Police believe missing man murdered


Police say the 44-year-old son of a best-selling novelist has been slain and have opened an investigation into his death.

Dante Peter Gilman of Kurtistown was the subject of a missing person bulletin issued by police on Jan. 10. Police said he was last seen in Hawaiian Acres on or about Dec. 30.

According to a written police statement, during the course of the missing person investigation, detectives found information leading them to believe that Gilman had been killed. Gilman’s body has not been recovered, but police say they are searching for it.

Gilman is the son of the late Peter Gilman, a reporter for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in the 1950s and the author “Diamond Head,” a book about power, money, bigotry and murder in Hawaii that became No. 1 on the New York Times Best Seller List.

The movie rights to the book were sold for $100,000 to Columbia Pictures in 1959, prior to the book’s publication. At the time, that was the highest price ever paid by a studio to an unknown author. The 1963 film “Diamond Head” starred Charleston Heston.

The elder Gilman died in Hilo in 1999 at age 73.

Police ask that anyone with information about this case contact Detective John Rodrigues Jr. at 961-2384 or jrodrigues@co.hawaii.hi.us or Detective Norbert Serrao at 961-2383 or nserrao@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Those who prefer anonymity may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

 

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