Joseph Kahahawai

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Joseph Kahahawai Jr.
Joseph Kahahawai.jpg
Born (1909-12-25)25 December 1909
Maui, Hawaii
Died 8 January 1932(1932-01-08) (aged 22)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Cause of death
Homicide (.32 ACP)
Resting place
Puea Cemetery
Nationality American
Other names "Joe Kalani"
Occupation Boxer
Known for Rape suspect
Homicide victim
Religion Catholic
Criminal charge
Criminal status
Parents Joseph Kahahawai Sr.
Esther Anito

Joseph "Joe" Kahahawai Jr. (25 December 1909 – 8 January 1932) was a Native Hawaiian prizefighter accused of the rape of Thalia Massie. He was abducted and killed after he was freed by a mistrial.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Joseph Kahahawai was born in rural Maui, 25 December 1909. His family moved to Honolulu and Kahahawai′s parents divorced. He lived with his mother, who later remarried, while Kahahawai remained in contact with his father. After elementary school, Kahahawai attended Saint Louis School through an athletic scholarship to play for the high school football team. He built up a positive reputation playing a number 38. Due to the Great Depression, Kahahawai never graduated and worked various jobs. He also enlisted in the Territorial National Guard. As a boxer, Kahahawai fought both professionally under the name Joe Kalani and as a member of the 298th Infantry Regiment.[3]:99

Grave of Joseph Kahahawai Jr., at Puea Cemetery in Kalihi, Honolulu

Accusation of rape and subsequent trial[edit]

Abduction and murder[edit]

After the mistrial, he was kidnapped by Thalia Massie's mother and husband, Grace Fortescue and Navy Lieutenant Thomas Massie respectively, and two Navy enlisted men, Albert O. Jones and Edward J. Lord.[1] While Tomas Massie was questioning him in an attempt to obtain a rape confession, Kahahawai reportedly lunged at Massie, and Albert O. Jones shot him.[4]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Stannard, David (2001-10-14). "The Massie case: Injustice and courage". The Honolulu Advertiser. Honolulu, HI, USA: Black Press. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  2. ^ Linder, Douglas O. (2011-04-25). "The Massie Trials: A Chronology". Famous Trials. Kansas City, MO, USA: University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Law. Archived from the original on 2011-03-21. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 
  3. ^ Stannard, David (2006) [2005]. Honor killing. New York, NY, USA: Penguin Books. ISBN 9781440649219. OCLC 759838997, 648096412 and 645891754. 
  4. ^ "...A Sailor Confesses to Old Hawaii Killing". Life (Chicago: Time Inc) 61 (15): 49. 1966-10-07. ISSN 0024-3019. OCLC 561728384. Retrieved 2013-03-23.