Some television viewers might have recognized the storyline of last night's broadcast of the CBS series "Hawaii 5-0."
Even if you don't watch the new version of the show that originally aired from 1968 until 1980, you might recall the weekly challenges faced by Lt. Commander Steve McGarrett, U.S. Navy, and a hand-selected task force of Honolulu Police Department detectives as they scour the islands to solve the most serious crimes. The Dec. 4 episode "Pahele," which is Hawaiian for: "A snare, noose, trap; to ensnare, trap; deceit, treachery."
The show centered on an ambush of a school bus that is taking kids and some teachers on a field trip. Two armed suspects feign a traffic collision that the bus rolls up on, only for one of the motorists to turn her gun on and kill the bus driver who egresses to see what's the matter.
What ensues is ripped from a real-life event, the 1973 Chowchilla school bus kidnapping. An armed gang hijacked a loaded school bus east of San Francisco, and later moved the 26 students and the driver to another van before burying it in a rock quarry. The school bus driver and some of the students were able to dig their way out, and the three kidnappers — who were seeking a $5 million ransom — were apprehended. They continue to serve life sentences in a California prison.
The dramatized version of events portrayed in "Hawaii 5-0" certainly contained content that the discerning student transporter might scoff at. You be the judge. But the show captured the polarizing fear that such an incident could cause in a community amongst parents, law enforcement and politicians.
In the end, McGarrett and his sidekicks capture the perps, and the children and teachers are saved.
"Book 'em, Danno."