Since the tourism boom of the 1950's, the Hawaiian islands have been enticing tourists into their relaxed, laid-back lifestyle. From the early days, honeymooners and holidaymakers could arrive in droves, welcomed by smiling hula dancers with floral leis.
Hawaii is made up of 132 islands with a total area of six and a half thousand square miles. The Island of Oahu is home to the state’s Capital, Honolulu, and the famous Waikiki Beach. It has a large port, Army and Naval Bases and is home to Pearl Harbour.
In 1985, Oahu saw a huge influx of young adults migrate, often for the Army or Navy – and also due to the huge boom in telecommunications companies that had expanded into Hawaii. The central years of that decade were an unusual period between the early eighties recession, and the stock market crash of 87' - and the dark years that followed.
Like the mainland and much of the developed world, Hawaii was hit with high unemployment and financial stress in the early 80’s. Many hotels couldn't survive, and some of the largest travel companies were forced to close. But during the mid-eighties, the economy shifted. During this small window, there was a temporary period of new growth. Although there had been a significant decline in tourism since the boom of the 50’s and 60’s, in the years 1985 and 1986, ten and a half million people visited the islands of Hawaii.
This boom period brought in huge Japanese investment and money started rolling in. The grand old hotels of the 50's and 60's were renovated and redeveloped, and the prime land was subdivided for golf resorts. In 1986 alone, Japanese investors spent between one and two billion dollars on property.
The resort development boom of the mid 80's helped slow the unemployment rate which had spiked a few years earlier. But during this period, Hawaii also saw an increase in violent crime, rape and murder in particular. The Aloha state—with its swaying palm trees and mysterious rich volcanic landscape—was about to change. The laid-back paradise was about to experience a time of fear.
Our episodes deal with serious and often distressing incidents. If you feel at anytime you need support, please contact your local crisis centre. Some suggestions for confidential support for men women and children:
Lifeline Crisis Support: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: Depression and anxiety support: 1300 22 46 36
Rape & Domestic Violence Services: 1800 737 732
Men's Line: 1300 78 99 78
Headspace: Youth Mental Health Foundation: see headspace.org.au for your local centre
Distress & Lifeline: 1800 273 8255
Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741 741
Domestic Violence Helpline: 1800 799 7233
Victim Connect: support for victims of crime: 855 484 2846