Hawaii escapee with 'serial killer traits' sought in San Jose

Lester Mason
November 15, 2017

An escapee from the Hawaii State Hospital, who was committed following the brutal stabbing of a woman at Ala Moana Center on Oahu 38 years ago, flew to Maui and then boarded a flight to California on Sunday, Maui police said. Police are warning people not to approach Saito if they see him. Saito was found not guilty of a 1979 murder by reason of insanity.

In 2015, a judge denied a motion for Saito to be granted passes to leave the hospital's grounds without an escort. Multiple sources told Honolulu television station KHNL that Saito managed to get on a Hawaiian Airlines flight to San Jose, landing around 7:30 p.m. the same night he escaped.

U.S. Marshals and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have joined the search for him.

The Maui Police Department on Tuesday didn't say where Randall Saito went.

He could not confirm that Saito had flown into San Jose International and referred further questions to the Honolulu Police Department, which did not immediately return calls and an email seeking information about his current whereabouts, despite concerns about public safety.


In 1981, his attorney did not contest Saito's committal, saying he was unsafe and "intends to do it again". He was acquitted by reason of insanity of the murder of Sandra Yamashiro, whom he shot and stabbed repeatedly at a Honolulu shopping mall.

Almost two decades later, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported that state prosecutors believed Saito to fit "all the criteria of a serial killer" and opposed his release. But Jeff Albert, a deputy city prosecutor, objected, saying Saito "fills all the criteria of a classic serial killer".

He filed for a conditional release in 1993 but was denied after the court said he still had an attraction to necrophilia and suffered from sadistic, sexual urges that made him a danger to the community.

The department "takes all escapes seriously and has safeguards in place to minimize the chances of these from occurring", according to a statement from the Health Department.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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