By Honolulu Civil Beat and PRX
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Offshore, from Honolulu Civil Beat & PRX, is a new immersive storytelling podcast about a Hawaii most tourists never see. In Season 1, “A Killing in Waikiki,” Offshore investigates the violent deaths of two young Native Hawaiians — one in 1932, the other in 2011. The 10-episode series explores issues of race, federal power and policing in America’s most diverse state. If Hawaii can’t figure it out, what hope is there for the rest of America? The answer might surprise you.
||CleanEpisode 11: The Gift Shop||Hawaii author Lois-Ann Yamanaka reads from her novel, "Heads by Harry."||12/29/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 10: Embracing Differences||Is there something that Hawaii can teach the mainland? Something people of all races have learned from living together in such an isolated place? In the last episode of Season One, people from Hawaii tell personal stories about race relations and how t...||12/15/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 9: Answers||Five years, two trials, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees have failed to resolve Special Agent Christopher Deedy’s case. That hasn’t stopped supporters of the man he killed from pushing on. Will there ever be a resolution?||12/8/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 8: Never the Same||In even the most high profile criminal cases, there comes a point where the world moves on. But for the families of both the victims and the shooters, nothing is ever really normal again. Not even decades later.||12/1/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 7: Defense of Life||After Christopher Deedy’s first murder trial ends with a hung jury, both sides regroup. But there are larger issues at play. Why is it so hard to convict cops? And is there a reason prosecutors won’t let Deedy’s case go?||11/24/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 6: Agent on Trial||Special Agent Christopher Deedy’s first murder trial begins in 2013. The stakes in the case were high. For Deedy but also for local prosecutors, who take an all-or-nothing approach to the case — placing all their chips on the table in a bid to lock De||11/17/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 5: The White Menace||After a hung jury in the rape trial of five local Hawaiians, the family of the alleged victim looked for vengeance. They got it — by committing one of the most explosive crimes in Hawaiian history.||11/10/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 4: A Sinister Past||A privileged socialite. A Native Hawaiian wrongfully accused of rape. A ruling elite that favors whites. So begins the Massie Case. A story from 1932 that still impacts how some Hawaiians view the federal government. And Christopher Deedy.||11/3/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 3: The White Minority||Blocks away from where Christopher Deedy shot and killed Kollin Elderts, tanks had taken over a local park, protesters were out on the streets. Dozens of federal agents were in town. And there were a lot of people who wanted them out.||10/27/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 2: Two Lives Collide||Christopher Deedy and Kollin Elderts had never met before Nov. 5, 2011, when a 3-minute brawl ended with Elderts dead and Deedy in handcuffs. How did a Native Hawaiian born in the islands and a white federal agent who’d just arrived end up on opposite .||10/20/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 1: The Death of Kollin Elderts||Reporter Jessica Terrell introduces the deadly events of Nov. 5, 2011 when federal agent Christopher Deedy shot Kollin Elderts to death late one night in Waikiki||10/13/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitOffshore: “A Killing in Waikiki” — coming soon||Two Hawaiians killed in Waikiki — one in 1931, the other in 2011. What do these killings have in common? Here’s a hint — it’s not just race, and it’s not just power. First episode on Oct. 13||10/3/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
I hadn’t heard of this case before the podcast, and I listened to the details described with an open mind. It seems probable, from a amateur’s perspective, that Deedy handled the situation in the McDonald’s very poorly and was never in danger of his life, and his shooting of Elderts was way out of line. Shooting and killing a person in what’s basically a bar fight is a horrifying way for a federal agent to act. It’s also certainly murder.
That said, this podcast is deeply biased and often makes no sense. Its whole intent seems to be to convince its listeners that all “whites” are murderers. Seriously, the narrator frequently refers to “whites” doing all kinds of racist things with no qualifications whatsoever. Who are these people? Racism exists, and is undoubtedly a problem in the US, and in a particular way in Hawaii, but this is lazy and shoddy journalism to the point that it’s offensive. In almost every episode, Terrell asks “What does this say about racism in the mainland?” I don’t know. You tell us. Is there a connection? Her only point seems to be that obviously everyone is a huge racist.
She also more than once asks whether or not Deedy shot Elderts because he was racist against Hawaiians. The thing is, from a legal perspective, what does it matter? Is he on trial for murder or for being a racist? He either used unlawful force or he didn’t; I happen to think he did. What motivated him shouldn’t matter—if he had really shot Elderts out of self defense, that wouldn’t mean he wasn’t racist. It’s this kind of confused, sloppy thinking that is quite frankly irresponsible. Add to that all the times Terrell irritatingly tries to dumb down and soften her own reporting because some things might be “hard to listen to,” as though she’s talking to children and not her peers, that make this podcast frustrating to listen to.
I've been to Hawaii many times and always knew there was so much more there than what you see when you're on vacation. This podcast has totally opened my eyes. I recommend Offshore to anyone who loves great stories — whether you're a local, a tourist or just someone trying to better understand life in America right now.
I'm completely hooked on this series already. Between the way the story is presented and the story itself, you'll find yourself completely immersed and interested in this true crime.