The Serial Homicide Case of the Day, from "Hunting Humans, the Encyclopedia of 20th Century Serial Killers" , by Michael Newton
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Honolulu - Unsolved Murders
It was, perhaps, inevitable that America's vacation spot would share the notoriety of other states where random killers have made headlines, claiming victims coast-to-coast. As residents of Anchorage, Alaska, learned in 1983, mere geographic isolation does not guarantee immunity against the modern murder epidemic. Unlike the Alaskan crimes of Robert Hansen, though, Hawaii's first -- and, thus far, only -- case of serial murder remains unsolved, the killer still at large.
Vicki Purdy, 25 years old, was first to die. A twice-married housewife, employed at a local video store, she was abducted and strangled by persons unknown on May 29, 1985, still wearing her jumpsuit and jewelry when found, with no indications of sexual assault.
On January 15, 1986, 17-year-old Regina Sakamoto vanished on her way to school, moments after phoning her boyfriend to say she had just missed her bus. Strangled and raped , her partially nude body was fished out of Keehi Lagoon a month later.
On January 30, 1986, Denise Hughes, a 21-year-old navy wife, failed to report for her regular job. Listed as a missing person, she was found in a drainage canal on February 1, strangled to death with her hands bound behind her, body wrapped in a blue plastic tarp.
Two months later, on March 26, the killer claimed 25-year-old Louise Medeiros, a single mother three months pregnant at the time she died. Lost en route to her boyfriend's apartment, Medeiros was found dead on April 2, hands tied behind her back, wearing only a blouse. Authorities have not released the cause of death.
Linda Pesce, 36, was last seen alive a month later, on April 29, reported missing by her roommate the following day. On May 3, her body was found at Sand Island, arms bound behind her back, the cause of death remaining secret at the wish of homicide investigators who insist one killer is responsible for all five murders.
A "profile" of the killer, drawn up by the FBI, describes him as a white man in his late thirties or early forties, driving a light-colored cargo van. Six days after Linda Pesce's body was discovered, local officers detained a 43-year-old suspect for questioning, but he was released without charges after ten hours of interrogation. At this writing, the case remains open, with no arrest in sight.
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