized US citizen whose story gripped the attention of the world was not criminally responsible for his actions in a separate assault case because he was suffering from severe psychosis.

In a story appearing in the Baltimore Sun Wednesday, in the assault case, Kinyua has already been committed indefinitely, and a team of doctors and an administrative law judge would have to agree to his release.

If the judge in the murder case accepts a finding that Kinyua is not criminally responsible, he would not face a prison sentence.

The statement by Harford County State’s Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly clears the way for the court to be presented the hospital’s findings.

Kinyua faces first-degree murder and a weapons charge in Harford after he allegedly told police that he had killed and dismembered 37-year-old Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie while out on bail for the assault, which took place on the campus of Morgan State University, where Kinyua was a student. He has been scheduled for a plea hearing June 24, court records show.

In December, Kinyua pleaded guilty but not criminally responsible in the Morgan attack. At that time, Cassilly said he would push forward with the murder case and attempt to prove that Kinyua was in control of his actions at the time of Agyei-Kodie’s death.

Cassilly said he’s seen psychiatric reports from Clifton T. Perkins Hospital in both the assault and murder cases and has had an independent expert review Kinyua’s mental state. He said Wednesday that “we have basically the same diagnosis” as the first report.

“To dispute the Perkins findings, I need some sort of evidence,” he said. “I don’t have any opinion that would dispute their findings.”

Kinyua’s attorney, Donald Daneman, will have no comment, according to a person who answered the phone at his office, the Sun reported.

At Kinyua’s hearing in the city case, a judge described how his mind slowly but steadily deteriorated — he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and believed reptilian aliens were coming to destroy Earth. He is now being held at a psychiatric hospital, where he takes two psychotropic drugs.

“The evidence is overwhelming that Mr. Kinyua was suffering from a mental illness at the time of the offense,” Judge Gale E. Rasin said at the hearing.

Julie A. Drake, a former city prosecutor who is now a professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, said it is rare for prosecutors to contest a medical determination that a defendant is not criminally responsible.

“Normally, the state accepts whatever the court medical services recommends,” Drake said.

She said in those cases, the defendant will enter a guilty plea and the state will read into the record the opinion of the psychiatrists.

The judge will then find that the defendant is not criminally responsible, and the defendant is committed to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“If at any point he’s medicated sufficiently or reaches a stage where the facility believes he is no longer a danger to himself or others, he’s released, but it’s a conditional release,” Drake said. “That’s a little bit like probation, and the defendant is required to take his medication, check in for counseling.”

If a defendant doesn’t comply, the hospital can request a warrant, she said.

“I have examples of horrific cases where people committed horrific crimes, but once medicated they were perfectly fine and safe to be in society,” Drake said. “I think it’s absolutely appropriate for mental health professionals to be the ones taking responsibility for those decisions.


Kinyua guilty but not criminally responsible in Morgan beating

Judge said Alexander Kinyua suffered from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of attack that left Joshua Ceasar blind

By Justin George and Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun

December 19, 2012

Months before he allegedly killed a family friend in Harford County, eating his heart and parts of his brain, Alexander Kinyua was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and believed reptilian aliens were coming to destroy Earth, a judge said Wednesday.

The revelations about the slow but steady deterioration of Kinyua's mind came as Baltimore Circuit Judge Gale E. Rasin accepted his plea of guilty but not criminally responsible on separate allegations that he attacked a fellow Morgan State University student with a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire.

Kinyua had been detained in a state treatment center for months. At the hearing, he entered his own plea and apologized for the May beating that left Joshua Ceasar legally blind.

"My deepest apology and sympathies will not be able to cover up what happened," said Kinyua, 22.

By accepting Kinyua's guilty plea to attempted first-degree murder along with the clinical assessment that he didn't comprehend what he was doing when he attacked Ceasar, Rasin committed him indefinitely to a psychiatric hospital. A team of doctors and an administrative law judge would have to agree to his release.

"The evidence is overwhelming that Mr. Kinyua was suffering from a mental illness at the time of the offense," Rasin said.

Harford County prosecutors say they will now push forward with a charge of first-degree murder that had been delayed by competency questions. Kinyua is accused of dismembering Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie, a 37-year-old Ghanaian national staying in Kinyua's family home, just days after he was released on bail in Ceasar's attack.

Explaining her decision to Ceasar, Rasin offered the most detail made public to date about Kinyua's mental illness. She also said Kinyua had sought student counseling at Morgan State after exhibiting episodes of bizarre and violent behavior, meeting with a counselor for an hour but leaving without any follow-up or recommendations.

Rasin said she couldn't predict whether Kinyua would ever be released from medical treatment, but the possibility disturbed Ceasar.

"I don't agree with the court system that he has a chance to be let go," Ceasar, 22, said through tears and thick, black-rimmed glasses. "He shouldn't see the light of day."

Still, he said, he forgave Kinyua.

When it was his turn to speak, Kinyua, who takes two psychotropic drugs, rose to his shackled feet.

"I don't forgive myself," he said.

Until 2011, Kinyua, an electrical engineering student and son of a Morgan State physics professor, was an ordinary student.

