***Commentary***Police Release First Batch Of Information On Unsolved Murders; Puna Has The Most, At 13

Mahalo to Lt. Mitchell Kanehailua, who is helping me obtain information regarding the island’s unsolved murders.  Along with publishing it here on my blog, I’m planning to use the information when I launch a new series entitled, “The Lost Files,” for one of our island’s news publications.  I will let you know when the first article is to appear.  For now, though, following is a list of Puna’s unsolved murders to date.  Lt. Kanehailua tells me that Puna has more unsolved murders — or “homicides” as he refers to them — than the other districts, at 13.  

ALANI, Clayton                    09-12-97

CARREIRO, Joey                   11-27-76

DAY, Tom                            01-05-71     

DAY, Wendy                         01-05-71

GUERRERO, Glenn                08-12-96

KAMMERER, John                 03-17-94

KOKUBUN, Richard              01-05-71

KURZ, Erika                         08-10-91

LAGASCA, Aquido               02-11-76

MARTIN, Darlene                05-07-96

SMYKLO, Nimfa                   07-09-97

WARSHAY, Valeri                06-26-78

WOLSK, Phillip                    04-23-80

 Anyone with information about any one of these unsolved murders should immediately call police at (808) 935-3311 or Lt. Kanehailua at (808) 961-2252.  Anyone with a general recollection about these cases is welcome to comment here. As the lieutenant provides me with more information about these unsolved murders and others around the island, I will post them. 

16 replies
  1. damon
    damon says:

    I like the idea for your new series.

    I hope you really do research on these investigations and not just dig up stuff that has already been hashed over.

    Here is the initial media release on the Alani Case:


    They can all be found very easily, so I hope you do some real investigations and not just rehash old media releases.

    If you really do some digging on some of those people listed… I bet you might be surprised at some of the things you find on them.

    Of course, most of the stuff that would be reported in a column such as this… Unless a real investigative report was done… might be all “hearsay” :roll:

    I can’t wait to read “THE LOST FILES” in future weeks.

  2. Tiffany Edwards Hunt
    Tiffany Edwards Hunt says:

    You know, Damon, I urge you not to have great expectations. I have a ten-month-old child, so I’m going to do what I can to revisit cases and get the public dialogue going, perhaps helping to stir up some memories, and then I’m going to go out and have fun with my kid. Happy New Year.

  3. Kim Jordan
    Kim Jordan says:

    Congratulations on a great attitude, Tiff.
    I’m surprised at Damon. Didn’t he just admit he won’t write about anything if it would upset his wife or her extended family? Then he hopes you do some real “digging” on Murder cases. Wow.

  4. punatic
    punatic says:

    I noticed you don’t have Chris on the list. I hope his case doesn’t remain unsolved long.

    Another case on the list, Nimfa Smyklo, of Nanawale, has some similarities to the Chris Randrup case. Everyone knows who did it, including the police, but no one was ever charged. She had some bad tenants, had been having a rent dispute, was threatened by her tenants, and then was found brutaly murdered. Sadly, her case seems to be forgotten.

    I hope the police can come up with some evidence to nail the punks resposible for Chris’ death. He won’t be forgotten, but what I’m worried about is someone else close to us getting in trouble for taking matters into their own hands.

    Thanks for this thread Tiff.

  5. damon
    damon says:

    Kim –

    Why would it surprise you that I wouldn’t write much about my own family?

    Would you?

    I’m just a blog site. I’m not trying to provide “news”.

    I’m trying to provide enjoyable reading that interests myself.

    I know enough about my family to the point where I don’t need to blog about them.

    I have a very large extended family, and often times I have found out that I wrote about a family member, after the matter… and that sucks when I hear about it from them or my wife.

    Tiff is a journalist. I’m a communications specialist. Big Difference.

  6. harley charlie
    harley charlie says:

    Tiff what about all those ‘missing cases’ without a body, like Charlie who just disappeared down near Kahena? True they may not be dead, but someone should speak for them as well. They may just total to a lot more.

    Can you get a list of those reported as missing form the police?

  7. Laurie Roberts
    Laurie Roberts says:

    Tiff, I applaud your vision and efforts and as you stated “anyone who put themselves in public eye is up for scrutiny”.
    An apology is not a sign of weakness but of character.
    Keep up the good work!!!

  8. Dave Smith
    Dave Smith says:

    quote from Damon above:

    “I hope you really do research on these investigations and not just dig up stuff that has already been hashed over.”

    Damon, get a grip. Where do you get off telling someone else how to do their blog when you insist no one should do that to you? After all, you’re the one with all the time on your hands.

    And talk about “rehashing,” your posting about helmet laws screams out for context. So much for communication.

    About now you’re trotting out your old standby about how you’re not “about news,” yet it’s obvious to everyone that’s what you’re trying to be most of the time. You even admitted it yesterday:


    You can’t have it both ways. Why not give the ‘ol hypocrisy, Tiffany and everyone else a break?

  9. damon
    damon says:

    Dave –

    The reason I said that “I hope you really do research…” Is because it doesn’t seem that much research has been done in the past from a quick dig of things.

    It Tiff can even get answers to one of these unsolved murders then she has done a great deal for our community.

    I don’t have much faith in our fine officers figuring out what happened in most of the above cited cases. Maybe Tiff’s new investigations could open something up that was overlooked before.

  10. Dave Smith
    Dave Smith says:

    As she said, Tiffany is merely looking to establish a dialogue about the matter. Extensive research requires beaucoup time, which can be a tight commodity for a working mom.

    And to give credit where it’s due, Chris Loos, one of my former colleagues at the Trib, did a fine series on unsolved murders a few years back (maybe in about 2004?), which could provide Tiffany with good background on some of the cases.

    One of her articles was about the 1987 murder of a 65-year-old woman in a Hilo gas station restroom. Her alleged murderer was recently indicted, and hopefully greater public awareness will help in other cases.

  11. Kim Jordan
    Kim Jordan says:

    Tiff is a journalist ….. not a detective. “Digging” into these cases could put her and her family in real danger. You aren’t willing to upset a member of a very large extended family …. which includes pretty well all of the Political arena.
    I stand by my earlier post.
    By the way, I was quite open during Brian’s run for office. We don’t argee on everything, but we respect each other enough to let each other have their own opinions.

  12. James Weatherford
    James Weatherford says:


    Are all of these people residents of Puna? Other places on this island? other islands? other places?


  13. Tiffany Edwards Hunt
    Tiffany Edwards Hunt says:

    This is a list of the unsolved murders in Puna that police have on file. The dates are when the murders occurred. To date, this is the information I have received from the police department. As I have already stated, I will post information as I receive it.

  14. Skeleton's Speakeasy
    Skeleton's Speakeasy says:

    There is a name missing which we all remember and that is Peter Boy Kama. Did they (police) give up and if not where is this case now. Puna hasn’t forgotten.

  15. Tiffany Edwards Hunt
    Tiffany Edwards Hunt says:

    The listed unsolved Puna murders are those that a body has been discovered, and can be described in police terms as a “homicide.” Quite obviously, we should also probe the missing persons, since we can all recall cases in which a body has never been found and therefore cannot technically be called a homicide.

  16. Matt
    Matt says:

    Tiffany, Erika Kurz was my great Aunt. Watching unsolved mysteries made me think about this. I only know sketchy details of her murder learned from my dad and aunt. I hope you get some new information to solve this mystery. Thanks

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