Episode 160:

Cynthia & Barry

The story of Eddie Aikau


The Sleepwalking Murderer


Episode 160: Cynthia & Barry

Karen and Georgia cover the story of Eddie Aikau and the Sleepwalking Murderer.

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The Story of Eddie Aikau

The story of Eddie Aikau Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash

"Edward Ryon Makuahanai Aikau (Kahului, Hawaii, May 4, 1946 – March 17, 1978) was a well-known Hawaiian lifeguard and surfer. As the first lifeguard at Waimea Bay on the island of Oahu, he saved over 500 people and became famous for surfing the big Hawaiian surf, winning several awards including the 1977 Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championship.

Born in Kahului, Maui, Aikau was the third child of Solomon and Henrietta Aikau. The words Makua Hanai in Eddie Aikau's full name meant feeding parent, an adoptive, nurturing, fostering parent, in the Hawaiian language. He was a descendant of Hewahewa, the kahuna nui (high priest) of King Kamehameha I and his successor Kamehameha II. Aikau first learned how to surf at Kahului Harbor on its shorebreak. He moved to Oʻahu with his family in 1959, and at the age of 16 left school and started working at the Dole pineapple cannery; The paycheck allowed Aikau to buy his first surfboard. In 1968, he became the first lifeguard hired by the City & County of Honolulu to work on the North Shore. The City & County of Honolulu gave Aikau the task of covering all of the beaches between Sunset and Haleiwa. Not one life was lost while he served as lifeguard of Waimea Bay, as he braved waves that often reached 30 feet (9.1 m) high or more. In 1971, Aikau was named Lifeguard of the Year.

In 1978, the Polynesian Voyaging Society was seeking volunteers for a 30-day, 2,500-mile (4,000 km) journey to follow the ancient route of the Polynesian migration between the Hawaiian and Tahitian island chains. At 31 years of age, Aikau joined the voyage as a crew member. The Hōkūleʻa left the Hawaiian islands on March 16, 1978. The double-hulled voyaging canoe developed a leak in one of the hulls and later capsized about twelve miles (19 km) south of the island of Molokaʻi. In an attempt to get help, Aikau paddled toward Lānaʻi on his surfboard. Although the rest of the crew were later rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Cape Corwin, Aikau was never seen again. He removed his lifejacket since it was hindering his paddling of the surfboard. The ensuing search for Aikau was the largest air-sea search in Hawaiian history. Among the crew members was Mau Piailug, the navigator.

In Aikau's honor, the surfwear company Quiksilver sponsored “The Eddie” until 2016. The event was cancelled for 2017 but the AiKau has brought it back with largely local sponsors for 2018-19 – the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational in Memory of Eddie Aikau at Waimea Bay. The idea of the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational was created by Bruce Raymond and Bob McKnight.

Since its inception (the first Eddie was held at Sunset Beach in 1985; in 1987 Eddie Aikau's younger brother Clyde Aikau won the first Eddie after it moved to Waimea Bay), the tournament has only been held nine times, due to a precondition that open-ocean swells reach a minimum of 20 feet (this translates to a wave face height of over 30 feet). The most recent tournament was in February 2016, when waves in the bay reached 30 to 50 feet (15 m) high. The contest invites only 28 big-wave riders to participate in two rounds of competition. The event does not allow the use of jet skis to tow surfers into the waves..."

— Source: Eddie Aikau Wikipedia

The Sleepwalking Murderer

The Sleepwalking Murderer Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

"Kenneth James Parks, a 23-year-old man from Toronto with a wife and infant daughter, was suffering from severe insomnia and anxiety in result from unemployment and gambling debts. The summer before Kenneth had repeatedly placed bets on horse races, which had caused him severe financial problems. To obtain more money for gambling he stole $32,000 from his employer Revere Electric. Kenneth kept losing money, and when the company found out about the theft in March 1987, he was fired. Court proceedings were brought against him, and his personal life suffered.

