Damned In Paradise, A Nathan Heller Novel by Max Allan Collins is a fictional accounting of The Massie Case. Though no more or less dramatic than the true crime stories written about the case, it is easy reading, very true to “fact” as the facts are known and recorded, and includes an alternate suggestion for a possible outcome, also based on recorded fact. My time was well-spent reading this novel.
Other stories relating the same researched details of the case include:
Rape In Paradise by Theon Wright, with intro by Glen Grant;
Something Terrible Has Happened by Peter Van Stingerland;
Local Story by John P. Rosa (copyright 2014) examines the events from
a new perspective raising questions involving universal awareness;
Hawai‘i’s Scandal by Cobey Black; and
Honor Killing by David Stannard.
Finally, there is The Massie Case by Peter Packer and Bob Thomas copyrighted 1966 when information was released, though it had always been available. This true crime, uncensored story tells in detail the known facts and speculation of an alleged gang-rape in the Hawaii Territory in 1931-1932.
The authors used all information available to them and published their accounts of racial violence and murder, the actions of a husband and mother to avenge a hateful act, and the defense presented by a world-renowned attorney, Clarence Darrow.
The Massie Case was released in 1966 along with two other books (Rape In Paradise by Theon Wright; Something Terrible Has Happened by Peter Van Stingerland;) relating the story in similar fashion. The words “notorious” “sensational” and “controversial” accurately describe events surrounding this series of tragedies, but the reader new to this tale may find their application unexpected and shifting.
What did happen that late night in 1930s Waikiki?
Was a young married Caucasian female raped multiple times? By a group of local boys? The ones she identified? What circumstances led up to whatever did happen, and why did someone else have to die before an uncomfortable peace was established?
Whether you read the true crime stories or the novels, the facts shimmer and shift equally. And unless you have ice water in your veins, you will develop opinions and draw conclusions. The events that became known as “the Massie Case” is that kind of a case.
Next up for review: