The serial killer who did not spare his inmates

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By Monitor Correspondent

Posted  Sunday, December 22  2013 at  02:00

In Summary

This man was not from a poor family. Richard Arinaitwe’s parents live in Kololo, an upscale city suburb, and it is in their house that Arinaitwe, who claims he was on an assignment to kill, hid after committing crime.


Richard Arinaitwe is somewhere incarcerated in a prison within a prison at Luzira Maximum Security Prison ( Upper prison) for the murder he committed more than 15 years ago.
Police at the Central Police Station (CPS) were first alerted to a murder in Hotel Equatoria in Kampala on July 28, 1998 at 11pm. The hotel has since been transformed into a shopping mall.

The hotel staff had tried to put through an urgent phone call to the deceased but the phone was not ringing. They decided to physically check out the room, only to find the occupant lying in a pool of blood, dead.
The victim, an American volunteer Cecilia Maria Goetz, had been in the country to follow the utilisation of the HIV/Aids funds in Uganda and more specifically in Rakai District where the scourge had wiped out entire families.

On return to Hotel Equatoria, Goetz picked her key from the reception and proceeded to her room.

Trailing Goetz
All this time, Arinaitwe, who usually frequented the hotel, was seated in the lounge looking at her. He immediately followed her up stairs to her room and knocked at the door. He duped the elderly woman with ‘ROOM SERVICE’ and she opened.

Unknown to the American that it was a killer’s knock, she opened the door but on seeing a man with a heavily built body frame, she tried to push back the door and lock; but was soon overpowered.

In the struggle, Goetz broke the key and tried to reach for the desk phone to alert reception but it also slipped out of her grip.

It is not clear whether Goetz even raised an alarm or not.
With little help, Arinaitwe repeatedly stabbed her more than 30 times in the chest with a jack knife in an act that to date is still a puzzle to police officers.

Unknown to Arinaitwe, a sheath for his knife slipped and fell in the room and was later to be a major clue in linking him to the scene of the murder.

Arinaitwe also took off with the woman’s laptop. Shortly, thereafter, another room in the same hotel, which housed a Kenyan national was broken into. This time round, Arinaitwe got some dollars and Kenyan Shillings.

When police arrived at the scene, there was nothing much to do, they locked up the room until the next day when they returned to pick forensic evidence.

From the onset, police concluded that this was the work of a lone operator.
Police recovered blood stained sheets that were taken for DNA tests. It turned out that there were two blood samples one from the American woman and the suspect.

Arinaitwe bad days
By sheer lack, one month later, Entebbe Police Station was reporting a robbery in a room at Lake Victoria Hotel in Entebbe. The room occupant had been attacked by someone. When he raised an alarm the person jumped throw the window, and drove away in a vehicle that had been parked at the hotel.

However, the room occupant managed to identify the vehicle registration number. After searching from Uganda Revenue Authority, the license plate was traced to a man who worked with Uganda Commercial Bank main branch.
When approached by police, the vehicle owner described someone who had hired his car for self-drive that day. It was a well-built young man who lived with his parents in Kololo, a city upscale residential area.

Entebbe police reported to CPS Kampala and later proceeded to Kololo where they found Arinaitwe hiding in his parents’ family house ceiling.

He tried to resist arrest but was later overpowered and handcuffed. Police searched the ceiling and recovered two pistols and a jack knife.

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