A number of murders and disappearances have gone unsolved in Honolulu, Hawaii, a beautiful and busy metropolis on the island of Oahu. Some of these incidents occurred as far back as the 1980s, and they continue to cause worry and anguish to those closest to the victims even today. These numbers shed light on the frequency and severity of these incidents in Honolulu.
The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) reports that there are over 400 unsolved homicide cases in Honolulu city and county, some of which date back to the 1960s. Around half of these cases are considered "cold" since they have been unsolved for more than three years. Several disappearances and missing persons cases have likewise gone cold and have not been solved.
There have been over 500 homicides in Honolulu since 1980, or about 10–12 on average every year. While homicide rates have been relatively stable over the long term, they peaked in the 1990s and have since declined.
Because of the absence of tangible evidence and credible witnesses, investigating cold cases is notoriously difficult. Several of these crimes occurred in the '80s and '90s, when DNA testing and other modern forensic methods were not yet in use. The inability to locate and question eyewitnesses is compounded by the fact that some incidents may have included people who have passed away or relocated.
The absence of funds set aside to investigate cold cases is another obstacle. Due to manpower constraints, detectives who are currently working on ongoing cases are typically tasked with investigating cold cases for the HPD. A result of this is that it might be challenging for detectives to give cold cases the attention they need.
The HPD has overcome obstacles and solved some of the city's cold cases. For the past few years, the agency has established a special unit to examine and reexamine cold cases. In certain instances, investigators have been able to make significant headway thanks to new leads or technological advancements, resulting in arrests and convictions.