Reading from a 23-page psychiatric report that included educational records, mental evaluations and witness statements, Rasin said Kinyua began hallucinating and eventually created a delusional universe.

He believed he was a prophet with secret powers. He wrote a manuscript about the history of mankind. He talked about a "Reptilian agenda" from outer space. His stories featured African slaves and the Bermuda Triangle, Rasin said.

Kinyua stopped going to school and church, developed his own spiritual beliefs and started spending time as a spiritual medium. He said he was a shaman. He burned incense and brought home animal parts — once a dead fox — that he told his father and others he used in religious exercises.

Deeply affected by the 1998 Kenyan embassy bombing, 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, he worried whether his family had an escape plan. Kinyua began stashing extra food at home. His mother eventually got hold of his manuscript and found it to be "gibberish," Rasin said. He became quiet and secretive.

In December 2011, released from ROTC, he believed people had sabotaged his computer records and had conspired to get him drunk, causing him to miss a football game. He punched holes in an office wall, prompting an ROTC official to call him a "Virginia Tech waiting to happen."

In January, his mother urged him to seek counseling for anger management problems, Rasin said. Kinyua saw someone in student counseling who the judge said didn't follow up.

Morgan State spokesman Clinton Coleman said information about the meeting would be considered private student records.

"Whether or not there's a follow-up or a referral depends a great deal on what they find in the evaluation," he said. "But in the particular case of Mr. Kinyua, I'm not able to comment on that."

Steve Silverman, an attorney for Ceasar, said Wednesday that he plans to explore the circumstances of the meeting in more detail.

"The school had a number of telltale signs," Silverman said.

In hindsight, Ceasar said he recognizes that Kinyua displayed troubling changes in behavior. When women met Kinyua, they found him strange.

"Why are you friends with him?" Ceasar recalled them saying. "He's a creeper."

But Ceasar said he never judged Kinyua and found him smart — able to find parts at Home Depot for inventions Ceasar only thought of in concept. They played PlayStation together. Did push-ups together.

But then Ceasar noticed Kinyua kept a variety of weapons that included a machete and brass knuckles, authorities said. Ceasar said he watched Kinyua get a tattoo of a "portal" on top of his bald head.

On May 19, Rasin said, Kinyua took a nap and heard voices telling him Ceasar was a police snitch who was going to give him up on made-up charges. When Kinyua awoke, he waited for Ceasar inside his campus apartment. When Ceasar arrived, Kinyua surprised him. Caesar said the attack left him with cognitive issues and traumatic optic neuropathy caused by barbed wire striking a nerve.

Kinyua had believed Ceasar was involved in "domestic terrorism," Rasin said.

While Kinyua was on bail after arrest, Harford County authorities said, he killed and dismembered Agyei-Kodie in Kinyua's family home in late May or early June.

Because Kinyua's acceptance of the plea on Wednesday required that he be found competent to participate in court proceedings, delayed hearings in the Harford County case will likely proceed in January, Harford County State's Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly told The Baltimore Sun.

Cassilly said his office is paying a private psychiatrist to review the findings of the state's psychiatrists, because he questions whether Kinyua lacked criminal responsibility at the time he allegedly murdered Agyei-Kodie.

Cassilly said he wonders why Kinyua would dispose of parts of Agyei-Kodie in a dumpster, as he is alleged to have done, if he didn't understand his actions at the time.

"That somebody would take the time to dispose of the body?" Cassilly said. "Where does that act fit in terms of not being criminally responsible?"

A finding that Kinyua was not criminally responsible in the Harford case could open the door for a potential release back into the community — an outcome Cassilly said he is strongly against.

Byron Warnken, a criminal law professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, said it is unlikely that a private mental health evaluation will reach a different conclusion.

"Another psychiatrist isn't just going to say, 'OK, fine, if you want him to be [criminally responsible], we'll go that way,'" Warnken said. "I assume that a psychiatrist is going to have enough professional integrity that they're not going to do that."

After Kinyua was admitted in June to the Clifford T. Perkins state psychiatric hospital, medical staff recorded him putting buttons in his mouth and claiming he was being fed rotten meat, Rasin said. He believed the police were tapping his phones and talked about inventions he was making.


Md. man accused in cannibal case deemed incompetent to stand trial

Kinyua will be treated at state psychiatric hospital until found fit for trial

By Justin Fenton and Allan Vought, Baltimore Sun Media Group

August 16, 2012

Alexander Kinyua, the college student accused of killing a family friend and ingesting his heart and brain, has been declared incompetent to stand trial, according to court records.

Harford County State's Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly said in an Aug. 13 letter that prosecutors had reviewed a report from Clifton T. Perkins Hospital, the state's maximum-security psychiatric hospital, and agreed to the designation without a court hearing on the matter.

Kinyua, 21, has pleaded not criminally responsible on charges of first-degree murder and use of a dangerous weapon in connection with the May killing of Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie, a Ghanaian national who had been staying with his family in their Joppatowne home.

Police said Kinyua told investigators that he killed Agyei-Kodie and ate his heart and part of his brain. Some of his remains were found in tins in the home, police said.

