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Re: Apparent suicide from Yosemite Falls

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avatar Apparent suicide from Yosemite Falls
March 12, 2009 12:21PM
Apparently the guy was from Connecticut, although several reports incorrectly list "Hartford, California" in the headline. He may have been on some sort of sedative, but I'd think a five hour standoff would mean it would have enough time to wear off. His name was David Zerbe, and he was a 37 year old male out on bail awaiting sentencing for making false claims (supposedly just that he graduated from Yale instead of the state school he went to) on a government employment application and impersonating a government inspector. He wasn't likely to receive a lot of jail time. The reports from Conn mention the "California State Police" which is incorrect since the CSP was folded into the California Highway Patrol in the mid 90s.

Convicted man apparently kills himself at Yosemite
http://www.courant.com/news/local/statewire/hc-ap-ct-parksuicidemar12,0,1166276.story

Rangers: Conn. man commits suicide at Yosemite
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/connecticut/ny-bc-ct--convictionsuicide0312mar12,0,4194446.story

Waterbury man recently convicted, commits suicide
http://www.newstimes.com/latestnews/ci_11890925

Man recently convicted, commits suicide
http://www.connpost.com/ci_11889523



Post Edited (03-12-09 13:50)
avatar Re: Apparent suicide from Yosemite Falls
March 12, 2009 02:25PM
Clearly disturbed guy, and disturbing story. There are plenty of them in the waterfall chapter of "Death in Yosemite."

Let's hope he went over the fall and instead of crashing into the talus below, he landed in a better place (for him).
avatar Re: Apparent suicide from Yosemite Falls
March 12, 2009 02:32PM
Vince wrote:

> Clearly disturbed guy, and disturbing story. There are plenty
> of them in the waterfall chapter of "Death in Yosemite."
>
> Let's hope he went over the fall and instead of crashing into
> the talus below, he landed in a better place (for him).

Been reading more. Someone claiming to be David Zerbe made a claim on a newspaper article discussion on Topix that the prosecution for lying on the resume was way overblown and that the prosecution waited until witness accounts were fuzzy to charge him. In any case, it sounds like he was severely depressed. I guess Yosemite was his iconic place to do it. Someone survived a suicide attempt at Niagara Falls just this week, and living the the Bay Area we always hear of people jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.

avatar Re: Apparent suicide from Yosemite Falls
March 12, 2009 04:25PM
I go through periods where I feel anxious for no reason. But never on the suicidal side. Imagine being a film maker and not having an ending for the movie so you just end it and everyone watching your movie gets a cliff-hanger.

OK bad analogy but, in the movie I'm making right now, I'd kinda like to see how it turns out 40 or 50 years from now, not tomorrow.
avatar Re: Apparent suicide from Yosemite Falls
March 12, 2009 05:45PM
Well, between rescues by heliocopter and death by suicide, it seems that this part of the park is in the spotlight. I will be hoping for an eventless hike to this area in June...

B
avatar Re: Apparent suicide from Yosemite Falls
March 17, 2009 02:28PM
Yosemite National Park (CA)
Man Commits Suicide By Going Over Yosemite Falls

On the afternoon of Monday, March 9th, rangers received a call from a man threatening to commit suicide from the top of Yosemite Falls, which falls 2500 feet to the valley floor below. A ground team was immediately dispatched up the steep trail to try to negotiate with the man, who claimed to be armed. Winter conditions, snow, ice, and steep terrain added to the complexity of the operation. A California Highway Patrol helicopter and Tuolumne County SWAT team members were also dispatched to assist with the incident. Rangers found David Zerbe on a rock outcropping in the narrow, snowy gorge on the edge of Upper Yosemite Fall. Zerbe said that he had taken a large dose of medications, possibly including anti-anxiety and seizure drugs. According to the rangers, Zerbe appeared to be impaired when they reached him. Negotiations continued until just after 7:30 p.m., when Zerbe entered the frigid water and was carried over the edge. Recovery efforts have been unsuccessful but are continuing as conditions permit.
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