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Aikau Family Tragedy

Featured photo of Gerald Aikau and his seven-year-old son, Reef — the two deceased in Tuesday’s tragedy. Photo: Aikau family

Eddie Aikau’s Nephew Involved in Murder-Suicide

The tragedy took the life of a seven-year-old boy on the same property where the Legend Eddie grew up

The Terrible, surreal news came out of the place we call Paradise.  Two Aikau family members have been named in an apparent murder-suicide. Gerald Aikau – nephew to the legendary waterman, Eddie – allegedly took his seven-year-old son’s life and then hung himself.

“My brother, Gerald, took his life and his son, Reef,” Piilani Aikau told KHON2

More HERE

The Aikaus are the epitome of resolution in the wake of very public family deaths. But even as investigations uncover more details of the case, these deaths, the lives of a father and his son cut short, are especially senseless.

“We like to remember them for who they were, remember the good times, good days, and nothing else,” said Gerald’s sister Piilani. “Our family is always in the media, but it’s a different beast.”

Police responded early Tuesday morning to an Aikau family residence in Pauoa Valley, Oahu.  This is the same house where Eddie grew up, to find the shocking scene. Gerald was 42, hanging from the tree outside. His son, Reef, was found lifeless inside the house.

Clyde Aikau 66 – the perpetual force in the family’s big wave memorial contest at Waimea Bay in Memory of his Brother Eddie – discovered the tragedy. Clyde tried to resuscitate both Gerald & Reef, but it was too late.“We are really humbled by the response of the passing of our son and grandson,” Aikau’s father, Solomon Aikau, said. “Gerald had some issues he was trying to take care of, whether it was legally or mentally. He was working really hard, trying to solve his problems, get himself together… We as a family kind of just want to leave it at that, that he tried his best.”

  • Clyde Aikau, brother of Eddie and uncle to Gerald, reportedly discovered the scene and attempted to resuscitate his family members. Photo: Keoki/Freesurf

Court records reveal issues between Gerald and his estranged wife, Katherine Aikau. Reports cited physical abuse, mental illness, even drug use. Gerald had recently undergone rehab for his addiction and planned to enter a treatment program in Palm Springs.

“He had his own family issues he had to deal with, being married, and he had children and stuff,” Myra Aikau, Gerald’s aunt, said. “Somehow he’s been seeking help from doctors and everything. Gerald was just a really good boy, but he had so much problems and he tried to settle it by himself, and I don’t know what happened.”

“We have suffered recently a great loss today and surely a huge tragedy for the Aikau family,” Clyde Aikau told KITV4. “We would like to express that on Saturday, the Aikau family will support and honor the Hokule’a 100 percent.”

The Aikaus epitomize resolution in the wake of very public family deaths. But as investigations uncover more details of this case, these lives of a father and his son cut short, are especially senseless & tragic.

“We like to remember them for who they were, remember the good times, good days, and nothing else,” said Gerald’s sister Piilani. “Our family is always in the media, but it’s a different beast.”

Our prayers, support, and deepest condolences go out to all the Aikau’s and extended family.

Despite the tragedy, the Aikau family still plans to honor the legacy of Hokule’a – a replica of traditional Polynesian voyaging canoes this coming Saturday, June 17th. It’s the same one Eddie gave his life on in 1978 while attempting to save crew members when the double-hulled canoe capsized en route to Tahiti. This weekend, Hokule’a returns home to Oahu, after a three-year voyage around the globe.

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