The finding that Kinyua is not competent to stand trial means the court has decided that he cannot contribute to his defense, and will be treated at Perkins. If he is found competent, the court would consider his plea that he is not criminally responsible, Maryland's equivalent of an insanity plea.

Donald Daneman, Kinyua's attorney, has not responded to requests for interviews since the arrest and an employee who answered the phone at his law office Thursday said he would not comment.

Dr. David Helsel, Perkins' superintendent, could not comment on specifics of Kinyua's treatment. But he said that a large majority of patients — particularly those with a psychiatric disorder rather than an intellectual disability — eventually receive treatment that allows them to face trial.

"In some instances it's simply a knowledge deficit about how court works," Helsel said. "More commonly, the issue is that the persons may be having difficult with distinguishing fantasy from reality, or may have delusional thoughts about what the judge's role is or who the judge is. We treat the underlying illness that is causing them to have distorted beliefs."

Helsel said that is generally accomplished through medication and various forms of therapy such as psychotherapy, group therapyor family therapy.

He pointed to the case of Jared Lee Loughner, the Arizona man charged in the shooting that injured U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Arrested in January 2011, he was found incompetent to stand trial in May 2011, and a judge ruled he could be forcibly medicated with antipsychotic drugs. More than a year later, in August of this year, he was deemed competent to stand trial and pleaded guilty to 19 counts.

Cassilly said he had no reason to dispute the findings of Perkins staff and will continue to await word on Kinyua's mental state.

He said he has challenged such findings in the past, such as the case of child murderer Jamaal K. Abeokuto, who prosecutors believed was "faking" his mental illness after being accused of killing his girlfriend's young daughter. He was found competent to stand trial, and received the death penalty. The verdict was later reversed by the Court of Appeals, and Abeokuto was sentenced to life without parole.

Kinyua has been at Perkins since June 20 after being moved there from the Harford County Detention Center.

Perkins functions as a hospital but has the security features of a prison. Some lower-risk patients share rooms, while those believed to be the most dangerous have private bedrooms and may be assigned a staff person to watch them around the clock, Helsel said.

The private bedrooms are about 10 feet by 10 feet, with a window, a bed and a dresser, he said. Some have bathrooms. Patients are able to unlock their doors to move from their room to a day room, the gym, or therapy areas.

Kinyua, an electrical engineering major at Morgan State University, had been displaying erratic behavior in the months leading up to the killing, according to classmates and police reports.

In May, he was charged with attacking a fellow student with a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire. In January, he stood up at a university forum and made a reference to "blood sacrifices," and in December, he was accused of punching a hole in the wall of a computer lab.

An ROTC instructor described Kinyua as a "Virginia Tech waiting to happen" in a university police report about the computer lab incident. But throughout the incidents, officials did not seek a mental evaluation. No charges were filed in the computer lab incident.

Kinyua is facing attempted murder charges in Baltimore Circuit Court in connection with the baseball bat incident. He is scheduled for an Aug. 30 arraignment in that case.


Plea hearing of Maryland college cannibal who 'stabbed and dismembered his roommate before eating his heart and brain'

June 24, 2012

A plea hearing is scheduled for a college student who told authorities he killed a man and ate his heart and parts of his brain.

Alexander Kinyua is scheduled to appear in Harford County Circuit Court today.

Kinyua is charged with killing a 37-year-old man from Ghana in 2012. The victim had been staying with Kinyua's family in the Baltimore suburb of Joppatown.

Authorities say Kinyua ranted about 'mass human sacrifices' and ethnic cleansing on Facebook months before the slaying.

Kinyua has pleaded guilty but not criminally responsible to attacking a man on a college campus in Baltimore with a baseball bat in a separate case.

The victim in this case is now suing Morgan State University saying they knew Kinyua was a danger to others and they did nothing to stop him.

Kinyua has been committed indefinitely to a psychiatric hospital.

He admitted to eating Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie’s heart and part of his brain after stabbing him to death in May 2012.

He then directed police to Towne Baptist Church on Trimble Road, where they said they found the rest of Agyei-Kodie’s remains.

The 37-year-old, who had been missing for almost a week, apparently shared a home with Kinyua, whose father alerted a detective to his son, saying that his other son Jarrod discovered what appeared to be a human head and hands in two metal tins above the washing machine.

Horrified, Jarrod Kinyua brought his father down to the basement where Antony said he saw Alexander Kinyu cleaning out the containers.

In the weeks and months leading up to the first attack, Kinyua had been caught punching out walls at the ROTC office and writing satanic rants on Facebook.

One of his own ROTC instructors even told police after the fact that he was a 'Virginia Tech waiting to happen'.

On May 19, something did happen: he attacked Joshua Ceasar who was visiting his friends who were then-roommates with Morgan State University.

Mr Ceasar, who is now 23-years-old, was hit in the head with a metal baseball bat, wrapped in barbed wire and chains.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Mr Ceaser's friends were able to stop the attack once they heard his screams and saw Kinyua dragging him down the hallway while holding a knife.

Mr Ceasar was left partially blind from the attack, and Kinyua is now in jail after he was eventually caught by police after spending days hiding out in the woods. He later admitted that he killed and ate a different man.

Joshua Ceasar is suing the school for failing to act in a preventative way, allowing his attack and the other attack that left 37-year-old Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie dead.

