A Lost Episode of Hawaii Five-O?

Is there a lost episode of Hawaii Five-O? Technically, no. In this week’s DVD Tuesday I mentioned that there’s an episode from the second season of Hawaii Five-O that hasn’t been seen since its original broadcast. Someone in the comments asked why the episode is missing from the DVD release.

The episode was called “Bored She Hung Herself.” It aired for reportedly the first and only time on Wednesday, January 7th, 1970 during Hawaii Five-O‘s second season. Here’s a summary of the episode published in numerous newspaper television listings across the country in January 1970:

The supposed suicide of Wanda Parker, beautiful daughter of a prominent psychiatrist, seems to involve her bearded malingering boyfriend. Her father is convinced that the long-haired mystic his daughter was associated with at the time of the incident is responsible, but Steve McGarrett doesn’t necessarily agree. Jack Lord stars, with Pamela Murphy as Wanda, William Smithers as her father and Don Quine as the mystic boyfriend.

“Bored She Hung Herself” was apparently never rebroadcast after its original network airing, not in repeats on CBS nor in syndication. When Season Two of Hawaii Five-O was released on DVD, the episode was not included. A disclaimer states “the second season episode ‘Bored She Hung Herself’ aired only once and is not included in this set.” In August 2007, the Honolulu Star Bulletin mentioned the missing episode in a review of the Season Two DVD set. A complete series set was released in December 2013 and it didn’t include “Bored She Hung Herself” either.

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Why is the episode so controversial that it has never been seen again since its original broadcast? The following is from the Quick FAQ at the Hawaii Five-O Home Page:

According to Mrs. Leonard Freeman (wife of the late creator of the show), speaking to some fans at the 1996 Five-O convention, someone tried the yoga-related hanging technique depicted in the show and killed themselves. As a result, perhaps because of litigation (this is my opinion, not Mrs. Freeman’s), the show was not rebroadcast and never included in any syndication packages.

[Note: An earlier version of the Quick FAQ also suggested that including “Bored She Hung Herself” would also require CBS to add an extra disc to the Season Two DVD set.]

“Bored She Hung Herself” is not truly lost. It isn’t missing, either. It’s simply unavailable. I am certain the original film elements are safely tucked away in a vault with the rest of the series. Copyright on the episode was renewed in January 1997 by CBS, Inc. Furthermore, copies of the episode have been in the hands of private collectors, apparently sourced from a rather poor quality 16mm print of the episode that includes CBS identification and network bumpers.

Still from the Hawaii Five-O Episode Bored She Hung Herself
Still from the Hawaii Five-O Episode Bored She Hung Herself
Still from the Hawaii Five-O Episode Bored She Hung Herself

If anyone has more information about why “Bored She Hung Herself” has been suppressed or remembers watching it when it originally aired, be sure to hit the comments. I would also be interested in knowing whether or not the episode was syndicated internationally, if there are any international fans of Hawaii Five-O reading this.

21 Replies to “A Lost Episode of Hawaii Five-O?”

  1. I had a chance to see the whole episode in a download torrent file and while I’m a gigantic Five-O fan, the episode is one of the worst in the series. For one thing, the title is a bit of a misnomer since the story is ultimately a case of murder from start to finish and then we have a bizarre unbilled cameo by the episode’s director John Newland (of “One Step Beyond” fame) as a character who can only be described as the late 60s version of “swishy”. And finally, the climax as the young boyfriend finds himself exonerated ranks as the dumbest conclusion to an episode you’ll ever see.

  2. I suppose the liability concerns are legitimate, but what are the odds that somebody would try the auto-asphyxiation technique based on a 40-year-old TV episode, when one so inclined can probably find detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to do it with a Google search?

    Thanks for looking into the mystery. You’ve got one of my favorite sites on the whole Internet here.

  3. Like so many episodes, there is a “TV reality” in place that does not allow realistic portrayals of speech and actions by persons in the youth culture of the time. There are things that the boyfriend says that are almost in code. They definitely have an obscured meaning that only those who are into that scene would dig, man.

  4. ejp, thanks for the insight into the episode. I actually haven’t watched the entire thing. I’m sure many Hawaii Five-O would like to see it released on DVD even if it isn’t a good episode. I agree that the supposed reason it is being withheld seems weak but perhaps the matter was never actually investigated by anyone with the authority to decide to allow the episode to be included in the Season Two DVD set. Somebody saw that it had been pulled from the syndication package and decided not to bother worrying about it.

