Maui—beautiful scenery, ocean breeze, and warm sun. In such a picture-perfect place, nothing could ever be less than pleasant, right? Well, maybe not, according to some.
If you’ve heard tell of a serial killer stalking the island of Maui, here’s what you really need to know.
1) Talk of a Serial Killer on Maui Have Been Taking Place Since 2014
Living around such beauty, you might wonder how anyone could desire to do anything less than savory. Yet, since 2014, rumor has it that Maui has an elusive serial killer.
The rumor mill started running when two women were reported missing around the same time. 46-year-old Moreira “Mo” Monsalve was last seen on January 12, 2014, before she was reported missing. Almost a month later, Carly “Charli” Scott, who was five-months-pregnant, went missing on February 9, 2014.
The story circulated around the news, and tongues started wagging. Since then, it’s this rumor that comes to mind for some when a person goes missing on Maui.
2) Claims of People Mysteriously Disappearing in Maui Have Been Dispelled
Family and friends raised concerns about a potential serial killer being the culprit. While police noted that there were similarities in the cases, they believed the disappearances of the two missing women mentioned above were unconnected.
To this day, no proof exists that a serial killer is behind the disappearances.
3) A Serial Killer Did Escape from a Mental Hospital and Fly to Maui, but He Then Went to San Jose
While the cases of the two missing women and subsequent missing person reports are not believed to be connected, it is true that there was a serial killer present on Maui at one time. However, not in the way you’d think.
In 2017, Randall Saito escaped Hawaii State Hospital in Honolulu. Anyone who saw him was warned not to approach, as Saito was considered a dangerous person, considering his past.
Saito stabbed a woman to death outside a Honolulu shopping mall in the 1980s and was found not guilty for reason of insanity. He was placed in professional mental care after his trial.
His requests for release and even day-passes to leave the hospital were denied; it was ruled that Saito’s behaviors fit the criteria to be considered a serial killer.
Shortly after escaping in 2017, Saito called a cab, boarded a flight, and made his way over to Maui. Fortunately, he decided not to stay and proceeded to San Jose, where he was captured three days later.
Saito has since been in custody and won’t be on the streets any time soon.
4) Homicides are Low on Maui Compared to Most Cities
Despite the brief visit from an escaped serial killer, and the (debunked) rumors of another abducting women, Maui has low homicide rates compared to most other cities in the United States—over 50% less.
Clearly the sun and sand does do some good, since you have a low chance of being involved in a violent crime on Maui. As with any place, use common sense and do your research on different neighborhoods.
5) The Maui Serial Killer Rumor Keeps Circulating Because People Like a Shock
Since the 1980s, we’ve seen an increased interest in serial killers from the public. Turns out, we’re fascinated by the wow-factor of it all. We’re obsessed with the shock-value and knowing the ‘why’ behind such behavior.
Plus, with digital communications improving, it’s easy to follow along with breakout stories like these.
In the 1970s and 80s, we saw about 40 movies, documentary or reimagined, made about serial killers. That number more than doubled from 2000 to 2008, when there were more than 270 of these movies made.
Even today, with shows like Netflix’s Mindhunter and notorious cult leaders like Charles Manson being referenced in Hollywood blockbusters like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, serial killers are an ever popular obsession in the public’s eye.
The reason people may still mention a potential serial killer on Maui is simply because of the absurdity of it all. Serial killers remain a popular on-screen character; many of us cannot relate to these characters, so they appear as a roadside freak show of sorts and we can’t look away.
As such, people jump on the true crime train at any whiff of a potential anomaly. So don’t put too much stock into anything you may hear about an unconfirmed serial killer running around Maui because it’s just that—unconfirmed. And more importantly, unlikely.
Your trip to Maui is sure to be magical! You’ll experience great food, beautiful culture, amazing scenery, and endless sun. One thing that you don’t have to worry about being a part of your adventure is a serial killer. Despite what you may hear, people like to talk. In the end, it’s all conjecture.
With that in mind, pack smart, make an itinerary, get excited, and have fun in beautiful Maui!