Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Stan Greene
Observer Staff Writer 

Bears, Coyotes Eat Homeless Man Sleeping in Griffith Park

Hiker stumbles upon the unidentified 40-year-old man's severed head.

 

December 12, 2019

File photo

A homeless man asleep on a bench in Palisades Park, Santa Monica, CA, in January of 2019

Has Griffith Park's famous mountain lion, P-22, developed a taste for human flesh? Experts say probably not, but something ate a homeless man who died in LA's Griffith Park.

A hiker in Griffith Park discovered a dismembered head and other body parts. Authorities including a forensic team from the Los Angeles county Sheriff's department have concluded that a homeless man died and then was consumed by coyotes, bears and other wildlife.

A hiker discovered dismembered human body parts in Los Angeles' Griffith Park Monday morning December 2. The body was found decapitated when Los Angeles Police Department officers were called to the area of Griffith Park Drive and Camp Road at 9:00 a.m., according to LAPD.

LAPD launched a homicide investigation earlier in the morning but later said it's considered an undetermined death investigation. Detectives said the man (or woman) may have been camping when he or she died.

"The evidence suggests the person passed away and animals may have gotten to it," LAPD Lt. Ryan Rabbett said.

The man may have been homeless and living in the area, and was a white or Hispanic man in his 40s or 50s, Rabbett said.

NPS

P-22 prowling Griffith Park. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

Chief Park Ranger Joe Losorelli said "there's different body parts laying around" but it was unclear how long the body had been there. He said the remains were found up the canyon by a hiker, walking with his dog.

Griffith Park is a large municipal park at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. The park covers 4,310 acres, making it among the largest urban parks in North America. It is often compared to New York City's Central Park, but in contrast, Griffith Park is mountainous and rugged.

In addition to one famous adult male mountain lion, Griffith Park supports a large population of striped skunk, opossum, and coyote, which often visit backyards at the park's edge. Bobcat and gray fox are also regularly seen, but are mainly active at night, when the park is closed to visitors.

 
 

Reader Comments
(17)

Nope writes:

Y’all should be ashamed of yourselves for publishing this sensationalist garbage. This writer should be fired.

Kyle writes:

This is bad. 👎

Karen writes:

I cannot believe this article was actually put online. It is rude, it is crude, it is NOT funny, it is NOT cute. The writer AND the editor should be fired or at least made to write a public apology. Shame on the entire staff.

Gerry writes:

Stan... Is this how you get paid? To get links to your rag because you are insensitive and ignorant of wildlife that people are so appalled that they want to post it just to call you out? Obviously you did no homework or didn't ask the first question. All just off the top of your head because you heard there's been a mountain lion in Griffith (he been there for 7 and a half years not harming anyone)? Change professions, fast! And to your editor, my opinion of the Observer dropped to Breitbart level.

mister writes:

What an insensitive, incorrect and embarrassing article. An unhoused individual tragically passed away and this is what you focus on? By the way, there are no bears in Griffith Park. Get a grip and do some research.

Fundogs writes:

What insensitive hack dreamt up this story? A man dying because he doesn’t have a home is tragedy, not comedy. Not to mention, there are no bears in Griffith Park and this poor soul was dead before wildlife encountered him. I can’t imagine how this story got approved for publication. Shame.

Cornbred22 writes:

Relax guys they said “bear” you assume animal could have been a hairy gay man.

GriffithBear writes:

Journalism 101.......Fail! Time to start job hunting :)

ilikefax writes:

Unhoused person passed away and was extremely unfortunately scavenged upon by animals - √ Bears existing at all in Griffith - X Any evidence of P22 being there or disturbing corpse - X Anything corroborating the 'bears' headline or the P-22-craving-human-flesh part of the story - X Any specific mention the person died of natural causes Sensational headline that has little to do with story - √ Well, this is super disappointing! Hope 0 people read the headline or byline and think there are active aggressive mountain lions (nope), bears (don't even exist there), or coyotes (last fatal coyote attack in LA areas was 1981), but that's exactly what's gonna happen and you know it.

Citizen writes:

This is deeply insensitive. A human being, born as someone's child, died untended, homeless and alone. Your callousness defies belief.

BarbaraS writes:

This is a misleading & harmful article. The decapitation and dismembering is NOT something that would be done by wildlife. To blame mountain lions, when they are already facing so many challenges, is totally irresponsible! Additionally, there are no known bears in Griffith Park. If you are interested in being a real reporter, why not look into the ever increasing gang, MS13 in particular, activity in the Valley and surrounding areas and why it’s being kept so quiet. That article would be helpful. The decapitation and dismembering is known to be their trademark. If any wildlife have eaten the remains, it’s because they came upon them, not because they caused the death. This article is very misleading. A correction would be nice.

Robb writes:

What the hell kind of reporting is this? Who edited this and added that headline? No one thinks a bear is hanging out in Griffith -- why didn't you just say it was a chupacabra and be done with it? This is also about a human death -- watch your tone!

Silverlake68 writes:

Looks like Sinclair News has started acquiring local newspapers now, folks.

SespeAusi writes:

What an irresponsible, ignorant, piece of “reporting”. According to all reports, the person died and was scavenged by wildlife. The unnatural part of this tragedy was that this person was having to live out in the elements without help. People should have respect for wildlife but not have irrational fears about them.

BAD writes:

This is one of the least accurate and intelligent articles I have seen in years. Is this paper run by Middle school students? Shame on you! the writer should be ashamed and the editor fired!

Voice4P22 writes:

This is the most misleading, irresponsible piece of garbage I have seen about P22! First of all, the dramatic headline is ridiculous fear mongering. The cause of death was undetermined, according to the Corner, but YOU blame it on P22!? Do you even realize how incredibly dangerous that insane rhetoric is? How can you insinuate that P22 had anything to do with this when the reports do not even mention a mountain lion! And coyotes and bears are known to be scavengers. It is sad that a man passed away, but you make it sound like they stalked, hunted and mauled him to death which is all BS! Likely he passed away and wild animals do what they do. That is not the same as you portrayed. You should immediately corrected this horrendous, misleading story full of drama before some idiot goes hunting P22 because of it! He has a hard enough time surviving with so much human ignorance and encroachment, but this is reprehensible on your part to print such utter trash! NO integrity!!!

ranger writes:

There are no bears that live inside Griffith Park -- and suggesting P-22 is somehow responsible or involved in this without any evidence from anyone is extremely irresponsible.

 
 
 

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