Bearing two conflicting personalities – One of a cold blooded enforcer and that of a man out to do good, Patrick Shaw attracted both fear and love from different people who knew him.
Known by many names including; white Volvo man, killer cop and others knowing him as an administrator under Geoffrey Griffin. He was a man of many parts and identities.
With no prior listings of knowledge with firearms Shaw never lost a gunfight with thugs. Equipped with only intelligence and a quick desire to learn, he was able to gain the respect of the police officers within a short period.
Were it in a movie setting many would have agreed he was best fit for the role of Raymond Reddington of The Blacklist.
Born in 1936 in London, Shaw was the son of a prominent doctor who died of Tuberculoses.He came to Kenya in 1955 as an agricultural officer. Later joined Starehe Boys Centre as an administrator after being enlisted as a police reservist in 1959.
Despite his huge size, colleagues and witnesses described him as being lightening fast on his feet and able to run down suspects. In fact, he was always the first in a robbery scene.
Weighing over 300 pounds, about 136kgs and six feet tall, Shaw suffered from hypothyroidism which had him sleeping for only two hours. The rest of the hours he perfected his art of being an investigator.
During the day he was an administrator at Starehe Boys Centre. A place he was unequivocally a saint and a fatherly figure. Nights became his spying moments.With a code name Romeo 9. He would spend most of the night driving around worst neighbourhoods looking for criminals and maintaining the aura of omnipresence in the criminal world.
Volvo Licence number KFH845 was known by heart by many. On just a speculation of it’s presence in a given area, thugs would scamper to safety. Modified with a custom seat that he could lie back in,fitted with a CB radio and a blue rooftop light, this Volvo was embodied to Shaw.
Kenya’s most notorious criminals, Wacucu, Gachui and Nick Mwea were just but a few of a string of bank robbers that were promoted to Glory by the hired vigilante. As others called him.
Shaw would race down a group of thugs after a bank robbery in his Volvo. Gun them down and then in the presence of the entire onlookers point the robbers one by one calling them with their full names.
His spy network was one of it’s kind. He bought loyalty. He would show mercy to a thug and send him back to the crew. With that he got wind of any assassination attempts on his life. He also had first hand information of most planned robberies in the city.
He played the role of an investigator, judge and executioner. Although his means were unorthodox, most witnesses say Shaw gave the thugs a chance to reform.
A chap in the village would say, ” Nilifukuzwa Nairobi na Shaw.” This man would give you a warning to leave Nairobi In case you were a thug. Failure to which Shaw would send you to your maker the next time you met.
He however was linked to extra-judicial killings including the death of JM Kariuki. Although no prosecutions were made.
One mistake many say he did was to get involved in politics.
Patrick Shaw succumbed to weight related heart attack in 1988. However, his death still remains to be questioned by many as some believe he was assassinated. During his burial there was a sealed coffin and no viewing of the body was allowed.
In as much as his ways might have been a little bit off the books, Patrick Shaw is agreed by many as a crime buster who kept Nairobi safe during his era.