News

Update: Questions in Menlo Park man's death

Reports of coroner's conclusion differ

Menlo Park businessman Lawrence Cronin, 67, was stabbed during a robbery attempt in March. His death two months later has now been ruled a homicide by the San Mateo County coroner, according to his family. However, Menlo Park police issued a press release on Monday saying the coroner's report concluded the manner of death is "undetermined."

Two men attacked Cronin as he stepped outside his insurance brokerage at 1100 Alma St. around 9:45 p.m. on March 26. Police reported that he was in stable condition following treatment for multiple stab wounds at a local hospital.

The assailants were both described as Hispanic and about 5-foot-8-inches tall, with short hair and thin builds. Investigators released a sketch of one suspect.

Cronin, who also resided in Menlo Park, died on May 30. An immediate relative said that the coroner informed the family on June 27 that the cause of death was determined to be homicide. The coroner's office declined to discuss the case with the Almanac.

His family held a funeral service on June 5 at the Church of the Nativity in Menlo Park, followed by a reception at the Menlo Circus Club in Atherton. Cronin enjoyed playing basketball as well as spending time with loved ones, according to long-time friend Doug Lawrence.

The investigation remains ongoing, according to police, who had no explanation for why the family would have different information regarding the coroner's report.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Will
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2012 at 8:05 pm

> The coroner's office declined to discuss the case with the Almanac.

Why not? Does the government coroner's office make it a practice to not talk to the public? Who do they think they work for?

BTW--did the coroner's office communicate with the family verbally, or in writing?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 2, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Maybe the Coroner respects family privacy. More likely they are prohibited by law from discussing an ongoing investigation which may lead to criminal proceedings. Should potential jurors read the report in the Almanac or have it first presented to them in the courtroom as evidence in a murder case? The coroner's office knows their job, and at times it can be gruesome beyond imagination.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by KC
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 3, 2012 at 10:44 am

Looks like the Coroner did speak to the Daily Post. The Post also talked to the widow, who is understandably outraged at the police for deciding the manner of her husband's death is "undetermined."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 3, 2012 at 11:46 am

I've had the unfortunate experience of having to talk to the coroner's office re a death. There are privacy laws and guiding principles that they follow in releasing info to the public at various stages of an inquiry.

To the first commenter - "Who do they think they work for?" Really??? Do you think that they work for you? Are you in San Mateo County? They might work for the county, but that doesn't mean taxpayers are their bosses. A comment like that comes across as arrogant and ignorant, even if you didn't intend it that way.

I am so sorry for the loss of Mr. Cronin. These should've been a time that his contributions to his community and family resulted in reaping what he'd sown. This is a family's worst nightmare come true.


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