Report from the Toronto Star:
911 Call Ends In Murder Charge
Mar 29, 2007 04:30 AM
The Toronto police homicide unit was called yesterday to a condominium high-rise in the city's north end after a man called 911 to say his wife was not breathing.
Officers arrived at 35 Finch Ave. E., just east of Yonge St., around 3 p.m. and discovered the lifeless body of Rispah Adala, 32.
As a result of evidence retrieved in their eighth-floor apartment, police said, the woman's husband of two years was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder and taken to 32 Division, where he was questioned by police late into the night.
According to a source, the couple, who had no children, had gotten into an argument earlier in the day.
"On its face, it looks like a domestic," said Homicide Det. Sgt. Steve Ryan.
He added that it is still too early in the investigation to determine the cause of the woman's death.
A post-mortem is scheduled for today, but a source said it appeared as if the victim had been strangled.
One resident, who asked not to be identified, said the condo is popular with young professionals.
"I'm shocked that something like this would happen here," said the woman, who did not know the couple.
"There's never been anything negative here."
The suspect in this matter is Julius Otukul, 34.
Earlier this evening (Thursday, March 29, 2007) past the prime Kenyan television news at nine, just before ten o’clock, I was getting more and more irritated with my brother and my spouse as we sat in the living room downstairs.
I kept repeating over and over:
“Do you know that Rispah is dead? She was apparently strangled yesterday by the man she wedded just a few months ago!”
They kept giving me half-sympathetic and partially bewildered glances, temporarily distracted from the murder/thriller/mystery they were transfixed on over on the Citizen channel.
Finally, in a fit of pique, I stormed upstairs to my home-office, muttering darkly that they apparently did not care about the March 28th 2007 domestic tragedy in
Getting ready to keyboard this piece after reflecting on the biggest breaking story affecting Kenyans in
After all, they did not know who I was talking about.
I placed a quick call to her friend Roseanne, a former
These days Roseanne, who was trained in the sciences, is a rising star in Kenyan haute couture fashionista circles for her unique khanga (leso) based designs.
Unsurprisingly, unlike me, she had heard the sad news much much earlier in the day.
As for me, I literally stumbled on the news at a
On the internet, I had stopped by one of the many Kenyan online boards that I visit every other day to find out what Kenyan netters and bloggers are nattering and yabbering about.
There was this story on this one site talking about a Kenyan woman being killed in
My heart stopped briefly when I eye-balled Rispah Adala’s name.
I silently screamed in that overheated café.
Can’t be, I quickly and firmly retorted and reiterated in my agitated internal dialogue.
First gut reaction was to dismiss it as one of the many hoaxes one encounters daily on that particular Kenyan site-a haven for hydra handled identity thieves who are notorious for their wild stories.
But then I saw the link to City TV news, a major channel in that Canadian city.
Still unbelieving, I quickly dashed over to the kco-l yahoo groups site- the home for the Kenyan community in
And sure enough, there was Ben Ondoro, the President of Kenya Community in Ontario organization mournfully informing his co-members of the sad demise of Rispah, who happened to be the current Treasurer of that organization.
I scrolled through the flood of condolences on the site in profound disbelief and lingering denial, not wanting to accept that one of the most vibrant, most vivacious, most generous and community oriented Kenyans I have ever known in Canada was now a cold corpse rigid in some obscure Greater Toronto Area morgue.
If I said that Rispah was one of my closest friends, I would be lying through my teeth.
I knew her the way most Kenyan-Ontarians knew her:
Through her indefatigable community spirit.
She was ever present at the Madarakas, the Jamhuris, the Hengs.
Rispah was always among the first people to fire off her rambi rambis whenever a fellow Kenyan (or East African) lost a loved one and at the front-line of any uplifting Kenyan community function- be it a social, business or professional event. She was a prolific poster on the kco-l discussion site-her last posting on March 25th 2007 forwarding a sardonic link on Agwambo’s H3.
An academic genius, Rispah was one of the most down to earth people I knew in
I still remember that Jamhuri party in December ’03 held at the
Kenyans descended on
And right there amidst the din, the waving arms, gyrating hips and chorus of laughter was Rispah Adala having fun, thoroughly enjoying herself surrounded by her Kenyan sisters and brothers.
The last time I remember seeing Rispah in person was at another Kenyan community function in 2004. I had gone over to their table to say hi.
She shyly introduced me to a quiet thirtysomething Ugandan man:
“Oloo, I want you to meet my fiancé.”
He is the man in the cool tuxedo embracing the enchanting bride named Rispah in the August 2006 wedding photo which was flashed today at the aforesaid American-based Kenyan site.
Is he also the same man sitting in a Canadian police cell waiting to be arraigned in court for second degree murder?
Are those the same hands that squeezed the last gasp of life from Rispah Adala?
Of course, it is way too early to jump to conclusions and I am not going to play Barnaby Jones or Perry Mason tonight.
Today, I join Kenyans in
Tonight my mkono wa tanzia is first of all to her mother, her father, her siblings, aunties, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family, friends, former school-mates, professional colleagues and people in her immediate circle.
That extended family includes each and every Kenyan living in
Will she be brought home or will she be laid to rest in her home away from home?
That will come later.
For now I pen off with:
Hamba Kahle Nyaminwa Rispah!
Your generous community spirit keeps you alive in all our hearts.
photo: Nyamweya Osoro
Here you are living and breathing talking to us about your MBA...