Massie Rape Case

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Cynthia Garcia
Mr. Topolinski / 3rd period
4/19/13

Massie Rape Case
On one night in September 1931 Mrs. Thalia Massie the wife of Lt. Thomas H. Massie was found badly beaten and wandering about on Ala Moana Road. At the same time, five local men- two Hawaiians, two Japanese, and a Chinese Hawaiian- also known as the Kalihi Gang, were arrested for assault and battery. Mrs. Massie identified Joseph Kahahawai, Henry Chang, David Takai, Benny Ahakuelo, and Horace Ida as the people who had attacked and raped her. The Kalihi Gang was arrested and put on trial for rape. The police investigation was not done properly.

It was shown during the trial that the gang could not have been at the same place where Mrs. Massie the same time they were getting arrested. One witness had seen Mrs. Massie with a man, a stranger, the same time she said she was attacked by the gang. The trial ended in a mistrial because the jury could not come up with a verdict on way or another. This case brought public furor in Hawai’i and on the mainland. A chain of paper called the Hearst Papers publicized the case on the mainland in a sensational manner.

The Massie case was shown as a terrible racial and sexual scandal. Charges were made that the local police system was archaic in it administration and organization. The Implication was made that the Hawaiian peoples we incapable of keeping peace, limiting crime, ad administering justice. The situation got worse when the mother of the victim, Grace Fortescue, arrived in Hawai’i. And was determined that her daughter had to be proven correct. She and Lieutenant were furious as a result of the trial. They were determined to force a confession out of one of the gang members.

The two of the with the help of two United States sailors, kidnapped Joe Kahahawai, took him into an apartment in Mānoa and attempted to force a confession from him. Kahahawai was then shot and killed. The foursome wrapped his body,...
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