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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, September 18, 2001

The September 11th attack
Maui man's son falsely described as among victims

By Timothy Hurley
Advertiser Maui County Bureau

Jude and Natalie Larson were not among the victims of American Airlines Flight 11, which crashed into the World Trade Center last week after it was hijacked by terrorists on a flight from Boston to Los Angeles.

The Larsons were reported as victims of the tragedy who had lived in Hawai'i or had relatives who still live here after Maui artist Curtis Larson said last week his son and his daughter-in-law were victims.

Larson's real name is Jude Olsen, and he said in a telephone interview last night that both he and his wife Natalie are fine.

His father, as it turns out, was telling a story that wasn't true. Larson told reporters Sept. 11 that he had gotten word that his son and daughter-in-law were aboard the doomed airliner.

The names of Jude and Natalie Larson ended up on the list of victims in newspapers and media Web sites from coast to coast.

Olsen, 30, contacted yesterday at his Olympia, Wash., home, said he had never been to Boston, and that he is not a medical student at UCLA nor a former Maui resident who attended school on Maui, as Curtis Larson said. The first time he saw Maui was last summer, when he surprised his father during his first visit to Hawai'i, he said.

Olsen, a landscaper who learned only Sunday that his name was on the list of the dead, said he's upset because several relatives apparently had seen the accounts and spent some time agonizing over it.

Officials of both United and American airlines confirmed yesterday that neither Jude Larson nor Natalie Larson were listed among the victims of the four airliners that crashed in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Curtis Larson could not be reached for comment.