Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Murder on Lanai

Last week there was a murder-suicide over on Lanai.  A man killed the wife who was divorcing him and then turned the gun on himself, leaving their 5 children orphaned.  It's a story I've read about all too often lately, over and over again.  I'll never understand what makes a person think it's okay to kill someone just because they dare to break off a relationship with them.  I'll never understand why they think it's okay to desert their children, to leave them to grow up with the knowledge of what one of their parents did, to leave them to always wonder why.

Violent crime is relatively rare in Hawaii.  We live in Paradise, after all.  Everything here is filled with "aloha."  Drivers are more polite.  People are friendly.  Things move at a slower pace.  I don't hear shouting from the streets every night like I did when I lived in Portland.  It's always sunny, always warm.  It's hard to imagine that in the midst of this, there was a family in turmoil.

They say that Maui is a small island - everybody knows everybody sooner or later.  I experienced this myself when my husband and I went to a bar this weekend and I ran into one of the approximately 5 people that I know on the island so far.  Lanai is even smaller.  So I wonder, did people know?  The other family members, the neighbors, teachers, friends?  Did they know that this family was in turmoil?  Or were there no warning signs that things were about to tragically explode?

Details in the Maui News were scant.  Neighbors said that the family was nice, that they knew of no problems, that they were shocked.  I wonder, how well do we know each other, even in a small community such as this?  How can you really ever know another person or what they are capable of?

Tragedy is, of course, sad, no matter who or when or where it strikes.  But it seems particularly sad in this beautiful place, especially when there was so much left behind.  I hope that someone good and kindhearted gets to keep those poor orphaned children.  I hope that they don't grow up haunted by this terrible act of violence.  And I hope that they can grow up still knowing love and aloha.


Anonymous said...

youve never been on oahu. i mean yes hawaii is what you say, a place where people are a little nicer and everything is slowed down. but oahu, since its the biggest melting pot from all the islands, they have more violence and more drugs, and just more killings. its just sad. thats why i dont call hawaii paradise.

Patricia said...

I think if you do know that there are problems with your neighbors, it is hard to know what to do. People are afraid of "interfering" and then sometimes regret it afterward, that they didn't "do" anything.

I too, hope that the five children have better lives from now on.