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Man found dead in Palo Alto home in Barron Park area -- no initial sign of foul play, police report

Original post made on Sep 5, 2010

A man was discovered dead in his home in the 500 block of Vista Avenue in the Barron Park area of Palo Alto, according to Palo Alto police. There is no sign of foul play, according to a preliminary investigation. The coroner's office is investigating.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, September 5, 2010, 10:02 PM

Comments (26)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tim
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Sep 5, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Basing stories off Tweets! Lame


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 6, 2010 at 12:15 am

I live within yards of the scene...and I'm pretty worried. Good luck to the cops finding out what happened. I just hope it wasn't a murder.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of University South
on Sep 6, 2010 at 12:19 am

I have to echo the recent chorus of disapprovals in regards to PAOnline reporting "news" that is discovered off Twitter. These calls are routine, every day things and really don't need to reported. PAOnline does not need to do any ambulance/squad car chasing.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 6, 2010 at 12:40 am

For the last time, forget Twitter-discovered news. This is someone found DEAD. Not Twitter trash. Twitter was a small source for the police to find this out. A dead person is not routine.


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Posted by Believe It
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2010 at 1:55 am

qq is not just any twitterer, talking hot air. qq has a police radio and has in the past posted on this Town Forum to keep everyone current with ongoing events. I miss her postings here.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mark
a resident of University South
on Sep 6, 2010 at 2:52 am

I think if qq posts on the forums or suggests someone follows the twitter feed, that's absolutely fine. But it makes my skin crawl when PAOnline "reports" the news they discover from a twitter feed and then quotes it, as if the press release from PAPD isn't enough.

People die all the time in Palo Alto in their homes of natural causes. It just happens to be news today because someone happen to eavesdrop on a scanner and then posted it on twitter. I just don't think we need a daily body count with blow-by-blow information - the first two paragraphs would have been more than sufficient to cover the story.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by NIKOBMW
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 6, 2010 at 6:38 am

QQ should get a life and a job
Police radios are for personal escapes not informing the ignorant public


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jt
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 6, 2010 at 7:18 am

Using tweets is stupid. A week ago, the Washington Post suspended one of its sportswriters for posting a false tweet that claimed Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would have his suspension reduced to five games. (This was before his suspension was actually reduced to four games.) The sportswriter later admitted he posted a false tweet to see how many other media outlets would use it without corroborating it. A number of sites, including NBC, picked up the false report. The Weekly should re-examine its standards.


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 6, 2010 at 8:36 am

I don't get why people have a problem with the paper using Twitter as source for news tips. What's the difference between this and a person calling the paper telling them the same thing? The paper took the tip and then confirmed it with the police, what more do you want? And of course it's news that the police have closed off a block after discovering a body. As a neighbor, I want to know what's going on.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2010 at 8:53 am

I appreciate what qq does. There are often times when I see several emergency vehicles racing around town and wonder what on earth is going on. I look at PA online and discover nothing. It is only human nature to be curious and if qq or PA online reports the basic information here, then I am grateful. As long as it is the basic information without speculation then I can't see any problem.


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Posted by ask the police?
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Sep 6, 2010 at 10:44 am

Why didn't PAOnline just call the police and ask for their version of the story? I agree that relying solely on Twitter for news is silly. But I have no problem with PAOnline aggressively reporting on local PD and FD activity.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Sep 6, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Time for PA Online staff to take a few journalism classes. Basic rule for news stories = 2 CONFIRMED sources. Twitter is a gossip site...junk.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff].


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 7, 2010 at 12:49 am

Uh sorry all you nay sayers, qq has been ahead of other sources on many occasions. We are very fortunate to have someone in this town who pays attention and takes the initiative to let people know what's going on. I'd trust the mysterious qq's version sooner than many others. Thank you qq for all you do for us!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by JT
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 7, 2010 at 10:48 am

This discussion shows you how dumb people can get, that they will actually put their trust in an anonymous tweeter and rely upon that information. Hey, it's got to be true -- it's on the Internet!


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Posted by Bob
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 7, 2010 at 11:04 am

> Twitter is a gossip site...junk.

