Suspect in 1996 Henderson murder provides handwriting samples

Robert Henderson

A state judge ordered Jason Lee McCormick yesterday to provide handwriting samples for investigators to compare with what was written on a murder victim’s body. Immediately after the judge handed down the order, a Honolulu Police Department document examiner was in the courtroom to retrieve the samples.

McCormick, 36, is awaiting trial for second-degree murder for the July 1996 death of visiting University of Pittsburgh professor Robert T. Henderson.

When police found Henderson’s naked, decomposing body in a Waikiki condominium, written in capital letters in blue ink on the body’s buttocks was the phrase, “I rape young boys so I must die.”

Because investigators cannot have McCormick write on a human body, the HPD specialist provided McCormick “a board to mimic the curves of a body and writing surfaces closer to skin than paper,” said Kevin Takata, deputy prosecutor.

Jason Lee McCormick

The Honolulu medical examiner said Henderson, 51, was hanged or strangled. Police had no suspects in the case until 2008, when McCormick confessed twice to the murder, his lawyer said. McCormick first confessed to the crime when he was in the Queen’s Medical Center’s Kekela Ward for psychiatric patients and again when he was discharged because he didn’t think police believed him the first time, the lawyer said.

An Oahu grand jury indicted him in May.

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