Peter Kema’s dad leads police to alleged disposal spot

This just in: Peter Kema‘s father, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter earlier this month, has lead police to where he says he put his son’s body. This location is, of course, as yet undisclosed, but it’s somewhere in the district of Puna.

Here’s to hoping there’s actually something recoverable there, and this 20-year saga can finally be over.

Peter Kema denouement

Sorry everyone, the internet was kaput for much of this week. I could access it on my cell phone using data, but the house connection didn’t work. Michael and I have been having issues with our provider since November.

It goes like this: we had to cut down on our expenses so decided to switch our cable and internet package to just internet. The service provider said okay, and yet EVERY SINGLE MONTH SINCE THEN, they’ve billed us for cable, phone and internet, and the result is either our account gets overdrawn and we have to pay fees to the bank, or our service provider stops providing service — ALL service, not just the services we no longer want — because we can’t pay the bill. Then Michael will call them and remind them that we’re only supposed to be getting internet now, and they will apologize, reduce our bill accordingly and promise it won’t happen again. Then it happens again.

Anyway. Now we’ve got our internet back and Michael plans to switch providers because he’s understandably fed up.

So. It looks like the Peter Kema case may be finally reaching its conclusion. Peter’s mother reached a deal with the prosecution last year, pleading guilty to manslaughter and agreeing to testify against her husband. Earlier this week, Peter’s father also pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He was sentenced to twenty years and must serve a minimum of six, and he has agreed to lead police to the body. If he doesn’t follow through with that part, his sentence could be increased to 25 years.

At least they are going to jail, and this way Peter’s siblings will be spared the ordeal of having to testify. And I highly doubt Peter Sr., anyway, is going to get out after just six years. I expect he’ll have to serve the whole term, because the case is so notorious in Hawaii, and for the same reason I doubt he’ll be terribly popular in prison. Jaylin, unfortunately, is getting almost no time, even though she’s just as responsible for her son’s death as Peter Sr.

Peter’s parents did nothing but torture, neglect and abuse him his entire brief life. If there was any justice they ought to be getting a manslaughter conviction AND enough child abuse convictions stacked on top of one another to amount to life sentences for both of them.

I mean, read Peter’s Charley Project page to get an idea. Or take what it says in one of the articles I found about the case:

In Peter’s case the abuse started being documented when he was just three months old. After being brought into the hospital, x-rays showed old and new fractures in his shoulder, elbow, ribs and knees. He and his older siblings were removed from the home and they lived with their grandparents for the next three years.

Once he was back with his mother and father, his siblings reported Peter was again physically abused: suffering broken bones and black eyes, as well as enduring mental abuse like being forced to eat dog feces. But those reports came too late to save the six year old boy.

Why weren’t either of his parents charged with child abuse when he was an infant? Why were his parents allowed to regain custody of him? Jaylin’s parents loved Peter and they loved his siblings; it wasn’t like there was no one else willing to take care of the kids. According to the articles, since Peter’s death there have been “reforms” in Hawaii’s child protection system, in order to prevent more such tragedies. I certainly hope so.

We’ll see if Peter’s body can be found. It’s been 20 years so it may be unrecoverable. Here’s some articles:

A murder-without-a-body case out of Britain/India

Last night I read a book called Shamed: The Honour Killing That Shocked Britain – by the Sister Who Fought for Justice, by Sarbjit Athwal, describing the “honor killing” of her sister-in-law, Surjit, and the subsequent missing persons investigation and eventual prosecution of two of the people involved: Surjit and Sarbit’s mother-in-law, Bachan Kaur Athwal, and Surjit’s husband, Sukhdave Singh Athwal.

What it amounted to, basically, is that the Athwal family were very conservative Sikhs living in Britain, and Bachan Kaur had a high reputation in the community as a very devout woman. In fact, within the family she was an absolute tyrant and her sons were terrified of her, to say nothing of her daughters-in-law. When Surjit wanted a divorce from her abusive husband, Bachan Kaur decided she couldn’t have her daughter-in-law shaming the family like that.

So she convinced Surjit to go on a trip to India with her to attend a family wedding. When they were in India, some goons Bachan Kaur had hired drugged Surjit, kidnapped her, strangled her, removed her gold jewelry and dumped her body in the river. It was never found — at least as far as anyone knows. That particular river runs into Pakistan, which doesn’t have the greatest relationship with India, and corpses dumped in from India tend to wash up in Pakistan and never get identified.

Sarbjit Athwal had been at the family meeting where Bachan Kaur announced what she was going to do, and she called the police with an anonymous tip hoping they would stop Surjit leaving for India, or rescue her once she arrived, but the police did…nothing. After Surjit “disappeared”, Sarbjit wrote the police an anonymous letter describing exactly what had happened, in great detail, and the police did…nothing. Then she confided in her sister, who went to the police and gave a statement, and they did…nothing. And so on.

