“Hilo: Betrayal on the Big Island” Today on TV… Hawaii Police Officer Mathison Murder Case Against His Wife

When I first moved to Hilo, I was taking classes at Hawaii Community College.

I was stunned to learn that one of my classmates was a police officer that was accused of killing his wife.

Booking Picture of Officer Kenneth Mathison

Booking Picture of Officer Kenneth Mathison

Today on the Biography Channel: City Confidential at 8:00 am and 2:00 pm on Oceanic Channel 548

“When Hawaii police officer Kenneth Mathison is suspected of killing his wife, authorities let him off with only a slap on the wrist. But after outraged citizens demand a thorough investigation, Mathison ends up facing kidnapping and murder charges. Narrated by Paul Winfield.”

More Info Here

More on the actual case here

On Thanksgiving evening, November 27, 1992, Sergeant Kenneth Mathison and his wife Yvonne drive their 1988 tan Ford van along Route 131 in Hilo, Hawaii. The rain is pouring down and before he knows it, Kenneth Mathison is awaiting police assistance as he cradles his wife’s dead body in the back of their van. Mathison, a sergeant of 25 years with the Hilo Police Department was allegedly informing his wife, a maternity nursing professional at the Hilo Medical Center, that he was being investigated in his second paternity suit. According to Mathison, when Yvonne heard the news, she jumped from the passenger side of the van. While he was looking for her in the blinding rain, Mathison purportedly ran over his wife. He then carried the body into the van and secured it with yellow rope in the back before attempting to find help…

…Police Sergeant Kenneth Mathison is a Haole. Young-faced and small-framed, Mathison got his start in law enforcement working undercover, catching youngsters dealing in marijuana. Martins was attracted to Mathison’s youthful looks.

Though her relatives disapproved, Martins decided to bring the Haole into her family. At first, Yvonne’s marriage to Kenneth came together as beautifully as an orchid lei. However, it was not long before Yvonne found herself at the center of a domestic typhoon…

11 Responses

  1. to the Cochran family.

    If you evidence to the contrary of Mathison’s conviction, why don’t you publish it?

    • To R Chafer,

      The evidence lies in the hands of people who have been threatened with the death of family members if they come forward. One lawyer that was investigating the truth suddenly died at the ripe old age of 25. Also,V. Hafford, you think Ken had her cremated? She was cremated quickly by the prosecution to bury solid evidence. Perhaps instead of asking the family to provide evidence, you all should ask the prosecution, especially the revered H. Lee, how they sleep at night knowing they tampered with evidence (ask H. Lee about his illegal, unattended visits to the van which was the primary evidence that convicted Ken). Those are some questions worth asking.

      • Your response is full of innuendo, accusations and no facts. Again, if you have evidence to the contrary of Mathison’s conviction you need to lay it out. Who’s family members “lives have been threatened” and why?? Who has done the threatening? At the time of Yvonne’s cremation by Ken Mathison, he wasn’t even a suspect. So why would the prosecution, which wasn’t involved at that point, be involved with her cremation??

  2. The corruption is also in the Corporation Counsel and between attorneys, judges and police. As a DIRECT result of NO INDEPENDENT OVERSIGHT, this has only perpetuated more corruption!

    Laws are being SELECTIVELY ENFORECED in Hawaii county, and often-times, drug dealers continue dealing illegally because of these corruption, creating havoc in neighborhoods that would otherwise be SAFER!!!

    The other problem is that some HRS in Hawaii County need to be updated. Dog barking continues unabated in many cases, especially in more rural areas and when police PERSONALLY refuse to ENFORCE EXISTING LAWS! It seems they only want to enforce laws that will get them brownie points for retirement positions!

    As I see it, police/county corruption, rampant drug dealing, political representatitves also engaged in illegal acts, all representthe downfall of American justice…

    If you are an illegal alien, you are immuned to our laws as a “Witness”, which only perpetuated the negative perception of “foreigners” in Amercia…in the past, foreigner assimilated…now they are afforded MORE RIGHTS THAN LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS!!!! This only perperpetuates more illegal behaviors and victimization amongst AMERICAN CITIZENS who OBEY THE LAW!

  3. Hey Damon,
    Thanks for posting. However, if you are interested in the case, beyond stating that you shared a class with Ken, a suggestion — as someone who knows the details of this case, because Ken is my uncle, and as I have lived both on the Big Island and the mainland, I would recommend your looking into the justice system of the islands, and see the overt corruption there. As far as what was copied and pasted in your post, details are embarrassingly, shamefully incorrect. That’s not your fault. But because as a family member, I know family details, I can tell you there is a whole lot the public, and even the jury was never told. If they had been informed of the full picture, the lights would have come on, and they would understand my uncle’s innocence. This was no murder.

  4. I remember this happening. I had to travel that road 2-4 times a day..my daughter was good friends with Yvonnes children during this time. Yup, Kenneth attended HawCC, I was a student there as well. He was always trying to make time with some of my friends. I warned them of just who he was and the story. , I also worked in Kea’au and had to work directly with him when I arrested shoplifters. He was not a nice person…After her death he sold everything and wouldn’t let her kids get any of her belongings..he made sure the burial happend right away, if I am not mistaken he had her cremated.. sooo bad karma on him..he will face judgement on his day tooo

  5. Your telling of the story could not be any further from the truth.

  6. Yes, I read that. I guess I was wondering if you knew any of those other interview subjects. Interesting to see the Harry Kim angle at the end. Also, I counted about 4,000 “…like a volcano ready to erupt” metaphors.

    I half expected to see Hunter Bishop pop up there and do an interview.

    Are Citizens for Justice still active?

  7. I’m watching right now. This is something else. What a well produced show. How about that Roger Christie interview! Ha!

    They do a great job breaking the Big Island down into what it is today. Now, for the meat of the story…

    You must know some of these people?

    Damon – No comment ;) Especially on Roger Christie ;)

    I did say I was a classmate with Mathison himself though! In between the time his wife was killed and the time he was convicted… He attended Hawaii Community College, which this show does not cover.

  8. Thanks for letting us now about this. I watched the show a long time ago, and at the time, I didn’t know Hilo as well as I do now. Everytime I see City Confidential on tv, I wish it was the Hilo espisode so I can give it a good look with a new appreciation. I would’ve missed it for sure if it weren’t for this post.

    Damon – Set your DVR for 2:00 today Channel 548! I just watched the show and I Learned a bunch more stuff that I had forgotten about. It’s a much different experience watching it again living in the area that they are talking about.

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