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General News of Sunday, 29 August 2021


Ritual killings for human parts, others - These cases have shaken Ghana since the 1980s

Dr. Beckley was notorious for being involved in many ritual killings Dr. Beckley was notorious for being involved in many ritual killings

• Ritual killings continue to be a topical subject of worry in Ghana

• Richard Appiah, an architect at Abesim was recently arrested with body parts in his fridge and dead bodies in his room

• There have been previous cases of such murders in Ghana and some of them are outlined in this peice

Crime and killings anywhere is a big subject and when those killings especially become serial, that’s an even bigger headline.

This past week in Ghana, news of the alleged murder of two boys by a 28-year-old supposed architect got many talking.

According to the details of the case, the suspect, Richard Appiah who has since been arrested, was discovered with dead bodies in his room at Alaska in Abesim in the Sunyani Municipality.

Since then, the IGP has visited the community and promised that they will bring finality to this investigation and get the perpetrators dealt with according to the law.

This was just one of the many cases of serial killings in Ghana. There have been, prior to this, many cases of serial killings where individuals are found with parts of their bodies severed and detached. In some other cases, the killers were identified and found with body parts.

This peice compiles a list of these cases as they happened in the past:

The 1980s killings

A report by lists some cases of murders that happened within the 1980s and in which case, very often, the bodies were found mutilated with some vital parts missing.

For instance, in January 1981, the body of Kingsley Ackaah, alias Kwame Kaya, a fifteen-year-old schoolboy and native of Baakrom near Sefwi Bekwai, was found without his head.

Again, in November 1981, the body of nine-year-old Kwasi Gyimah was found at the outskirts of Sefwi Bekwai without his head.

Similarly, in November 1984, Kwaku Nkrumah, a sixty-five-year-old palm wine tapper of Sefwi Bekwai, was found dead in the bush without his head.

Also, in May 1986, thirteen-year-old Akwasi Ampomaning, a schoolboy from Sukusuku near Sefwi Bekwai was found dead with his arms missing.

Again, Kumade Mensah Zormelo was killed for a sacrifice that is required annually, in accordance with traditional practices, to enable the fishermen of Kedzi, to have bumper fishing season.

In April 1982, soldiers arrested Avorga Ahiagba of Wlite near Akatsi, for possessing human skulls.

He was alleged to have pleaded that the skulls were ancestral property. Possessing no other evidence to the contrary, the court fined him ¢700.00.

Subsequently, Ahiagba mysteriously disappeared, after his release from prison-custody, but was later found dead with his body partially burnt, near the Ho stadium.

Charles Ebo Quansah, The Strangler reports of Charles Papa Kwabena Ebo Quansah (b. 1964), a convicted Ghanaian serial killer who was arrested in February 2000 for the murder of his girlfriend Joyce Boateng.

While in custody, Quansah was subsequently charged with the murder of another woman, Akua Serwaa who was found strangled near Kumasi Sports Stadium, in Kumasi on January 19, 1996 and subsequently confessed to the strangulation deaths of nine women in the capital city of Accra. The deaths of thirty-four women were attributed to a serial killer beginning in 1993.

Later, when the case progressed, it will turn out that when the then Minister for Interior, (NDC government) Nii Okaija Adamafio (MP) and then IGP, Peter Nanfuri, released the names of the suspected serial killers in Parliament, Quansah's name was not included. One Leopold Mawuli Anka, was a name released by the then government as one of the key suspects.

The full details of the case are below, and is made available by

The serial killings of 2000

At the start of this millennium, specifically in the year 2000, several women started getting missing in the country in what would become known as fears of serial killings.

The Guardian reported the incidents then as one of the world's most prolific, ghoulish serial killers terrorising women in the West African country of Ghana. At the time of this report, it stated that the killer - or killers - had just claimed his thirty-fourth victim in what police believed was a ritualistic murder.

All the victims were women, found stripped from the waist down, with their legs apart. In many cases, unused condoms were scattered around, and some of the women had their genitals mutilated. Sometimes, empty syringes were left at the scene. Close examination of some victims revealed pin pricks where some of their blood had been removed.

Mystery surrounded the identities of the women, some of whom are thought to have been prostitutes. Only a few families came forward to acknowledge the dead.

Police revealed virtually no information about their investigations, claiming that it would help the killer. They also, at the time, did not say what the cause of deaths were, but most of the women were not visibly injured and were thought to have been strangled or suffocated. It was however not thought the women were raped.

Dr. Beckley

Dr. Sri Yogi Ram Beckley was a doctor and an occultist who allegedly kidnapped schoolchildren and sacrificed them to his gods, reports

When he was finally arrested, he had many school uniforms and human skulls in his house. This happened at New Fadama-Accra and his house was burnt down by an angry mob in the area.

He is reported to have resurfaced again in Gbawe in 2002 and kidnapped another 13-year-old girl and her friend, tying one to a tree as he dragged the other girl to his room.

It is believed the girl tied to the tree called for help, prompting passersby who rescued her. When the matter finally got to the police, his house was searched but they never found the girl that was dragged to his room. His house was again burnt to the ground by an angry mob, the report said.

His multistory house at New Fadama had tall wall fencing so no one could see what went on in the house, equally making it harder for his victims to escape.

It was rumored he feasted on the flesh of his victims and drank their blood.

During his days, parents would hide their children in the bedroom from fear of being Kidnapped by Dr. Beckley and used for rituals. Other parents also had to accompany their wards to and from school with clubs and guns in order to offer protection for them from Dr. Beckley, the report added.

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