Gerald and his son Reef.
Apparent Murder-Suicide In The Aikau Family Takes The Life Of A 7-Year-Old Boy
The world can be a cold dark place.
Tragedy has struck one of surfing’s most venerated families. In an apparent murder-suicide, yesterday Gerald Aikau, son of Solomon Aikau and nephew of Clyde and Eddie, took the life of his seven year-old-son, Reef, and then took his own life.
The incident occurred at the Aikau family home in Pauoa on Oahu. It’s been reported that Clyde first discovered Gerald’s body hanging from a tree outside of the house. He attempted to resuscitate him but was unsuccessful. Clyde then proceeded into the house where he discovered the body of Reef. Again, attempts to resuscitate him proved unsuccessful.
“My brother, Gerald, took his life and his son, Reef's,” said sister Piilani Aikau in a statement to the press.
Based on court records, 42-year-old Gerald was going through a difficult divorce at the time. His estranged wife had filed a temporary restraining order against him. Issues with substance abuse had also been noted as a court document indicates Gerald had intended to enter a substance abuse treatment program in Palm Springs.
“We are really humbled by the response of the passing of our son and grandson,” said Solomon Aikau in a statement to the press. “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.”
“He had his own family issues he had to deal with, being married, and he had children and stuff,” said his aunt, Myra Aikau. “Somehow he’s been seeking help from doctors and everything. Gerald was just a really good boy, but he had so many problems and he tried to settle it by himself, and I don’t know what happened.”
Sadly, this may have all been unavoidable as Gerald’s wife had previously noted that she had planned a trip to Europe for summer vacation with her son, but Gerald had apparently refused to help secure his passport.
“We like to remember them for who they were, remember the good times, good days, and nothing else,” continued Piilani. “Our family is always in the media, but it’s a different beast.”
At this time, our hearts and thoughts are with the Aikau family and all those affected by this tragedy. Our deepest condolences go out to everyone.
If you're experiencing thoughts of suicide or anything of this nature you can always find help.
To contact the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia call their national helpline: 1-800-985-944.
To reach SANE, a national charity helping Aussies affected by mental illness lead a better life, call their helpline on 1-800-187-263.
For the US contact The Treatment Advocacy Center, Crisis Services / National Hopeline Network: 1–800–784–2433