In the Hawaii Five-0 episode ‘Ka pa’ani nui (Big Game)’, Five-0 tracks down a former Nazi war criminal hiding out in an old leper colony in Hawaii. There is a real-life leper colony on the island of Molokai. At the height of the disease in the mid-1800s, it was believed that the best way to prevent the spread of leprosy was to isolate patients. King Kamehameha V issued a mandatory quarantine decree in 1865 and over the years 8,000 people diagnosed with leprosy were sequestered to the peninsula of Kalaupapa. The Act was based on a misconception about how the disease spread. Although the Act was finally removed from law in 1969, a handful of elderly patients still live there. The disease is now known as Hansen’s disease and it is curable.
The colony is now a National Historic Park. In 2009, Hawaiian-born President Obama signed legislation to build a monument listing the names of the 8,000 patients who lived and died there. Only 1,300 marked graves have been found which means almost 6,700 have no tombstones. Hawaii Five-0 airs Fridays at 9pm on CBS.