'By May 2012, it was well-known to the counselors, ROTC instructors, and Morgan State officials that Mr Kinyua's erratic, aggressive and bizarre behavior was increasingly getting out of control, especially his obsession with world cleansing, the end of the world, and violence,' Mr Ceaser's attorney Steve Silverman wrote in the lawsuit.

Last year, shortly after the attack, Mr Ceasar said that he had heard about an outburst Kinyua had in January at a university forum where he made cryptic comments about 'blood sacrifice'.

'If I knew, I wouldn't have been anywhere near him or that building,' Ceasar said. His attorney, Steve Silverman, is exploring a lawsuit and investigating whether the university could have done more.

Two campus officers visited Kinyua after the December outburst and he was assessed by the counseling center, Coleman said.

'If the university had reason to believe that any student or non-student represented a danger, of course the university would have taken the appropriate steps to remove the person from campus or render them harmless,' he said.

In early May, police received a report that a young man matching Kinyua's description was carrying a machete around campus, Coleman said. Officers immediately tracked him to his room and searched, but didn't find such a weapon, he said.


Suspected Maryland cannibal ranted about 'human sacrifices' on Facebook

Neighbours say they saw alleged killer Alex Kinyua trim bushes with a machete before police made grisly find in family basement

June 2, 2012

A college student suspected of killing and eating parts of a man staying at his home ranted about "mass human sacrifices" in Facebook postings months before the grisly murder, it has emerged.

Authorities say Alex Kinyua, 21, admitted using a knife to kill and carve up Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie, 37, before eating his heart and parts of his brain. The older man had been staying with the Kinyua family for about six weeks at their townhouse in the Baltimore suburb of Joppatowne.

The remains have been positively identified as Agyei-Kodie's and a relative in the United States has been notified, according to sheriff's office spokeswoman Monica Worrell. No other charges have been filed against anyone else, she said.

Both the victim and his alleged killer had attended nearby Morgan State University, a historically black university in Baltimore. Kinyua had just finished his junior year, and Agyei-Kodie was a graduate student who last attended classes in 2008.

Both men were also originally from Africa; Kinyua, a US citizen, moved from Kenya as a child and Agyei-Kodie was from Ghana.

Investigators haven't given a possible motive in the slaying. In a separate case on May 19, police said Kinyua beat a man with a baseball bat on Morgan State's campus, fracturing his skull and making him lose sight in one eye.

Kinyua was free on $220,000 bail in that case. He is now being held without bond on a murder charge.

Kinyua, an electrical engineering student, had a very good grade point average and had enough credits to be a senior in the fall, according to university spokesman Clinton Coleman.

He could not comment on the May incident, but noted the university has a zero-tolerance policy toward violence and a student in such a situation would likely be suspended or expelled.

No students or faculty had approached the school with concerns about Kinyua, Coleman said.

In February, Kinyua posted a question on Facebook, asking fellow students at historically black colleges and universities if they were "strong enough to endure ritual HBCU mass human sacrifices around the country and still be able to function as human beings?"

He referred to the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech and "other past university killings around the country" and warned "ethnic cleansing is the policy, strategy and tactics that will affect you, directly or indirectly in the coming months".

Kinyua wrote on his page that he attended Morgan State and was a member of an ROTC-affiliated military honor society at the university, the National Society of Pershing Rifles.

ROTC is a college-based US military program that allows students to be commissioned as officers when they graduate. The page was linked to an Internet radio show called Warrior Syndicate Radio, which displayed a photo of Kinyua in green-and-white face paint. A Twitter account linked to him also had nonsensical and repetitive tweets that ended in February.

Lieutenant colonel James Lewis, a professor of military science at Morgan State and the head of the ROTC program, said Friday that Kinyua participated in ROTC for 2 1/2 years but was "disenrolled" in January. He could not say why.

James Holt, a friend of the victim for about 10 years, told the Associated Press that Agyei-Kodie had met Antony Kinyua, the father of his alleged killer, while pursuing a doctoral degree. Antony Kinyua is a physics lecturer at Morgan State.

A spokeswoman for US immigration and customs enforcement said Agyei-Kodie came to the United States on a student visa but was not in compliance with the visa's terms. He was ordered removed from the country by an immigration judge in 2010 and was under Ice's supervision pending removal to Ghana. The agency had been waiting for documents from Ghana before returning him to the country.

Holt said the Kinyua family took in Agyei-Kodie when he hadn't worked for three years and was trying to re-establish his life.

"Dr Kinyua was extremely kind in taking Kujoe into his house while Kujoe got his feet back under him." Holt said. "And I think Kujoe was on his way to re-establishing his educational status and completing his PhD when this happened."

Authorities went to the Kinyua home Tuesday after Kinyua's brother found what he thought were human remains in two metal tins in the family's basement. Investigators found what they believe are Agyei-Kodie's head and hands. More remains were found outside a church about a mile away.

A woman who answered the door at the family's townhouse Friday morning said the family would not be commenting.

Daniel Ziolkowski, who lives two doors down from the Kinyuas, was mowing his lawn Saturday morning when he noticed Alex Kinyua trimming the bushes with a machete. He didn't look angry, but Ziolkowski said he had never seen that before.

