Goodfather: The Life of Larry Mehau in His Own Words (And A Few Others), The
Softcover, 295 pp.
Larry Mehau was perhaps the most powerful man in Hawai‘i since Kamehameha the Great, powerful in every way — physically, mentally, spiritually, financially, politically. Four Hawai‘i governors attended his celebration of life. So did the current Honolulu prosecuting attorney, a sitting member of the state Supreme Court and former justice. That’s rather amazing for a man who was alleged to be the “godfather” of crime in Hawai‘i. Also invited was Don Chapman, the award winning Honolulu writer-editor who was the only journalist Mehau trusted enough — simply through Chapman’s reputation as a straight shooter — to sit down with and share the exclusive details of his life. Those interviews form the basis of The Goodfather, and Chapman adds his own commentary as well as that of Mehau’s friends and associates, complemented by more than 100 historical photos.
So was this larger-than-life cop-rancher-sumo champion-businessman political kingmaker-presidential driver really Hawai‘i’s criminal godfather? The title offers a hint of the author’s assessment.