Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘Hawaii Five-O’: This Episode Was Banned After Allegedly Inspiring a Copycat Death

‘Hawaii Five-O’: This Episode Was Banned After Allegedly Inspiring a Copycat Death

One episode of the original Hawaii Five-O was completely banned after it inspired a copycat death, but details surrounding the mysterious and grim circumstances are not entirely clear.

The epsiode, titled Bored, She Hung Herself, aired on January 7, 1970, and never returned to screens again. The story followed the unit as they investigated the death of yoga student Wanda Parker. In the beginning, it seemed she accidentally killed herself while trying to pull off a difficult and dangerous position. After doing it wrong, it appeared to have caused asphyxiation. While looking deeper into the circumstances, Steve McGarrett discovered that she didn’t die by accident. Instead, a neighbor murdered her after she turned down his advances. He used that move to stage an accidental death.

The installment didn’t create much of a fuss upon airing, nor did people miss it when it was gone. Not only was the content tame for the era, but people who watched Bored, She Hung Herself after it leaked on the internet said it was overall a boring and fruitless part of the Hawaii Five-O franchise. Nonetheless, fans have been intrigued by CBS’s decision to remove it from syndication and all home releases.

Two Sources Confirmed the ‘Hawaii Five-O’ Copycat Death Story

An actor named Joel Berliner, who appeared in the episode as a child, wrote a brief essay about the situation on a  Hawaii Five-O fan page. He offered all the information he knew by saying that “Somewhere in America, someone hanged themselves after watching the show.” The person was also a yoga student.

“Their parents sued CBS, and shelving the episode was part of the settlement,” he continued. “The first [and only] broadcast in January 1970 was the first time Hawaii 5-0 cracked the top 10 in TV ratings. I was 12, and I was dismayed when it didn’t rerun that summer.”

In the 1990s, the show’s late wife, Joan Taylor, shared that same story at a fan convention. She also added that the lawsuit terms forced CBS to destroy the episode. However, aside from an old transcript, there is no public record or recording of her words. And neither CBS nor the alleged family has ever confirmed the details.

In fact, the series has only addressed the situation once by leaving a note on the back of the Season 2 box set.

“Due to viewer reaction following the original telecast of the episode Bored, She Hung Herself (Season 2, Episode 16), that episode has not been re-broadcast or released in any manner since its original airing and is not included in this collection,” it reads.