Later, Ziolkowski's wife, Kathy, said police dug up the bushes during an extensive investigation at the home by police.

She said Alex Kinyua's high school-aged brother told her that he went downstairs to do laundry and noticed something was off. That's when he discovered the head and body parts, she said.

"He looked at me and said: 'He brought shame to the family. You're going to be hearing about this for the next 10 years,'" she said.

The Ziolkowkis said the Kinyua family has always been friendly, but mostly kept to themselves.

"They're a very nice family. This is just such a shock. Very shocking and gruesome," she said.

Harford county sheriff Jesse Bane, who has been with the office for 40 years, described the area as a quiet and semi-rural community. He said the county has had some gruesome investigations in the past but never an incident of cannibalism.


Maryland man charged with killing, eating man's brain, heart

Man, 21, charged with first-degree murder

By Justin Fenton, Kayla Bawroski and Kevin Rector, Baltimore Sun Media Group

May 31, 2012

The 21-year-old college student allegedly told detectives that he hadn't just killed the man who'd lived with his family for months, but had eaten his heart and portions of his brain. The victim's severed head and hands were found in the men's Harford County home; more remains were left in a trash container outside a church.

Authorities outlined the macabre circumstances Thursday in charges against Alexander Kinyua, an electrical engineering major at Morgan State University and member of his school's ROTC program, of first-degree murder in the death of 37-year-old Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie, a Ghanaian national and a former master's degree student.

Kinyua's father reported that Agyei-Kodie went missing last Friday after going for a jog, but the investigation eventually led back to the family home. Kinyua was being held Thursday without bond, and authorities were exploring whether others participated in the crime or knew about it, based on what they called inconsistencies in statements made by the suspect's family.

Harford authorities said the killing was among the most brutal — and bizarre — they'd seen. The case comes on the heels of grisly incidents in Miami — where a naked man believed to be high on synthetic drugs known as "bath salts" ate another man's face — and New Jersey, where a man disemboweled himself and reportedly threw his intestines at police officers.

Harford County Sheriff Jesse Bane said of the allegations against Kinyua: "I've been with the agency 40 years, and I would say this is the first time I can remember … where someone was placed under arrest in Harford County and as part of his crime he consumed the victim.

"I've not encountered that in this county, and I hope we never encounter it again," he added.

Despite Kinyua's alleged confession, which a spokeswoman described as "matter-of-fact," police said they did not know of a motive for the crime and said they would not speculate on his mental state or whether drugs played a role. They were consulting with the FBI's behavioral analysis unit for guidance.

But accounts from Morgan officials and classmates, as well as social media postings by Kinyua, suggest he was growing increasingly troubled as his third year of school came to a close. In January, he was dismissed from the ROTC program after an outburst, and in May he was arrested for allegedly fracturing the skull of a classmate with a baseball bat. The classmate was blinded in one eye as a result of what campus police called a "random" attack.

His Facebook page includes commentary about the "destruction of the black family" and "mass human sacrifices."


Students familiar with Kinyua said he was well known around campus but regarded as odd. Jasmine Bloomfield said he was "always in his own little world, preaching everywhere he went and talking about how he was writing a book."

Natalie Fabien, 21, who had mutual friends with Kinyua, said his behavior was often unusual and he was prone to outbursts, but also showed genuine concern for others. "If anything ever happened to me, he'd be like, 'Who did it and why?' He always wanted to protect people from bad stuff," Fabien said.

Word of Kinyua's arrest was a hot topic Thursday around Morgan's campus, even though most of its 7,000 students are on summer break. "If you're part of the Morgan family, it's a big family, so word goes around fast," said Stephen Copeland, 28, a senior. "Everybody's in shock."

The victim, Agyei-Kodie, had also attended Morgan State on a student visa. He was dismissed by the university after a 2008 conviction in Baltimore County for a fourth-degree sex offense, harassment and stalking, resulting in an 18-month jail term. He also had attended Towson University for a time, a spokeswoman for that school confirmed.

Agyei-Kodie had lived with Kinyua's family in the 500 block of Terrapin Terrace in Joppa for about six months and did not know anyone else in the area, according to police reports. Kinyua's father, Antony, told police that Agyei-Kodie had recently been "depressed" after being apprehended on an immigration warrant and was facing likely deportation.

Police issued a public appeal Monday for help in finding Agyei-Kodie, who was said to have left for a jog at 5:30 a.m. on May 25 wearing a T-shirt and black athletic shorts. Monica Worrell, a county police spokeswoman, said investigators had concerns about statements made by Kinyua's family.

Late Tuesday night, Antony Kinyua notified police that his son, Jarrod Kinyua, had found what they believed were human remains in the basement of the house, according to charging documents. Upon their arrival, Jarrod Kinyua told police he found a human head and two human hands inside metal tins under a blanket in the laundry room.

When he asked Alexander Kinyua about the remains, Jarrod Kinyua said, his brother denied that they were human and said they were animal remains, according to charging documents. After calling his father downstairs, Jarrod and Antony Kinyua discovered that the remains had been moved and Alexander Kinyua was washing out the metal tins.

