One of my favorite getaways is to the beautiful island of Kauai – and still is today. All of the Hawaiian Islands are beautiful, but for some reason I enjoy the less crowded and somewhat remote areas of Kauai the best. I love the local people, great food, and wonderful views.
One of my last visits about four years ago; I sat on a remote beach and thought to myself, “What if there was a killer on the loose here?” Hey, it’s just a thought. Many things go through a writer’s mind no matter where I am, especially on the criminologist’s side of my brain.
At the time I didn’t know about the “real” serial killer in 2000 that briefly stalked and attacked women on the island.
OVERVIEW OF CASES:
The body of Lisa Bissell, 38, was discovered near the Polihale State Park on a sugar cane road. This is a secluded area where tourists head to the beach for the scenic route of the Na’Pali Coast. She was stabbed numerous times, but they were not life-threatening. However, left in the secluded area without treatment, caused her to bleed to death.
A suspect attempted to rape and kill a 52 years old woman working in a yard of a Kekaha home. She was sexually assaulted, beaten, stabbed in the abdomen (knife broke off), and her arm was broken. She fought her attacker and was left to die, but she survived.
The body of Daren R. Singer, 43, was discovered at Pakala Point Beach. Money was found at her campsite, indicating that robbery wasn’t the motive for the killing. She was sexually assaulted and stabbed numerous times in another location before she was dumped.
CONNECTION OF CRIMES:
- All victims were sexually assaulted.
- All victims were Caucasian females, middle aged, and of similar height (5’2 to 5’4”) and weight (100 pounds).
- A knife was used in each attack.
- Attacked occurred on the west side of Kauai, near the beach area.
- All victims were alone and seemed to be attacked by a single person.
- Serial rapist, resulting in two homicides.
COMPOSITE SKETCH OF SUSPECT:
OUTCOME OF INVESTIGATIONS:
Cases remain unsolved.
These horrific cases of Kauai’s first serial killer inspired me to write DARK MIND. I wanted to bring my Emily Stone Series into different areas and new challenges, not only for my character but for me as well. The island of Kauai posed challenges of weather, terrain, and the tight group of locals: a perfect backdrop for a fictional serial killer hunter.
Do you think the serial killer was a local or someone passing through? Do you think these crimes showed acceleration from the killer? And, are they still killing?
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Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase/
Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting