Survivor who came face to face with Diamond Head killer finds forgiveness 1 year later

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Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 9:25 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - There was almost a fifth death on the morning of Jan. 19, 2020 following the deadly rampage near Diamond Head.

Gisela Ricardi-King came face to face with the killer, Jarda “Jerry” Hanel.

“He had two hands on my head and smashed my head against the ground,” she previously told Hawaii News Now. ”I begged him, please Yarda please. I have a son, I have a son. But he would not let it go.”

Hanel stabbed her repeatedly after she discovered he killed her friend and landlord, Lois Cain.

One year after the horrific incident, she’s found forgiveness for Hanel as she still walks near the scene where it all happened.

“I used to come and water the flowers I put and I feel like i have to come back,” Ricardi-King said.

Hanel also killed officers police officers Tiffany Enriques and Kaulike Kalama before igniting the neighborhood on fire.

Ricardi-King’s physical wounds have since healed, but her emotional wounds are much deeper.

“All the things I have to deal with myself, my emotions, my super sad days, my nights, crying and crying or waking up all the time, or nightmares,” she said.

She adds that her heart still aches for the fallen officers, and their families, and for Lois.

“We always remember her. All the time,” she said. But for the man who tried to kill her, she feels sorrow.

“I don’t have any hate for Yarda. I pray for him too.” She says it’s clear something went wrong in Hanel’s life.

“He need desperately help and we couldn’t. In a way we failed him, because if we helped him, maybe this didn’t happen,” Ricardi-King said.

She says she had to forgive him to move on. A month after losing everything she had, she says her husband suffered a serious head injury, then the pandemic took her son out of school.

But friendships, and new beginnings have brought hope to her.

“People being so generous. The community was amazing. I think I couldn’t do this alone. I have a lot of help.”

One year later, she has a new place, a new routine and a life without anger.

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