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Body Found in Park Was 11th Public Suicide in Santa Monica in Two and a Half Years
 

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By Jorge Casuso

June 26, 2016 -- The death of a Santa Monica man whose body was found in a local park early Monday morning has been ruled a suicide, the 11th committed in a public space in two and a half years.

Jason Alexander, a thirty-eight year-old black male, died early Monday morning in Virginia Avenue Park of a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head, the Los Angeles County Coroner has determined.

He was unresponsive when public service officers located the body at around 5:45 a.m., police said. A handgun was found near the body.

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The information provided by the coroner's office appears to match the LinkedIn profile for a Santa Monica hypnotherapist who attended Santa Monica College from 2003 and 2005.

"Hypnotherapy can help with various issues including motivation and self-improvement, stress, productivity, creativity, fears and anxieties, and many other issues," Alexander wrote.

Alexander was a certified hypnotherapist and member of the American Hypnosis Association, according to his LinkedIn page. He worked in Tarzana and West LA.

Alexander's death marked the 11th public suicide in Santa Monica since February 2018 and the second committed using a handgun, according to data from the coroner's office.

Two years earlier, on June 23, 2018, a John Adams Middle School (JAMS) parent took his life with a firearm in front of the school ("Parent of Santa Monica Student Commits Suicide in Front of School," June 25, 2018).

Five of the public suicides committed since February 18, 2018 were by leaping from Downtown Public Parking Structures, which have no protective fencing.

The string of parking structure suicides began on September 5, 2018 when Gary Stewart, a longtime music industry executive, jumped from the top of Structure 4 on 2nd Street just north of Arizona Avenue.

Three months later, on December 1, a woman in her 60s committed suicide by jumping from the roof of the same structure.

On April 12, 2019 a man jumped to his death from the top of Parking Structure 7 at Santa Monica Place.

On August 24, Brad Bolton, a 49-year-old former physical trainer, leaped to his death from the roof of structure 2 at 1235 2nd Street ("Personal Trainer Brad Bolton Remembered as an Inspirational Force," August 29, 2019).

On February 2 of this year, a man committed suicide by leaping from the roof of the same structure ("Man Commits Fifth Suicide By Leaping from Downtown Parking Structure," February 3, 2020).

Three other public suicides have been committed at the Santa Monica Pier -- two by leaping and the third by hanging.

On February 18, 2018 a man killed himself by jumping into the ocean from the pier.

Less than one month later, on March 9, a second man took his life by jumping from the century-old wooden structure ("Man Who Jumped from Santa Monica Pier Identified, Ruled a Suicide," March 12, 2018).

In November 2019, a third man committed suicide shortly before dawn by hanging himself underneath the pier ("Suicide Under Pier Marks Eighth in Less than 2 Years," November 21, 2019).

One suicide was committed by walking in front of an oncoming train ("Fatal Collision with Train Marks Ninth Public Suicide in Two Years," January 29, 2020)..

On January 26, 2020, Derrel Burnett Jr., a 57-year-old white male who police believe was homeless, was killed by a westbound train shortly before dawn near the intersection of Lincoln Boulevard and Colorado Avenue.


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