The fall of Esther Arunga is perhaps a case that would make a perfect case study for a student of psychology.
Up to 2009, Esther was a soft-spoken KTN news anchor with an admirable command of the English language.
Apart from being a journalist, Arunga was also a lawyer who had graduated from the University of Wollongong in Australia.
Despite her fame and relative success, she continued to live with her parents, Dr Robert Arunga and Petoline Amollo Arunga, at their upmarket residence in Lavington Estate.
Robert, who is a PhD. holder, was at the time a high ranking-official in government, and a close confidant of then Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Esther’s only known social activity was membership of the Finger of God – a church frequented by several Kenyan celebrities – even though she had been raised in the conservative SDA Church.
It was at the Finger of God that she met Quincy Timberlake, what happened next is the stuff of movies and will most likely end with the couple spending time in Australian prisons.
Born Quincy Wambitta in Kisumu, the man with a delusional sense of self importance had later acquired the names Timberlake and Zuma to become Quincy Zuma Timberlake.
Everything about the man raised a red flag, he confidently told journalists that he had made a deal to be interviewed by celebrated CNN journalist Larry King in Nairobi.
He spoke about a planned worship rally with celebrated American preacher Benny Hinn – an allegation that was quickly proved to be false.
Then there was the big non-existent words he would throw around like a cartoon character in a Nigerian movie.
In an interview with Citizen TV, Quincy claimed to have met Billy Hinn when studying in the US where he acquired a master’s degree in Endopology (a non-existent course and word).
His first wife, Rose Mueni, would later reveal that Quincy was a musician of limited education and that the furthest he had traveled was to South Africa.
In the same interview on Citizen TV, and in the presence of his Esther, Quincy promised that he would use “political revaputure" (another non-existent grandiose word) to liberate poor Kenyans.
Finger of God Church
There was also an incident where he claimed that his friend and head of Finger of God, Joseph Hellon, an acclaimed musician in Kenya, had been nominated for an Oscar Award! Never mind the Oscars are for film makers and have nothing to do musicians.
It was in the course of this drama that the three were arrested and charged for belonging to a cult.
At some point, Esther’s parents sought to ground her at their home but she managed to sneak out in the middle of the night.
The first thing she did after fleeing her parent’s home was to exchange vows with Quincy in unclear circumstances since her groom was still in police custody.
The next morning, she disowned her parents and announced that she had sued them for Sh300 million for holding her against her will.
It was not long before the couple fled to Australia, saying they were fleeing persecution by the state.
Life in Australia
In Australia, they had two children and a whole load of drama.
Timberlake was convinced that their eldest son, Sinclair, was possessed by demons and would occasionally fight their little boy, believing that he was fighting the demons.
A witness who had been a friend of the couple told Australian authorities that at one-point Sinclair had straight cut lines on his forehead which police believe were knife cuts inflicted by Quincy as he sought to squeeze out demons.
Another witness, Gertrude Marutawana, said she had seen scars on Sinclair’s back during a visit to the Timberlakes’.
Marutwana testified that Arunga had told her that she and her husband had been accused of engaging in witchcraft in Kenya, and that their son had been beaten as punishment.
Esther Arunga son's death
On June 18,2014 – Quincy subjected Sinclair to another round of demon-chasing ritual as his wife watched.
This time, he believed the demons were lodged in the stomach which he punched hard – and when he did not get the expected result – he started knocking the child against the wall. Sinclair did not survive the night.
The couple’s attempt to cover up the death was futile as the autopsy results went against their explanation that their son had sustained injuries after falling off the stairs.
Timberlake was charged with murder while Esther faced the lesser charge of being an accessory to murder – she already confessed and testified against her husband on Monday – and could be sentenced up to 25 years in prison.
The story of Quincy and Esther appears to be coming to sad end – questions still linger.
Was it a case of two mentally disturbed individuals falling in twisted love? Was theirs a story of a manipulative spouse taking advantage of the other, and if so, which spouse manipulated the other?