With a search-and-seizure warrant for the location, deputies were able to locate the head and hands on the main floor of the house, according to charging documents.

They also interviewed Alexander Kinyua, who allegedly admitted that he had killed Agyei-Kodie by cutting him up with a knife and then eating his heart and portions of his brain.

Kinyua also directed police to Towne Baptist Church, about a mile away in the 500 block of Trimble Road, where the rest of the remains were found in a trash container on the property, according to charging documents.

Bane said the remains were being sent for further analysis, to assure investigators that "we're dealing with one victim," Bane said. But officials said they did not have any reason to believe there were additional victims.

At Kinyua's first court appearance Thursday at Harford District Court in Bel Air, defense attorney Lynne McChrystal requested reasonable bail in the case, adding that Kinyua has been in Harford County for six years and in Maryland for nine years. She said he was self-employed, performing "consulting work."

Appearing via live video feed from prison, Kinyua wore a Harford County Detention Center uniform: a black-and-white striped pair of pants and matching T-shirt. Upon questioning by Judge John L. Dunnigan, Kinyua said that all of his family members lived in Maryland and that he was originally from Nairobi, Kenya.

Assistant State's Attorney Trenna Manners cited those out-of-country ties, as well as the "grisly" nature of the crime, when she asked for Kinyua to be held without bail, and the judge agreed.

Before May, Kinyua had no prior criminal record. In January, he was dismissed from the ROTC program after 2 1/2 years of participation, said Lt. Col. James Lewis, a professor of military service who oversees the program. Officials said it followed a disciplinary incident.

Then on May 20, Kinyua was charged with first-degree assault and reckless endangerment. In that case, according to police, Kinyua attacked another Morgan student in a doorway of the on-campus Thurgood Marshall apartment complex with a baseball bat, then fled into a nearby wooded area.

The victim, listed as Joshua Ceasar, suffered fractures to his skull, arm and shoulder, as well as blindness to his left eye. The first responding officer saw Ceasar stumbling toward her with blood coming from his forehead, and the officer noted a large amount of blood in the doorway.

Fabien, who said she knew Kinyua, said she saw him in the moments before the attack. She said he was sitting in a chair, clutching the bat. "He kept saying, 'Somebody has to protect the kids. I gotta protect the kids,'" she said.

Kinyua was ordered held on $220,000 bond in that case, and university officials said the school was in the process of expelling him. According to court records, two Baltimore residents posted property to secure bond for his release on May 23.

On May 25, what appeared to be a plea from his parents for help paying Kinyua's legal fees in the case was posted on, a Kenyan news website. The post, which has since been removed, said Kinyua had been arrested for "being involved in a fight in his dormitory room at Morgan State University."

The online plea said, "In order to get him the best defense possible, we need to secure an attorney who will take his case and leave no stone unturned."

It also stated that a fundraising event was scheduled at the International Christian Community Church in Baltimore. The church was locked Thursday afternoon, and nobody answered a knock on the door.

Pictures on Facebook taken before this past semester show Kinyua with a wide grin at a laser tag event and showing off a blue jacket for the National Society of Pershing Rifles, a fraternal group for students in ROTC programs. Another shows him in military fatigues, standing at attention.

More recent posts to the social networking site reflected a shift. In the two most recent posts, Kinyua uploaded "QR Codes," bar code images that, when scanned with a smartphone, lead to a Web page. They both led to a message about something called "Project Crack the Code," promising "more information on survival of the human family."

Attempts to reach Kinyua's family have been unsuccessful. A man who answered the phone Wednesday night at a number listed for Antony and Beatrice Kinyua said they were resting and that the family did not wish to speak to the news media without an attorney present. On Thursday, no one answered the door of the Joppa townhouse.

On tidy, well-kept Terrapin Terrace near Joppatowne High School, Mary Ellen Murray, who lived several houses down from the Kinyuas, said the parents, Beatrice and Antony, were quiet, "wonderful" people.

"They would give you the shirt off their back," Murray said. "Nobody has anything bad to say about them."

Harry Olson, the family's next-door neighbor and a physics professor at Morgan who once taught Kinyua, said police squad cars and two hazardous-materials vehicles were stationed on his street Wednesday, and investigators brought "lots of stuff" in bags out of the home.

Investigators also took an entire toilet from the home and dug up a garden in the front of the house, Olson said.

"It's shocking," another neighbor, Kenny Day, said of the allegations of cannibalism. "You don't want to hear about that stuff, but you certainly don't want to hear about it in your neighborhood.

"You can't be scared of stuff like that, though, because you can't run from crazy, and that's total crazy," Day added.

Baltimore Sun reporter Alison Knezevich contributed to this article. Aegis reporter Bryna Zumer also contributed.


More questions in cannibalism case as beating victim speaks out

By Peter Hermann -

June 6, 2012

Questions on are mounting on whether someone missed troubling warning signs before Morgan State University senior Alexander Kinyua allegedly cut up a family friend and ate his heart and part of his brains. Today, we bring you an interview with a man who was beaten by a baseball bat and thinks he could've been the first victim of cannibalism.

