Series of Recent Hanging Deaths Have NELA Residents on Edge

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by LA1 News

   LA1 News has verified that Los Angeles Fire Department responders arrived at 8:00 a.m. yesterday to Pasadena Avenue, just east of Carlota Boulevard, and confirmed the death of a man hanging from a tree with a rope strung around his neck. The Coroner's Office arrived shortly thereafter and removed the body on that Sunday morning without much notice. The official LAFD version of this incident, in the Sycamore Grove area of Northeast LA, was that the man was "depressed" and his death was a suicide. The name has not yet been released. End of story, right? Not so fast.

   There was no official news release of this death, except for a couple of social media posts by local residents who were driving by as the body was removed. Even then, not the LAPD nor LAFD released any information about this alleged suicide to calm the nerves of local residents. After all, it's not good for business, especially when it comes to the red hot real estate market around here. But there is more.

   Just this past September, another man was found hanging from a rope tied around his neck at the Avenue 43 off-ramp of the Pasadena Parkway. His death was also ruled a suicide despite several local residents swearing the man had his hands tied behind his back, and despite the fact the a man on Homer Street had the window in his car shot out after several gunshots were fired just one block away from, and minutes before the man was found hanging near the freeway off-ramp for all to see. LAPD Senior Lead Officer Captain Martin Baeza hosted a community meeting at Ramona Hall on September 26, 2016, adjacent to Sycamore Park, to quell local anxiety. Baeza assured the community that there were no signs of foul play. The off-ramp death was a suicide, he assured us, and the questions stopped.

   Yet just a couple of weeks after the off-ramp hanging, a man was found hanging near the pedestrian bridge from Sycamore Park to Griffin Avenue. Yet another hanging death was reported around the same time from a tree at Debs Park, situated atop the hills in Montecito Heights which overlook the area of Sycamore Grove. Locals also claim that in 2016, another hanging death occurred in Frogtown.

   The first question is, why is so little being said about these deaths? They are vaguely if ever reported by the media, and police and fire officials only have a passive response when questions are asked. It is not hard to imagine that if these deaths occurred in communities west of the LA River there would be a lot of coverage. Since when is suicide by hanging out in the open such a preferred way to kill oneself? We're just saying.

Photo by local resident Sonia Marissa

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