Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Complete Interview With Detective Joe Lum

 HPD Officers Slain In The Line Of Duty, Abraham E. Mahiko (left) and Andrew R. Morales (right)

Detective Joe Lum Escorting Alfred Tai Into Court In 1963

On April 21, 1982, I interviewed retired Detective Joe Lum, at his beautiful home located on Wilhelmina Rise, above Kaimuki, on the island of Oahu. He was a terrific interview! Besides being well spoken, detective Lum was a very, very, warm person. He was born in Kohala, located on the Big Island of Hawaii, and joined the Honolulu Police Department in 1936.

Detective Lum was the lead investigator on the case of the two murdered Honolulu police officers, Abraham E. Mahiko, and Andrew R. Morales, who were massacred in Kakaako, on December 16, 1963. This was a very tragic case, and Detective Lum spoke at length about it and presented meticulous details about the subsequent investigation, and apprehension of the culprits who committed these heinous crimes. This case bothered him, and I knew that he felt compelled to speak out about it. During that part of the interview, I shut up and let him speak freely. Even though I recorded all of this over 36 years ago, my recent revisiting of the audio tape has haunted me, and some how, I knew that I must eventually share the complete interview with everyone.  This information can not be lost, as it's an important historical document. The deaths of those two police officers, marked a dark day for the Honolulu Police Department. Retired Detective Joe Lum passed away on May 13, 1984.   As fate would have it, within hours of my posting of an excerpt from the Detective Joe Lum interview, I received an email from one of the daughters of the slain Honolulu police officers (Abraham E. Mahiko and Andrew R. Morales) .  She was doing a Google search on her father's name.  That is something that she does from time-to-time, and bingo, my blog post about her father popped up.  Even after all those years, she still had unanswered questions about her father's untimely death while serving in the line of duty.  Her mother was pregnant with her when her father was slain, and because of this, throughout the years, his death has haunted her. She requested a copy of the complete interview.  I was reluctant to give it to her, as it was very, very graphic in its detail.  I told her about my concerns, but she insisted, despite my apprehensions and misgivings, that she needed to have a copy.  The wives of both officers, incidentally, were pregnant at the time of the murders.  Well, I know that I am an old fool, but I wept when I was editing the interview.  I wept for the slain officers and their families.  This recording has important life lessons for all of us.  In the photo above, Detective Lum is shown escorting Alfred Tai, one of the murderers of the slain officers, to court in 1963.  Tai was paroled in 2014
at the age of 72, after serving 51 years in prison.  Kenneth Lono, the other shooter, died while incarcerated in 2003.  Please click on the video widget below to listen to the complete Detective Joe Lum interview.  Safe journeys to all the fans of Charlie Chan's Hawaii, wherever you may be.

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