It's not clear when the suspect's erratic behavior allegedly turned deadly, and in dividual incidents that predated the late May killing in the suspect's Joppatowne home -- of Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie, 37, might seem innocuous when viewed separately. But combined they tell a different story.

Here is a time line:

Dec. 12 — Kinyua accused of punching a hole in a wall of a campus ROTC office two days earlier. A military instructor told police that the suspect was an “unusually angry person” and “a Virginia Tech waiting to happen.” Kinyua, who had self-inflicted burn marks on his arms, deemed tribal markings, was barred from campus pending a judicial review.

Jan. 31 — Kinyua talks about human sacrifice at an anti-hazing forum attended by students and university officials, including the judicial officer who according to police was to handle the ROTC incident a month earlier.

School officials describe the comments as more bizarre than scary, but even so, should any of these officials at the forum, especially the judicial officer familiar with the ROTC incident, have thought that maybe Kinyua needs further checking? A search of his Facebook page would've revealed references to Virginia Tech, ethnic cleansing and death cults. Watch the video and judge for yourself.

May 19 — Police arrest and charge Kinyua with first-degree assault after authorities said he randomly attacked a young man, Joshua Ceasar, hitting him over the head with a baseball bat wrapped in chains at a campus apartment.

May 23 — Kinyua released on $220,000 bail after parents make a public plea for help raising money. His attorney at the time argued that he hit the victim in self-defense after being threatened. Ceasar denies that and says he was visiting friends, including Kinyua, in the days leading up to graduation. The judge seemed impressed with Kinyua's 3.1 grade point average in electrical engineering at Morgan State University and the people who came to speak to his character: his father, a Morgan physics professor, his uncle and city rotary club president, and an athletic booster from the university, falsely identified in court as the school's vice president for athletics.

May 25 — Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie, 37, reported missing.

May 30 — Suspect’s brother finds hands, head in tin boxes in basement of home in Harford County. Father calls police, and they find remains in home and in trash bin at nearby church. Kinyua charged with first-degree murder.

May 31 — Court documents reveal suspect says he ate victim’s heart, part of brain.


Victim believes bat attack foreshadowed Md. cannibal case

By Peter Hermann and Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

June 5, 2012

It wasn't the beating by baseball bat that most frightened Joshua Ceasar, who was left with a fractured skull and a blinded eye. It was the scene that his friends described to him afterward: his alleged attacker Alexander Kinyua standing over his unconscious body, holding a knife.

Even more terrifying: Days after being freed on bail in that incident, Kinyua would be charged with killing a family friend in his parents' house in Joppa, dismembering him and eating his heart and part of his brain.

Now, Ceasar thinks that he narrowly escaped the same fate. His friends intervened in the May 19 attack, shoving Kinyua against a wall and dislodging the weapon in a third-floor hallway of a Morgan State University apartment.

"I believe he was going to do to me what he did to the next victim," the 22-year-old former Morgan student said Tuesday, speaking publicly for the first time.

The chilling account and details about how Kinyua came to be released on bail shed new light on the days leading up to the killing of Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie, 37. The killing has raised questions about whether law enforcement and school officials missed warning signs in Kinyua's behavior, which police reports and interviews say escalated from bizarre musings to tantrums to violence.

Ceasar believes that Kinyua, a 21-year-old electrical engineering student, should not have been allowed back on campus after he was accused of punching holes in an office wall, speaking at a student forum about blood sacrifice and being labeled by an ROTC instructor as "a Virginia Tech waiting to happen."

"I felt all these things that were going on could've been prevented," said Ceasar, who transferred out of Morgan a year ago and is now finishing studies at another local university, which he did not want to name. "I mean, he was talking about human sacrifice. That should've set off an alarm."

Ceasar's attorney, Steve Silverman, said he is investigating whether Morgan staff were negligent in failing to identify what he called a "ticking time bomb and extract him from the university community."

University officials, who had remained quiet about the killing and the link to the North Baltimore campus, said for the first time Tuesday that they're conducting a sweeping self-examination in the aftermath of the slaying.

Morgan spokesman Clinton R. Coleman said university president David Wilson is leading a review of "every level of the organization that might have had contact with this young man."

"As with every incident, we're looking at how this was handled and could it have been handled better," Coleman said. "Were there levels of the university that should have been in contact about this and weren't?"

Morgan authorities barred Kinyua, a U.S. citizen from Kenya, after police said he punched holes in a wall at an ROTC office in December. An instructor also kicked him out of the military program, describing Kinyua to a Morgan police officer as an "unusually angry person."

Kinyua was not criminally charged in that incident, but was cited for destruction of campus property and returned to campus after meeting with the school's chief judiciary officer. Five months later, Kinyua was charged with first-degree assault in the attack on Ceasar.

At his District Court bail hearing May 21, he was backed by people with connections and represented by a private attorney. He had his father — a physics professor at Morgan, his uncle who is president of the Baltimore Rotary Club, and a university athletics booster prepared to testify on his behalf.

"Except for this aberration, he is not a danger to the community," attorney Richard Boucher told District Judge Jamey Hueston, according to an audio recording of the proceeding.