In the early morning of May 1987 Kenneth got out of bed and drove 23 km from Pickering to the house of his wife’s parents, Barbara Ann and Denis Woods, in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough. After fetching a tire iron from the car trunk and using his key to enter the house, he proceeded to the bedroom of the house and choked his father-in-law unconscious. He then beat his mother-in-law with the tire iron and stabbed her repeatedly with a kitchen knife. He also stabbed his father-in-law.

Barbara was later found in a room five to six feet away from the bedroom. She had been stabbed in the chest, the shoulder and the heart. She had sustained blunt-force injuries to her nose, eye and skull that caused a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Though Dennis was unconscious, Denis’ wounds were less severe. That night Kenneth also picked up the phone in the kitchen and set it down again, off the hook. He ran upstairs to the teenage daughters’ bedrooms. But he stopped outside the door, just stood there, then ran down again and left.

After the killing Kenneth then drove to the police station. He arrived at 4:45 A.M., covered in blood, and said “I just killed someone with my bare hands; oh my God, I just killed someone; I’ve just killed two people; my God, I’ve just killed two people with my hands; my God, I’ve just killed two people. My hands; I just killed two people. I killed them; I just killed two people; I’ve just killed my mother- and father-in-law. I stabbed and beat them to death. It’s all my fault.” The police said that he seemed distressed and was shaking. He did not appear to be in pain, despite having cut tendons in both hands.  This is an example of dissociative analgesia, a profound blunting of pain sensation in the absence of painkillers. Dissociative analgesia can occur during states of sleepwalking but also after drug use and in states of shock or great distress.

After careful examination of the case, the experts could find no other explanation of the crime than sleepwalking. Kenneth underwent a series of sleep tests and psychological tests. The electroencephalography (EEG) scans showed that Kenneth had some abnormal brain activity during deep sleep, periods of partial awakenings, which is indicative of parasomnia. Since there allegedly is no way to fake one’s own EEG results, and Kenneth had appeared to feel no pain when he arrived at the police station, it was determined that he was sleepwalking when he attacked his in-laws.

At the trial Kenneth reported the night’s events as follows: He fell asleep on the couch sometime after midnight, and his next recollection was seeing his mother-in-law’s face, she had her eyes and her mouth open. Kenneth described it as a very sad face. The fact that Kenneth actually remembers his mother in-law’s face is an important detail overlooked by the prosecution. It suggests that his subsequent dissociative analgesia at the police station, which was a core piece of evidence in the trial, most likely was not due to being in a sleepwalking state. The dissociative analgesia was more likely the result of being in a state of shock or great distress. Kenneth said that after seeing his mother-in-law’s face, he just sat there. He then heard the kids yelling.  He recalled thinking the kids were in trouble and needed help. He said he yelled “kids, kids, kids” and went upstairs. The kids didn’t hear him yell. They heard only grunting noises of the kind sometimes made by a person during sleep. But this is very odd. If Kenneth had really been sleepwalking at the time at which the kids were yelling, he would not have been able to recall the moment so clearly afterwards. If, on the other hand, he was awake at the time, then he wouldn’t have made the grunting noises, he would have yelled just as he remembered he did..."

— Source: Psychology Today article by Berit Brogaard and Kristian Marlow

Fucking Hoorays!


So for the last month I’ve had a lady come clean my house. And it is a pleasure! When I came home from Hawaii — it smelled every so slightly of Clorox, every surface was sparkling I could have had people over immediately. And my cleaning lady is a Murderino, so we chat it up! But having someone clean your place is a little self care of don’t have so much weird working class shame that you don’t take care of yourself.


I have fucking travel anxiety and I’m always anxious, and I almost immediately went home after our show, but I ended up staying an extra day because I had such a great time. Part of that is because I went and got myself a pet camera. So if I’m anxious, depressed or just missed the cats I can just pull up and see that they’re sitting there happily sleeping and saw that everything was fine. That fucking calmed me so much that I stayed an extra day of vacation. It’s like a baby monitor for cast — go get it.