Whether gunning down a warthog, raising the beams he'd hewn himself for a new church, or standing up for landless refugees and abused girls, Father John Kaiser was a figure larger than life. He was fierce in his commitments, devoted to the poor and displaced, and fearless-what some would call reckless-in the pursuit of justice. For this he was beloved by his parishioners, seen as a loose cann by his superiors in the church, and despised by Kenya's strongmen under the tyrannical leadership of Daniel arap Moi. When Kaiser was discovered dead on a remote roadside in the bush, the FBI ruled it a suicide. Kenyans were sure he'd been murdered. In a new Kenya, post-Moi, it would fall to Charles Mbuthi Gathenji, a prominent dissident and the son of a man himself murdered for his beliefs, to find out what really happened to Father John Kaiser.
Christopher Goffard writes for the Los Angeles Times and lives in Southern California.