Nine years after homicide, family longs for justice | June 18, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - June 18, 2010

Nine years after homicide, family longs for justice

Police, relatives of Maria Hsiao urge witnesses to step forward about 2001 shooting at Palo Alto nightclub

by Jocelyn Dong and Gennady Sheyner

Andrea Hsiao still thinks of her sister every day, even though it's been nine years since Maria was shot and killed outside the Q Café nightclub in downtown Palo Alto.

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Managing Editor Jocelyn Dong can be e-mailed at Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner can be e-mailed at


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Posted by very sad
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2010 at 10:51 pm

This is a very sad story. I still remember when that young woman was murdered. She was leaving the club with a group of friends after celebrating her 21st birthday. Such a bright future cut short. If anyone has more information about the crime, please contact the Palo Alto Police Department. Thank you.

1 person likes this
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 11, 2010 at 11:30 am

I remember reading about this story and just being aghast that someone could basically be assassinated in public with people around in downtown Palo Alto. What a sad, tragic horrible story, and even worse since there has been no progress on the case and no one has had the integrity or courage to come forward. I sincerely hope that whoever did this is caught and convicted of this crime. I still just wonder how such a thing could happen and who commit such an act?

Like this comment
Posted by Kevin
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 11, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Does anybody know what percentage of murders are never solved in this country? I think we see too many TV crime-solver programs where the crime is always solved, often by trace evidence analysis. What happens when there is no trace evidence, no eye witnesses, no tips?

PAPD cannot be expected to solve unsolvable crimes.

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Posted by very sad
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 11, 2010 at 6:33 pm

The case can be solved if witnesses come forward. Please help the victim's family, as well as the rest of our community, find some closure. The original article has the police department's anonymous e-mail address if you are afraid of being identified.

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Posted by Another widow in Palo Alto
a resident of Green Acres
on Jun 12, 2010 at 2:26 am

After my husband was murdered in 1972, his case was never solved. It since has gone to the Cold Case Unit in San Francisco, who claims that his case has been "misplaced" due to the moving of their office....Our family has asked to have two pieces of evidence re-examined for the DNA as DNA information has upgraded changes, even within the last 10 years.
My family also has been hopeful that after so many years someone would come forward with information. Someone, somewhere is still on the streets, free, while our hearts are in bondage...
I am glad to see that the newly elected DA in San Jose is going to reopen the Santa Clara County Cold Case Unit. May it bring success and peace of mind to those who need closure........

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Posted by Jocelyn Dong
editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Jun 13, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Jocelyn Dong is a registered user.

@Another widow

I'm so sorry for your loss and the difficult road to justice you are continuing to travel. If you would be willing to speak with a Weekly reporter about what you have experienced, please feel free to contact me at

Thank you.

Like this comment
Posted by fokw
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jun 13, 2010 at 5:33 pm

a symptom of the usa. ''random'' violence is a symptom of wrong thinking and lies of society.

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Posted by e sh
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 7, 2015 at 11:46 pm

I think since the person shot her close by and ONLY her that it is someone who knew her. Bottom line, she was targeting. A friend, someone who had unrequited romantic feelings, someone who knew she was going out for her birthday without them and was not happy about it.

Since it was 2001 it would be harder to trace cell phone, facebook friends and online posts to lead to this person but I truly believe that is who did this.

Because it was 2001 those links are not available to trace this person but perhaps going through ALL of her work and school colleagues and interviewing them again is required. Every single person in contact within the last 1-2 weeks of her life. they need to be questioning. I would strongly guess that one of them is the culprit. Most likely someone who had an interest in her that she rebuffed, not taking it seriously and they had more serious intentions. Essentially they hunted her down knowing she was out celebrating and killed her.


Search them again. Interview them again. A whole heck of alot changes when you show up 10 years later. the guilty party (that random classmate you don't even suspect) will have a heart attack when you show up and it will be obvious to you,.

Do that footwork and you can find this evil person who did this

Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 8, 2015 at 11:17 am

The PAPD have released a new YouTube video asking for witnesses to come forward: Web Link

The original Palo Alto Weekly article says the shot was fired from 10 feet away. The video doesn't address that. Does anyone know if that is still what the police believe?

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