A Death in Kenya: Murder of Julie Ward

A Death in Kenya

Murder of Julie Ward

By Michael Hiltzik




From Publishers Weekly:
When English expatriate Julie Ward was found dead in a Kenya game preserve in 1988, her body mutilated and burned, Kenyan officials insisted she had been killed by wild animals even though a postmortem confirmed that she had been murdered. Her father, hotel chain owner John Ward, spent $396,000 investigating the case, revealing a Kenya government cover-up spiked with forgery and bureaucratic stonewalling. Two rangers were charged with her murder in February 1991, and the trial is pending. Scotland Yard’s version of the crime conflicts with Ward’s scenario, but Los Angeles Times Nairobi bureau chief Hiltzik has reservations about Ward’s sleuthing ability. In a true-life detective story told with admirable restraint, Hiltzik communicates a father’s heartbreak, rage and determination to get justice. The author sets the case in the context of Kenya’s tribal politics, xenophobia, tourist trade, hunting mystique and decrepit road system.

From Library Journal:
In September 1989, Julie Ward just wanted a look at the Maasai Mara Game Reserve before leaving Kenya for home in Britain. She never left the Mara. A week later, John Ward helped in the search that found the chopped and burned remains of his only daughter. The story of Julie’s life and the dramatic chronicle of events leading up to her disappearance help give the reader a sense of loss when her body is discovered. While the Kenyan government (whose police investigation resembled a comedy of ineptitude) insisted that Julie had been killed by wild animals, her father felt there was a coverup. It took John Ward over a year after his daughter’s death, including 17 trips to Kenya, his own investigators, thousands of dollars, and the best lawyer in Kenya to convince the Kenyan courts that Julie had been murdered.