Kinyua was being held on $220,000 bond in the case, set by a District Court commissioner. But a representative from pretrial services, which conducts background checks on defendants, suggested his bail be revoked, and Assistant State's Attorney Julie Potter agreed. "There are several witnesses who say this defendant attacked the victim with a bat. This is extremely violent," Potter said.

Unsaid at the hearing was that the bat was wrapped in chains, which is mentioned in the police report, and that the victim and witnesses said the attack was "random."

Boucher countered that based on charging documents, it "doesn't appear a great deal of investigation was done." He claimed Ceasar had threatened Kinyua in the past — which Ceasar and his attorney denied — and had mentioned "he would have a gun the next time they saw one another." He said the incident wasn't random, and that Kinyua was at his residence when it occurred.

"Mr. Kinyua was in fear for his life, and defended himself, based on previous threats that had taken place," Boucher said. He requested that bail be reduced to $100,000.

Hueston said her impulse was to follow the recommendations of prosecutors and pretrial services and revoke Kinyua's bond. "I am impressed by this gentleman's background and support here today," referring to his father; Harold Madison, the rotary club president; and Vincent Robinson, the booster.

"Based upon that, my inclination to give no bail has been restrained, and I'll keep bail the same," the judge ruled.

With the help of Madison, who posted a vacant property on East North Avenue, and a woman named JoAnn Rice, who also posted a vacant property, Kinyua was able to make bond on May 23.

Two days later, Agyei-Kodie went missing from Kinyua's family's home, and five days later police said Kinyua's brother found two hands and a head in tins in the basement. The rest of Agyei-Kodie's body was found in a trash bin at a nearby church.

Baltimore prosecutors have defended the assault charges rather than attempted murder, which might have resulted in a higher bail. Mark Cheshire, a spokesman for the state's attorney's office, said the allegations supported the charges, though he noted officials would have been able to revise the charges before filing an indictment.

Boucher, Kinyua's attorney at the bail hearing, said the charges were sufficient. "Let's face it: the first-degree assault charge is extremely serious — it carries a maximum of 25 years in the Division of Correction," he said.

Ceasar said he did not know what happened to his former friend, whom he had met through mutual acquaintances in Morgan's ROTC program. He said that he stuck by Kinyua as a friend even as others shunned him.

"He would say odd things," Ceasar said. "He would have outbursts. He might walk into a room and not say anything and just stand there. Females were just creeped out by him. … People always asked me, "Why are you hanging around him? Are you friends with him?' I said, 'Yes, he never gave me any problems.'"

By in the days leading up to the baseball bat attack, bizarre statements showed up on Kinyua's Facebook page, which mentioned the massacre of 32 students at Virginia Tech, ethnic cleansing and death cults. That coupled with the earlier evaluation referring to "Virginia Tech" should have raised questions, Ceasar and his attorney said.

The night of May 19, Ceasar said he was visiting friends who were about to graduate, including a young woman with who had been a cheerleader for his high school football team in New Jersey.

He climbed to the third floor and knocked on the door of Apt. 304, where eight students, all in the ROTC program, lived in three suites. Ceasar said the occupants included Kinyua, who continued to reside there even after he was expelled from ROTC.

"I walked in the door, I got hit with the bat," Ceasar said. "I didn't see it coming. I fell to the ground. I was unconscious for five or 10 minutes." He said he awoke to stories from his two friends who rushed to his aid and told him about the knife.

A police report filed on the attack, says that a police officer arrived to see Ceasar "stumbling towards me with an open wound on his forehead and blood coming from it."

Ceasar, who is graduating this year and plans on attending medical school, said he suffered a fractured skull, broken shoulder and is blinded in his left eye. He said doctors have not told him whether he could regain his sight.

Meanwhile, more details have emerged about the victim, Agyei-Kodie, who is from Ghana and was in the U.S. on a student visa. Authorities in Harford County said he has one relative in America, an uncle. Temple University in Philadelphia says he graduated in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and in 2004 with a master's degree in the same subject.

He then went to Morgan, also in the engineering graduate program, but got into trouble in 2008 when he was convicted of stalking and a fourth-degree sex offense after police said he pursued a fellow student. He was ordered deported, which was pending paperwork from the Ghanaian Embassy.

But relatives in his native Ghana told the Associated Press that Agyei-Kodie was preparing to come home and get a job, and dreamed of becoming his country's president. In addition to his schooling in Philadelphia and Baltimore, he has a degree in chemical engineering from a university in Ghana.

"Daddy is in a state of shock, does not want to believe his son is dead," Gloria Boahema Asante, the youngest of four siblings, said in an interview with the wire service in Accra, Ghana. "We look at the picture that went with the story and see the smiles on his face and do not want to believe that he is dead."

Grieving relatives last spoke to Agyei-Kodie — he son of a retired banker who attended St. Augustine's College at Cape Coast — when he called for Mother's Day, said his younger sister, Irene Konadu Asante, who was dressed in mourning clothes of red and black.

"We took turns to talk to him and he expressed his desire to return home within months. He even asked my husband to start looking for jobs for him," Asante said through tears. "My brother's dream is to become the president of Ghana and that is why he had spent so much time educating himself in the U.S."

Baltimore Sun reporter Childs Walker contributed to this article.



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