Thursday, February 8, 2001
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Posted on: Thursday, February 8, 2001

Wife detained in Wai'anae fatal stabbing

By Brandon Masuoka
Advertiser Staff Writer

A 68-year-old woman was in police custody last night for investigation in the fatal stabbing of her 68-year-old husband in their Waianae home yesterday morning.

The body of George M. Nakamura was found by police in the master bedroom with multiple stab wounds in his chest and back yesterday morning at 86-144 P¬hano St., police said.

Nakamura’s wife, Catherine, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder and initially was transported to the Waianae station, police said. Officers said the woman was "fairly calm" and did not struggle when she was placed under arrest, Honolulu Police Department homicide Lt. Bill Kato said.

Neighbor Allen Mattos, 61, said that George Nakamura retired about two years ago after working as an inspector for the city’s Department of Design and Construction, and that Catherine Nakamura was a housewife. The couple had been married for about 40 years, had lived at the house for about seven years and had no children, Mattos said.

Mattos said George Nakamura told him that his wife took medication for a mental illness and she sometimes "heard voices" when there was no one around. Mattos said occasionally he could hear Catherine Nakamura yelling inside the house, but he said the husband would never yell back and that he tried to take care of her.

"I guess he felt that was his obligation," Mattos said. "He didn’t grumble. It’s too bad it had to happen like this. I’m heartbroken. He was a very nice neighbor. He used to watch my house and I used to watch his house."

Kato said the house was not ransacked and the wife was believed to be the only other person inside at the time.

Police responded to the house yesterday after the wife called the Waianae station at 7:23 a.m. to report a stabbing, Kato said.

"She said her husband was stabbed and to send police," Kato said. The woman did not tell police who stabbed her husband during her call, he said.

Upon arrival, officers found the husband in the master bedroom lying between the bed and the door, Kato said. He was found dead and stabbed "about four to five times" in his back and chest area, Kato said.

The man’s body position on the floor suggested that the attacker approached from the front, stabbed him in the chest and then stabbed him in the back after he fell, Kato said.

"From the position that he’s lying in, I don’t think it was a surprise (attack)," Kato said. "They were facing each other."

Police found what was believed to be the murder weapon — an 8-inch kitchen knife — on the kitchen counter, Kato said. Police yesterday were trying to find the motive behind the attack.

Mattos’ mother, Llwellyn, said that George Nakamura was a nice man and that she had limited contact with the wife, mostly exchanging passing greetings with her.

Llwellyn Mattos said she routinely prepared home-cooked meals and would give the extras to the husband after learning he was "only eating saimin" instead of solid meals.

"I told him saimin is not a meal for a man," Llwellyn Mattos said. "I would give him whatever I cooked. Stew, meat loaf, fish, Portuguese bean soup, sweet-sour chicken. In my generation, I was raised to share. He was very grateful. He bought assorted nuts and cookies and gave them to us. I told him, George, why you do that?’ He said, because you’re being kind to me.’ "

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