While Hawaii is sometimes considered to be safer than many locales in America, the state still experiences bloodshed, and these homicide cases are evidence of that. From mass murders to crimes of opportunity, these five Hawaii murders are sure to live on in infamy.
1) The Xerox Murders
On November 2, 1999, Xerox service technician Byran Uyegusi killed his supervisor and six of his co-workers with a 9mm. Uyegusi surrendered in the mountains around Honolulu five hours later, and pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity – claiming that he felt like an outcast at work, and that he was scared that his co-workers were conspiring to have him fired. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole, and is now held at a facility in Mississippi, due to inadequate accommodations for a prisoner in isolation at Halawa Correctional Facility. The Xerox building was abandoned after the shooting, and was not used until 2004, when producers of the television series Lost built a sound stage there to film indoor scenes.
2) The Honolulu Strangler
Hawaii’s first known serial killer, the Honolulu Strangler, was responsible for the murders of five women between 1985 and 1986. The victims ranged in ages between 17 and 36, but all were found with their hands bound, sexually assaulted and strangled. The killer was profiled as an opportunist, attacking vulnerable women – who were, for example, waiting at bus stops – as opposed to a killer who stalked his victims. To this day, the serial killer has not been caught. Two of the victims were found at Keehi Lagoon, pictured above.
3) A Jealous Rampage
Orlando Ganal was convicted for the deaths of four people – and the injury of four others - in a 1991 shooting and arson rampage. He shot and killed his father-in-law and mother-in-law in Waipahu out of jealousy on August 25, 1991. Later that night, he torched the Kailua home where his wife’s lover lived. Four individuals were killed – including two children. He was sentenced to life in prison.
4) Morgan’s Corner
In 1948, two escaped prisoners murdered 68-year-old widow, Therese Wilder, in her home. She was bound, gagged, and left unconscious in her bed. During the struggle, she suffered from a broken jaw, and she subsequently suffocated, due to the broken jaw and gag placed around her neck and mouth. The killers were caught a few days later, but the case left many in Honolulu debating the merits of capital punishment in the state. The area, Morgan's Corner, is now said to be the site of various hauntings, and urban legends.
5) The Massie Case
On September 12, 1931, Thalia Massie, a young navy wife, was found by passers-by two hours after leaving a party where she had been drinking heavily. Her face was bruised, her mouth was bleeding, and she had a broken jaw. Police picked up five local men in a separate traffic incident that night, and repeatedly brought them to Massie’s hospital room until she identified them as the men who abducted and raped her. Later, one suspect, Joseph Kahahawai, was forced into a car, shot, and killed – responsible for the killing were Massie’s mother, husband and two sailors.
Which of these murders have you heard of? Are there other cases I missed? Please share your insight in the comments below.