Happened To...

An update on past news

Perpetrators of cemetery
vandalism not found

Question: What ever happened to the investigation into the overnight graffiti vandalism on Oahu cemeteries in 1997?

Answer: Honolulu Police Department and FBI officials said the investigation is still open, despite the fact that it has been more than seven years since the crime took place.

On April 19, 1997, vandals struck overnight and by the early the next morning had covered seven island cemeteries -- the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery, Valley of the Temples, Hawaiian Memorial Park, Oahu Cemetery, Nuuanu Memorial Park and Honolulu Memorial Park -- with hate-related graffiti.

Police said vandals used stencils and red spray paint to spray phrases such as "F*** Hawaii" and "HPD ignores hate crimes ... ignore this" on grave markers.

Spray-painted messages, such as "Hate your guts Hawaii. You Make Me Sick," covered monument walls bearing names of missing or lost armed forces members in the Garden of the Missing and about 50 ground grave markers at Punchbowl.

One of the messages left at a Kaneohe veteran's grave site read: "My love was greater than your love. Now my hate is greater than your hate."

Despite private donors posting a $35,000 reward, police and FBI investigators have made no arrests. However, they have followed up on several leads.

One lead involved an analysis of the paint used in the crime, which pointed to a type of red used in the automotive industry.

Shortly after the vandalism on Oahu, Congress passed the Veterans' Cemetery Protection Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie. The law made penalties more severe for anyone convicted of vandalism at veterans cemeteries.

This update was written by Star-Bulletin reporter Rod Antone.

Ever wonder what happened to a person, event or issue that has been in the news? We'll find out for you if you e-mail us at, call us at 529-4747 or write 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana, Honolulu, HI 96813. "What Ever Happened to ..." runs Saturdays.


E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2004 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --