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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, May 20, 2010

Man indicted in 1996 Honolulu murder

By Jim Dooley
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii resident Jason Lee McCormick, 36, was indicted today on a charge of murdering a visiting professor here in 1996.

Deputy Prosecutor Victoria Kapp said that McCormick confessed to the murder of Robert Henderson, 51, whose body was found in an Ilikai Hotel apartment July 17, 1996.

No other details of the crime were provided by Kapp.

A bench warrant was issued for the arrest of McCormick.

At Kapp's request, Circuit Judge Richard Perkins set bail at $500,000 because of "the severity of the offense."

Henderson, a professor of linguistics from the University of Pittsburgh, was in Hawaii to attend a linguistics symposium and was last seen July 12, 1996, leaving the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus.

His decomposed body was found by Ilikai staff several days later. According to police reports at the time, writing was scrawled on the victim's body indicating the killer thought Henderson molested children.

The victim's brother, Michael Henderson, has traveled to Hawaii several times since then seeking the public's help in solving the crime.

Michael Henderson rejected the suggestion that his brother was a pedophile and said he believed the motive for the crime was robbery.

"We can't find two of his jeweled watches that we think he took with him on his trip," Michael Henderson said in late 1996.

"We also can't account for a money clip he always carried with him."

Kapp said today that McCormick has a prior misdemeanor theft conviction.

"He is unemployed and has no local address. He also has family in the Mainland and poses a possible flight risk because of that," Kapp said.