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Disappearance of Diane Suzuki

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Diane Suzuki
Diane Yayoe Suzuki[1]

DisappearedJuly 6, 1985 (age 19)
Aiea, Hawaii
StatusMissing for 39 years and 7 days
EducationUniversity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Occupation(s)Student @UH Manoa; P/T dance instructor
Height4 ft 11 in (150 cm) tall
Parent(s)Yuri Suzuki (mother, deceased), Masaharu Suzuki (father, deceased)

Diane Suzuki was a nineteen-year-old dancer and student at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa[2] who disappeared on July 6, 1985, and has since been the focus of one of the most notorious modern criminal investigations in the history of the state of Hawaii. The Diane Suzuki investigation was the first instance in which the Honolulu Police Department used luminol and other technological advances in forensic science.


Suzuki was a female resident of Halawa, 4 feet 11 inches tall, 109 pounds, with a slim build, and of Japanese descent. Suzuki was last seen at about 5 p.m. on July 6, 1985,[3] outside the Rosalie Woodson Dance Academy in Aiea, where she was employed as a dance instructor.[4] At the time of her disappearance she was dating Lester Gantan.

During the same time period in Hawaii, there were the unsolved killings of at least nine women on Oahu, including the deaths of Lisa Au, Regina Sakamoto, and others all over the island. Five, including that of Sakamoto, in which the victims were found with their hands tied behind their back, were attributed to an unidentified serial killer known as the Honolulu Strangler. However, Suzuki's disappearance did not fit that profile.

Investigation and aftermath[edit]

The discovery of blood evidence at the site led to legislation that overhauled Hawaii's harassment laws to include stalking, and changed the status of TRO violations to a class C felony (with a maximum penalty of 5 years in jail) in the hope of preventing further violence against women.[citation needed] In 1993, Keith Kaneshiro, who was then prosecuting attorney for the City and County of Honolulu, attempted to re-open the case, but after more than 300 hours of grand jury testimony and thousands of dollars spent on the investigation, no charges were filed. The case remains unsolved.


Retired Honolulu Police Department Major Gary Dias wrote a book entitled Honolulu Cop including details on his investigation into the Au and Suzuki murders.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Diane Yayoe Suzuki". The Charley Project. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Couple writes on Hawaii crimes". UWIRE. December 10, 2003. Diane Suzuki, a 19-year-old University of Hawai'i at Manoa student, taught a dance class in 'Aiea. This case, along with some of Hawaii's most notorious crimes, are detailed in the new book by UH-West Oahu instructor Gary Dias.
  3. ^ "Lack of evidence halts Suzuki case". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. May 3, 2000. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  4. ^ "Minding the clues ; Once pooh-poohed, psychics gain crime-solving credibility". The Washington Times. July 25, 1991. p. E1. Within days of the 1985 disappearance of 19-year-old Diane Suzuki, who vanished from the Oahu, Hawaii, dance studio where she had been teaching a class, family members called in Honolulu psychic Dayle Schear (to no resolution).