Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sister Credonia Mwerinde, Serial Killing Ugandan Cult Leader - 2000


Sister Credonia Mwerinde, leader of Ugandan Marianist cult of the Movement for the Resoriation of the Ten Comandments located in Kunungu murdered hundreds of her followers on March 17, 2000 by locking them in a worship facility called the ark that was pyrotechnically rigged. All door and windows were secured so that none could escape and then the building was set afire. The official death toll was set at 738. The fire was so intense that the many of the victims’ skulls exploded. Their corpses, many of them children, were buried in several mass graves. Sister Credonia disappeared and has not as of this date been apprehended.

Newsweek reporter Lara Santoro travelled to Kunungu to investigate the crimes. Santoro learned that as a young woman, Credonia was obsessed by fire. She had torched the possessions of a man who had failed to acquiesce to her romantic desires. Later on Credonia operated a bar and was once discovered by locals in the act of scrubbing blood stains from the floor of her establishment. It was suspected she had slaughtered a passing motorist. Locals told the Newsweek reporter that Credonia was believed to have murdered, with poison, her three elder brothers in order to secure their inheritance.

[Sources:Lara Santoro “Priestess of Death,” Newsweek International, Aug. 6, 2000; “Credonia Mwerinde and her Ugandan cult,” The Ross Institute Internet Archives for the Study of Destructive Cults, Controversial Groups and Movements, undated; book: Ann Magna, Female Terror: Scary Women, Modern Crimes, Virgin Books, 2002]

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EXCERPT: Newsweek’s reconstruction of Mwerinde’s career gives a glimpse into her mindset. Early on the woman, dubbed “The Programmer”, displayed a violent streak, monetary greed and arsonist tendencies. In her early 20’s, she set fire to the household belongings of a local official who had spurned her. Her family sent her away for treatment. On her return she admitted she had been “mentally disturbed”. This revealed by Nalango Rukanyangira a childhood friend. In those years, Mwerinde owned a bar in Kanungu. A letter written by a close family friend discloses that Mwerinde once seduced then killed a passing motorist and kept his money. In another instance, she led her followers to the banana plantation of a relative who refused to join the cult. The group burned the plantation. Police also suspect that she may have poisoned her three brothers off, one by one. Until she was the sole owner of the property that became the cult headquarters. “She is crazy, and she is a murderer.” states Dr. Thaddeus Barungi, chief pathologist in the investigation. [“Credonia Mwerinde and her Ugandan cult, News summary: based upon “Priestess of Death” (Newsweek International / August 6, 2000 by Lara Santoro), Cult Education Institute]

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Pre-cult murders:

3 brothers – murderd at different times
Motorist murdered in Credonia’s bar

Pre April 17, 2000 cult murders, by locatins of mass graves:

Buhunga – 153 murdered
Rugazi – 155 murdered
Rushojwa – 81 murdered
Buziga near Kampala – 55 murdered

April 17, 2000 Kanungu massacre – 738 murdered

Excellent scholarly source: [Jean-François Mayer, “’There Will Follow a New Generation and a New Earth’: From Apolyptic Hopes to Destruction in the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God,” Part II, essay 9; in James R. Lewis, ed., Violence and New Religious Movements, 2011, Oxford UP]

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For more cases of this type, see: Occult Female Serial Killers

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