With a population of about 84,000, the City of Alhambra gets its name from The Tales of Alhambra by Washington Irving. The book tells the tale of the historic Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain, including the “description, myth and narrations of real historical events, even up through the destruction of some of the palace’s towers by the French.”
The main business district of Alhambra has been the same since 1895, still home to many historic buildings. The city itself has become a vibrant community, featuring a mix of growing families, retired people, entrepreneurs, and artisans.
Suicide in Alhambra
At a rate that is consistent with the national average, residents of Alhambra take their lives. This even happens in the heart of the city, directly in the center of the historic business district. On one such occasion, a man intentionally leaped to his death from the top of a parking structure connected to a theatre in the business district.
A particularly horrific, and puzzling, Alhambra suicide case involved an unwed mother and father and their child, who was younger than a year old. All three were found shot to death in their home. Ultimately, the Alhambra Police Department, together with the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office, was able to conclude that the case involved two murders and a suicide. What law enforcement and the coroner remained in the dark about was which parent was a double murder who committed suicide and which parent was a victim.
There have been other situations in Alhambra that raised questions as to whether the cause of death was a suicide or an accident. This is illustrated by the case of a 25-year old college student who was found dead in her Alhambra home.
Emergency personnel responding to the scene detected no foul play at the scene. In addition to the young woman, her pet dog was also dead. Law enforcement personnel operated under the assumption that the woman has died from carbon monoxide poisoning. This was confirmed by the LA Coroner.
With the cause of death identified, the police were still left trying to ascertain the reason behind it. The young woman left no suicide note. On the other hand, some of her associates noted that she had seemed at least somewhat depressed. The matter of the dead dog added to the mystery, with some investigators taking the position that a suicidal person would not knowingly also take the life of a pet in the process of taking her own life. Others made the exact opposite argument.
There was a possibility that the water heater wasn’t vented properly, which was caused by carbon monoxide to accumulate in the home. However, the young woman had lived in the residence for some time, raising the possibility that she intentionally tampered with it as part of an effort to kill herself.
Alhambra Survivors of Suicide
In the aftermath of a deal that appears to be a suicide, the loved ones that are left behind must deal with challenging emotions. These include those associated with a bereavement process in which the deceased person did not take his or her life. In the case of grieving the loss of a loved one by suicide, a survivor also faces issues of life guilt, which can prove to be profound.
When there remains a possibility that death may be accidental as opposed to the result of suicide, the bereavement process becomes even more challenging and complex.
There are Alhambra area therapists that work with survivors of suicide and people working through the bereavement process. These professionals can make referrals to grief and bereavement support groups as well as groups gathered specifically for survivors of suicide.
Benjamin Eli Cone
Alhambra Suicide Lifelines
Oftentimes, a person suffering suicidal thoughts and ideations turns to crisis hotlines. There are a number of suicide crisis hotlines available to residents in Alhambra. Some of these hotlines are established to assist people in certain demographic and other groups. These include teens and members of the military.
LA County Dept. of Mental Health Access Hotline
Suicide Prevention Center Hotline
(877) 7-CRISIS 
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
(800) 273-TALK 
Trevor Lifeline – LGBTQ Youth
(800) TLC-TEEN 
Veterans & Military Families
Alhambra Suicides and Suicide Cleanup
Care must be taken to protect the physical and emotional wellbeing of people following the suicide of a loved one. This includes hiring a professional biohazard cleanup service or suicide cleanup service.
People who’ve lost a loved one to suicide must not increase the emotional trauma they endure by undertaking the suicide cleanup process on their own. In addition, depending on the circumstances surrounding a particular suicide, personally undertaking a suicide cleanup can expose a deceased person’s loved ones to dangerous biohazards.
Photo Courtesy of Jey0h.