KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — A suspected serial killer in Rwanda on Thursday pleaded guilty at a court on Thursday, saying he killed 14 people. Most of the victims were women.
Denis Kazungu, 34, admitted guilt to charges that included murder, rape and robbery. He appeared at the Kicukiro Court in the capital, Kigali, and didn’t appear to show any emotion during the hearing.
Kazungu smiled as police led him into the courtroom. Police discovered 12 bodies on his property, but he said he killed an additional two people whose bodies haven’t been found. Kazungu said that he killed his victims because he said they intentionally infected him with HIV. But he offered no evidence of this.
The victims include 11 women and one man, authorities said. The sex of the other two people Kazungu said he killed wasn’t immediately clear.
He said he could remember the names of only three of his victims. Kazungu requested that his trial be conducted behind closed doors so that details about the case wouldn’t be publicized to prevent others from possibly being inspired to become a serial killer.
Kazungu didn’t have a lawyer at the hearing and he’s expected to appear in court again on Tuesday.
Police alleged that the suspect lured people from bars to his home in a suburb of Kigali.
Though identities of his victims haven’t yet been officially released, a woman has appeared on local interviews claiming to have escaped from Kazungu and his accomplices. Nobody else has been charged in the case.
Police say the suspect used different names in a bid to conceal his true identity.
The New Times newspaper quoted Kazungu’s landlord, Augustin Shyirambere, as saying the suspect hadn’t paid rent for several months and denied access to the property. The landlord went to authorities for help.
One neighbor said the suspect was married and rented two houses, one for his family and the other unoccupied. He owned a motorcycle spare parts shop, said the neighbor, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.
Emmanuel Nizeyimana, the executive secretary of the Busanza neighborhood where Kazungu lived, said the suspect had previously been detained over alleged robbery and rape but was later released. It wasn’t immediately clear why.