FALL IN SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA
In 2004, a man was observed to fall to his death from a six story parking station in San Jose. He fell in a horizontal position, as if he was asleep on an imaginary bed. The police and the coroner assumed that he had jumped and that it was a case of suicide. He was a Jesuit priest, had been previously molested, and his family sued for compensation. The Jesuits paid the family $1.6 million. However, the family did not agree with the suicide verdict, and contacted me for an independent report. By examining photographs of the scene and noticing the location of footprints and handprints, it became clear that he had climbed onto a ledge on the top floor of the parking station. He then lay down in a horizontal position along the ledge and rolled over the edge. He landed 10 feet out after falling through a height of 57 feet. The launch speed was relatively low, less than a walking speed, and consistent with a simple roll down the curved surface of the upper ledge. The Chevedden family did not like my answer and refused to pay both my bill and the bill of the private investigator who travelled to San Jose to take the photographs. I mention this as a warning to others who might be tempted to offer assistance in this way.