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Genocide hunters: on the trail of a mass murderer

Genocide hunters: on the trail of a mass murderer


How one of the most wanted men on earth was caught after three decades on the run

Why this story

Sometimes it feels like the world is spinning out of control – like we’re living in an age of impunity where the bad guys keep getting away. We see it in Ethiopia, Syria and Ukraine – crimes against humanity. War criminals keep getting away. But there are times when the bad guys are put behind bars. 

On the surface, this looks like a simple good news story. But when Tortoise started investigating, doors started slamming in our faces. We ended up in a cloak-and-dagger world of former cops, spooks and private investigators. People who worked on Fulgence Kayishema’s case over the years – because they wanted to get that five-million-dollar bounty. The case tells us just how messy justice is. How even when it seems simple, nothing can be taken for granted.

How we got here

To tell the story of Fulgence Kayishema, we travelled to Cape Town, South Africa, to investigate how he was caught. We spoke to men who only survived Fulgence’s militia by hiding under dead bodies and to private investigators and South African cops who helped to track him down. We also travelled to the Hague to meet a small unit of genocide trackers at the United Nations who eventually got him.

Will Brown, Senior Reporter

Producers: Catherine Boulle, Matt Russell and Imy Harper.