Robert Henderson visited the University of Hawaii in the summer of ’96. Five days later his naked body would be discovered at the Ilikai Hotel. Fourteen years later Jason Lee McCormick came forward to say he did it. “Everyone agrees to the facts. There is no question in the government’s mind, or my mind, as to what happened. The question is what was the crime that was committed, was it a murder, was it a manslaughter, was it an assault?” said his attorney, Michael Green.
At the time of the slaying, police said that someone wrote a message on Henderson’s buttocks suggesting he was a child molester. A pen was jammed into a leg. Police said later that they did not find evidence to substantiate the molestation claim. Family members said taht Henderson was not a pedophile and that his killer was creating a smokescreen to distract from the true motive of robbery. Family members said that at least two watches and a money clip they believe Henderson took on the trip, disappeared. “Obviously, we’re investigating the victim, whether there’s any basis for the claims,” Green said. “Someone may have very well tried to do something to (McCormick) and that set him off.”
McCormick suffers from a severe alcohol addiction and psychiatric problems, his lawyer said. In 2008, McCormick was being treated at a psychiatric facility. There, Green said, McCormick made comments to the staff that he believed he had committed a murder. Police interviewed him, Green said, but apparently didn’t believe him. A short time later, when McCormick was released from the psychiatric unit, he went to police and confessed again, Green said. Police didn’t file charges until two years later.
McCormick said that Henderson’s sexual advances and comments about young boys caused him to snap. McCormick told three mental health examiners assessing his fitness to stand trial that Henderson’s interest in boys and sexual advances while they had drinks in Henderson’s Waikiki condo reminded him of being molested by his stepfather as a child.