Sarbjit was too afraid to actually go to the police openly, because the Athwals made it clear they would kill her too. Something like a decade passed before the case broke open, and Sarbjit started cooperating with the cops. They went to her house and arrested everyone, including her (in order to trick the Athwals into thinking it wasn’t her who spilled the beans), but instead of taking her to the station they took her to her parents’ house. She was in witness protection for ages before the trial, staying in grimy hostels with her baby whom she was nursing.

I wouldn’t say justice has been entirely achieved in this case. The identities of the people who actually killed Surjit in India are known, but they have never been prosecuted and for legal reasons they weren’t even named in the book. (Media reports I found said one of them was Bachan Kaur’s brother.) Sarbjit’s husband, Hardave, was at that original family meeting and passively let the whole conspiracy unfold, repeatedly lied to the police, and threatened Sarbjit when he found out she was going to testify, but he wasn’t prosecuted either.

Surjit’s daughter, Pawanpreet “Pav” Athwal, had been told her mother abandoned her. She was a teenager when she found out the truth. Pav has been active in Britain speaking out against honor killings and set up a hotline for women who are afraid of being the victim of an honor killing or being forced into marriage.

I would recommend the book if you’re interested in this kind of thing. I’m glad the US isn’t the only country that prosecutes no-body homicides.

And of course it’s always worth saying there is no honor in murder.

Make-a-List Monday: Border towns

I thought I’d make a list of MPs who disappeared from cities with designated points of entry —  both vehicular and pedestrian — between the United States and Mexico. I’m using this Wikipedia entry‘s list of current US/Mexico crossings. I’m not counting the “proposed” list or the “closed” list. I want to emphasize these MPs didn’t necessarily cross the border or disappear crossing the border (although some of them did), they just disappeared from a town with one or more points of entry.

California

Arizona

New Mexico

  • Nobody

Texas

Select It Sunday: Masayuki Kubo

This week’s Select It Sunday is Masayuki Kubo. I’m not sure who suggested it, Kat maybe. Blog commenter Hennylee put together a lovely spreadsheet of suggestions for me to go off of.

Kubo was 80 years old and suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease when he disappeared from Honolulu on June 23, 2001. He had a history of wandering off from home and getting lost, and then one day he went for a walk, got lost, and never came back.  There were possible sightings of him in the local area after his disappearance, leading to speculation that he was still alive, but I doubt that’s true anymore.

Make-a-List Monday: Cross necklaces

A list of people who were wearing a cross necklace when they disappeared. This is quite a common jewelry item, for men as well as women, as you can see — perhaps the most common jewelry there is in the Christian world. Fun fact: although all crucifixes are cross necklaces, not all cross necklaces are crucifixes. A crucifix has to have Jesus on the cross pendant. I know because I just looked it up.

  1. Peter Achermann
  2. Rosio Monica Beltran
  3. Nancy Leah Brannon*
  4. Alex James Buonassisi
  5. Michelle Lee Burchell
  6. Kimberly Shawn Cheatham
  7. Cody Robert Christle
  8. Matthew Jonathan Curtis*
  9. Peggy Ilene Humber
  10. Jesse Gabriel Florez
  11. Dean Leslie French
  12. Omar Jabree Gibson
  13. Scott Kevin Jared
  14. Janice Yvonne Johnson
  15. El Shawndrae Devon Jones
  16. Kathleen Kelly
  17. Robert Keck
  18. Yul Demetrius Kennedy
  19. Patricia Ann Krieger
  20. Ruth Ann Leamon
  21. Nieko Anthony Lisi
  22. Tommie Lee Lowery
  23. Larry Don Madden
  24. Tammy Mahoney
  25. Lubov Marchenko
  26. Carmen Magdalena Mares
  27. Wilbert Martin
  28. Ashley Nicole Martin Mauldin
  29. Gloria White Moore McDonald
  30. Shane Lawrence McKinney*
  31. Lori Ann Murchison-Dunbar
  32. Kenny Manuel Naidas Jr.
  33. Nguyet Minh Nguyen
  34. Georgia Darlene Nolan
  35. Michelle Loree Parker
  36. Bernadine Paul
  37. Kara Denora Rigdon
  38. William Larry Roland
  39. Michelle Lee Rust
  40. Jason Joseph Ryan*
  41. Jairo Javier Sanchez
  42. Lisa Ann Schmidt
  43. Miguel Sonny Scott
  44. Yvonne Renee Scott
  45. Bethany Anne Sinclair
  46. Sharon Rose Sons
  47. Walter Shannon Stevenson
  48. William Paul Smolinski Jr.
  49. Lisa Alaria Szasz-Lazzaro
  50. Angel Antonio Torres
  51. Vikki L.Vukelich
  52. Donald Beams Wallace
  53. Jacob Wallace
  54. Grongie Ward
  55. Rasheeyda Robinson Wilson
  56. Dawn Marie Young
  57. Violet Nancy Zarb

*maybe