Rogues, Rascals and Villains
A roundup of Hawaii’s most notorious baddies from loveable hucksters to cold-blooded killers.
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In her six-year tenure as a Bishop Estate trustee, Lokelani Lindsey turned Kamehameha Schools upside down in a debacle that almost cost the estate its tax-exempt status in the mid-’90s. For an encore, she served six months in prison for money laundering and bankruptcy fraud in connection with her sister’s 1995 bankruptcy case.
Although Lindsey’s sentence was delayed three times by District Court Judge David Ezra on arguments that she had to care for her terminally ill husband, the jig was up when she was seen gambling at the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas. Lindsey ultimately admitted to taking two trips there—one with her husband and one to “take a break from caring for him.”
Bernard “Otto” Kuehn
On the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, police arrested Bernard “Otto” Kuehn as a Nazi spy engaged in espionage. According to the FBI, Kuehn, a German alien who lived in Lanikai, had been feeding vital
In a last-ditch effort to delay her sentence again, Lindsey dropped a bizarre and rambling letter in the after-hours court document box. In it she claimed she was targeted for political reasons and arrested to prevent her from exposing political and financial corruption in the state involving Bishop Estate and race-based abuse of Hawaiians—oh, and she asked Ezra to recuse himself from the case. In court the next day, the judge called the letter “probably the single most incomprehensible act I have seen in my entire tenure as a federal judge.”
When it comes to sheer villainy, few Hawaii figures compare with Ronnie Ching. A hitman throughout the 1970s, Ching was responsible for some of organized crime’s most shocking murders: killing state Sen. Larry Kuriyama in his own Aiea carport, burying a DEA informant alive at Maili Beach, murdering the son of then-deputy City Corporation Counsel Charles Marsland Jr. on a Waimanalo road-side, and riddling informant Bobby Fukumoto with bullets from an M-16 at the Brass Door Lounge on Kapiolani Boulevard.
Further cementing Ching’s reputation as Honolulu’s No. 1 bogeyman was his willingness to talk. In a secretly-taped conversation with police officer Don Carstensen over lunch in 1980, Ching rambled about how old he was when he first murdered someone (16) and the best place to bury a body (Makua Beach). Former city prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro says, “This guy was talkative, a very personable guy. He could talk a good story, and charm you. But at the same time, he was so cold-blooded.”
"He could talk a good story. But at the same time, he was cold-blooded."—Keith Kaneshiro
In 1985, Ching was sentenced to life in prison for four murders, although Kaneshiro says, “There were a lot more than those four guys.” Ching died in 2005 at the age of 56, still incarcerated at Halawa Community Correctional Center.