Virtually every major news source now uses Twitter to provide advance notice of breaking stories:

****
CBSNews-
Gunman Kills Two U.S. Soldiers in Northern Iraq Web Link

McClatchyDC-
Commentary: TARP wasn't perfect but it eased crisis: Web Link

BloombergNow--
Woods, Cink, Johnson, Fowler Are Added to U.S. Ryder Cup Team Web Link

TelegraphNews-
Christopher Freeman Web Link
****

just to list a very few "tweats" from major news sources. Anyone who claims that Twitter is a "junk" source for valid information is very misinformed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by twitter
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 7, 2010 at 11:27 am

There's a huge difference between news services that distribute their news via Twitter and news services that use Twitter as their sole source for a news report.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 7, 2010 at 11:36 am

DID EVERYONE MISS THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT HERE?
A man died alone, after a life that meant something to him and hopefully others.
At least he had neighbors that called after 3 days. Most of us live in parts of town where
we could be dead for 3 months, years? before someone noticed. Is this why people more concerned about commenting upon this Twitter aspect of article versus a person's life? My answer would be, yes.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 7, 2010 at 11:37 am

> and news services that use Twitter as their sole source
> for a news report

Kind of depends on whether the material found on Twitter is true or not.

If the material is true .. what's the problem?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2010 at 12:01 pm

I too would like to see an update on this story.

I want to thank qq for bringing it to our attention.

I want to know if this poor man died of natural causes or if there is evidence of either suicide or foul play? I feel sure that the neighbors, whether they knew him or not, would want to be aware of these things.

I think also that it is a wake up call to us all to be very aware of how we can help our neighbors, particularly the elderly or those who live alone. Anyone can fall or be ill at any age and even if they do not live alone, they can be home alone for a while. We should all get to know our neighbors and let them know when we are going to be alone for a while and discover when they may be home alone also.

Thankfully, the neighbors here responded in a timely manner.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Correction, I meant if there is any evidence of suicide or accident.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Believe It
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2010 at 12:36 pm

@Resident,

I don't think the neighbors responded in a "timely matter". But my point is that I know all the 140 adult neighbors in my neighborhood and I would have no idea of their comings and goings. It is the relatives who should be checking up on the elderly. Out of curiosity, it would be interesting to know the reason for death (since it is not foul play) but it is really none of our business.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2010 at 12:55 pm

I don't think we know the age of the man so who knows if he is "elderly"?

I think 3 days is a timely manner for not seeing a neighbor, I am not sure how long it is since I last saw a neighbor who lives alone but I do see her regularly and I do see the lights going on in the evening and off during the day. If the lights didn't change, the car didn't move, then I think 3 days would be a timely manner for me to investigate.

If the person died of suicide then not much could be done, but if the person died because of falling badly, or because of a sudden illness, then it is something we should be concerned about. How would any of us feel if someone died in agony near us because we felt it was none of our business to investigate? Relatives do check on elderly relatives, but perhaps not as often as 3 days.

I think there is a lesson here and more details would make it helpful to see what exactly the lesson is.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Enough!
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 7, 2010 at 1:11 pm

So supercilious and condescending: "I have to echo the recent chorus of disapprovals in regards to PAOnline reporting "news" that is discovered off Twitter. These calls are routine, every day things and really don't need to reported. PAOnline does not need to do any ambulance/squad car chasing."

Oh we Palo Altans are sooooo far above the commonality of Twitter.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Believe It
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2010 at 1:20 pm

@Resident: You are very alert. Most people are not as alert of neighborhood activities unless they see mail and newspapers piling up. Relatives should be in touch with elderly more often than neighbors. Hey everyone, call your mom!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by RSL
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 7, 2010 at 5:55 pm

I've seen several times here a new story and then "qq" will add a comment. The difference here is that it appears that the Palo Alto Online staff is now following "qq" on Twitter and quoting him or her as part of a news story. When responsible news organizations grant a news source anonymity, they explain why it was requested by the source. They do not publish it when they themselves do not know the source of the information.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by member
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 9, 2010 at 9:43 pm

The focus should be on the gentleman (young/old) that died alone in his home and was not discovered for three days - not on twitter spin.

And maybe we need to learn from his story (both family and neighbors).


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