William Baldwin was 27-years-old when he arrived in Kenya looking for adventure. The University of Colorado-Boulder graduate had no money and his papers weren’t in order. He needed a job. The young American joined the Kenyan police.
The British colony was two years into an uprising by members of the Gĩkũyũ tribe. The authorities called them the Mau Mau and accused them of dragging Kenya back into a violently prehistoric past. The rebels called themselves the Kenya Land and Freedom Army (KLFA) and demanded national independence.
The uprising had a taste of inter-tribal civil war: the number of Gĩkũyũ in the Mau Mau was matched by those who remained loyal to the British, fighting against the rebellion. Add the casual racism of white settlers and soldiers determined to hang on to their corner of the empire, and you had a recipe for bloody conflict.