    Or, maybe there was a lawsuit and the episode cannot be released commercially. That’s complete and utter conjecture, mind you. As mentioned in the FAQ at the Hawaii Five-O Home Page, the only person to comment on the episode is the wife of the creator of the series. So nobody really knows why it is being withheld.

  5. Well, several episodes of “DANIEL BOONE” were also “withdrawn” from the syndicated edition of the series during the ’70s becuase local stations received complaints claiming some of those episodes featured “stereotypical” Indians. Eventually, the entire series was made available again.

    Obviously, the episode in question wasn’t “destroyed”, so there’s hope it might one day be “resurrected”….good, bad, or indifferent.

  6. does anyone know where i might view this “lost” episode online? i can see where the fear of someone trying this so called technique might cause concern,yet i cannot judge or make a comment since i have not seen it. If someone did die by trying this technique or whatever it is,that in itself may be the reason it is not shown

    1. If you go to iofffer.com you can buy hawaii five -0 sets from different people who have that episode in the set they sell and you can buy just about any tv show ever made or anything else for that matter.on that site, it’s a great place to get stuff.

  7. There is video seller from southern Queebec that sells the complete Hawaii Five-O series for under 100 dollars, including this missing episode. This episode is a bit projectory.

  8. This might be a good idea. Let me know what you think H50 fans. Let CBS release the withheld episode as an I-Tunes video release (digitally enhanced of course like the DVD releases). That way, fans who want it can download for a reasonable price (between $5.99 and $9.99). Or a bonus episode with the new H50 series when they go to DVD.

  9. i just found it via google and downloaded it of rapidshare. though the a/v quality is poor, i was able to hear all the dialog, and see everything that was going on. I thought the episode was a snooze fest though. Still, it’s good that the show is available in a watchable format.

  10. As far as the DVD packaging is concerned, I hardly think the reason “Bored She Hung Herself” (note there is no comma in the title) is not included is because CBS/Paramount didn’t want the set to include a 7th disc. They had already released or will have released “The Wild Wild West” seasons 1 and 2, “Mission: Imposible” seasons 1 through 4 and the first season of Hawaii Five-0 with 7 discs. In some of those cases, only one episode brought the total episodes over 24.

  11. CBS also could have released Bored She Hung Herself with a later 5-0 set, as was the case with Gunsmoke, when a 2nd season episode, How To Cure A Friend (1956) was accidentally replaced by a fourth season episode, How To Kill A Friend (1958). To remedy the problem, CBS put both episodes on the disks for Gunsmoke, season 4.

  12. You can see that boring ,bored she hung herself on youtube.picture quality is terrible.i found out a man accidentally killed himself copying what he saw i tv

  13. I heard several years ago that litigation was threatened at the time by the dead man’s family, and in a resulting settlement-type deal, CBS & Freeman agreed to never show this episode again under any circumstances. The terms of the deal most likely never expired, so they’ll never include it in any future sets. If it still exists somewhere, the tape box probably has a big “NEVER DISTRIBUTE” notice on it. ME-TV bought the airing rights to all the episodes and they said Bored She Hung Herself was not included or even mentioned. The ironic thing is, they could just as easily permanently shelved this episode merely on the grounds of being godawful. It’s probably the worst show in the first 9 or so seasons. Completely worthless.

  14. I have to agree with the comments, it was a particularly poor episode. I finally got to see it recently, it’s posted on YouTube, albeit a pretty poor quality. I have not provided a link as I expect CBS, or some other interested party could have it removed soon. SPOILERS – MAYBE:
    The “yoga” excuse seems a thinly veiled reference to auto-erotic asphyxiation. I guess this was due to 1960s codes and mores. Moreover, I never saw McGarrett go so far out of his way to exonerate a suspect. Especially in the early seasons. Remember, this was season 2. Then there’s the character of Boswell, a cameo by the episode‚Äôs director John Newland. It seemed tacked-on because the director wanted a part in the show. Unusual for Five-0 series, and he was uncredited to this day – see IMDB. No Boswell listed.
    It’s beyond me how the restriction on its release seems to last in perpetuity. It is very tame compared to what you see on Law & Order, and similar procedurals, these days. Who is left to sue if the episode is released on DVD, or other media?

  15. I would like to see CBS/ Paramount home entertainment reconsider and release Bored, She hung herself of the original Hawaii Five 0 series on home dvd. Maybe they could put a disclaimer on this particular episode with a viewer discretion. That’s my opinion on the matter.

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