Body Found In Shay Park – September 24, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

The segment of Jolly Giant Creek where the body was discovered. KLH | Eye

Kevin L. Hoover

Eye Editor

ALLIANCE ROAD – On the afternoon of Thursday, Sept. 23, a 41-year-old male was found dead in Jolly Giant Creek at Shay Park.

Police Chief Tom Chapman said the man had been dead for several days.  Police found no obvious signs of foul play or trauma, and no cause of death has ben determined.

An autopsy has been scheduled for next week. The man’s identity is being withheld pending notification of family.

The decedent was discovered by citizens, who called police. The body was located in a densely overgrown pocket of the slow-moving waters of the creek. Police cleared a swath of overgrown blackberry and Himalaya berry vines to access the creek and retrieve the body.

A problematic paradise

A campsite several minutes' walk away from the location of the body. KLH | Eye

Shay Park, located on the site of the former Twin Parks Lumber Mill, was restored beginning in the 1990s. Today it is a lush, densely wooded park featuring meandering trails and charming footbridges. Regular and repeated volunteer workdays plus improvements by the City have helped cultivate the former industrial site into a riparian paradise.

It is heavily frequented by students from neighboring Arcata High School, plus naturalists and area residents.

But, like many urban/natural interface areas, there are signs of improper use and habitation. A heap of compost, including eggs and biodegradable egg cartons rots just off a trail near Foster Avenue. Illegal campers and boozers have left their marks as well.

Rocks, bridges, a creek culvert and even trees are defaced with graffiti. Spent husks of alcohol containers and food wrappers dot the trails, increasing in density near several popular camping spots.

Though frequently cleaned up by City personnel and volunteers, a walk around the park Friday turned up several trash-infested campsites, one of which the decedent, believed to be a traveler, may have occupied. One alder next to a heavily-used campsite sports a deeply-carved swastika, with the word “CRITTER” written above it.

About 150 feet from the location where the body was found, an elevated clearing is strewn with Jameson’s Whiskey bottles and discarded clothing, plus an unopened bag of beans and other debris. This appears to be more of a social area than campsite.

A nearby recreation hotspot. KLH | Eye

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23 Responses to “Body Found In Shay Park – September 24, 2010”

  1. Burney

    Anyone hear about a decapitated body found in arcata near the skate park? wanna know if its rumour or not

  2. Casey

    yea i heard that the decapitated body was found in shay park, but after reading this article i guess its false- unless there was a different body found elsewhere. Or maybe they’re not stating that in the article.

  3. Alas, a dead body found gets reported. I have discovered that numerous dead bodies have been found, all of “transients”; just, outside Arcata’s city limits. These dead bodies, typically, go unreported by local news outlets. One out of four hate crimes against poor people end in death, compared with a part of one percent with the federally recognized hate crimes. What are we allowing to happen, here?

  4. Another irresponsible rumor. What is true is that a headless body roams the skatepark at night, ripping the eyeballs out of bowl-graffitists and sucking their brains out through their eye sockets.

    Hope we cleared that up.

  5. Happy Pills

    I see King Benson is off his medication again.

  6. “Off his medication!” Hahahaha. I get it – he’s mentally ill, and said what he did because he failed to suppress the symptoms with medicine.

    How did you ever come up with THAT? Points for originality.

  7. Daniel Wasserman

    I cannot speak to Mr. Benson’s state of mental health. I am not educated in such matters. I do know my conversations with him have left me with an impression that he has a distinctly different grasp of reality than that shared by the majority of the populace of Arcata (which is quite a feat). When I spoke with Mr. Benson made statements regarding events, statistics, and laws as they exist that I was pretty fairly convinced were not accurate or even rooted in reality. He does not provide proof when his statements are challenged. Instead he grows agitated and makes allegations against anyone present that does not share his viewpoint. Mr. Benson did tell me he is a member of royalty. His Majesty professes to being the King of Thelema. I will confess that I found Robert to be articulate if inaccurate and well-mannered up to the point when he appeared to feel he was not believed or taken seriously.

    As to the headless body that haunts the skate park sucking out brains. Do you suppose we could conduct a seance and ask him to do his work in the downtown area as well. The gold spray paint is really quite unaesthetic.

  8. Daniel Wasserman,
    Please, if you will, describe the inaccurate statements regarding events, statistics, and laws; and the amount of research of which you base your “pretty fairly convinced” judgments upon. I provide plenty of proof for my allegations. I grow agitated, only, when my dignity are dishonored. You are a bona fide liar. I never told you I was a member of royalty. I have, repeatedly, said the People are sovereign. Do not put your agenda and ignorance in the matter on me. I do not demand that others share my viewpoints. Again, you are simply a liar. Please, provide something beyond your conclusions and, perhaps, we will see where the folly lies. Your reckless disregard for truth is evident, as is your intent to provoke with libelous slander. Honor yourself and you will begin to honor others. Good luck with your spiritual evolution. Enjoy!

  9. Brian

    I havent seen this man since I was 9 or 10. I believe this man is my Brother.

  10. The dead guy? I apologize for any disrespect.

  11. Mike

    Brian it is Dale. This was our brother guys so if I can ask chill OK? Does anyone have an email to the reporter that wrote this? I would really appreciate it. Thanks

  12. Denise

    Wow. somewhere in your comments, you loose site of the fact that a human life has been lost, no matter if he was a drifter or whatever you wanted to call him… He was my brother.. and now that he has been found, I am thankful, yet saddned by his thoughts that he was alone when he died…. Hold the ones you love, maybe it will be your brother that has issues and dissappears to be found dead…. I love you B… See you soon…

  13. Lorri

    Those comments made by who ever that guy is was uncalled for and hurt full. We are sorry that your community has a problem with lost souls that leave behind trash and markings, but they also leave behind kids, family, loved ones that get hurt by awful words like his. He does not know these peoples stories and we don’t know why or how they end up there sometimes but they do and a little compassion for the ones that grieve for their loss should not have to be asked for! WE LOVE YOU DALE AND YOU WILL BE MISSED DEARLY! <3

  14. FRED

    I MUST SAY TO ALL OF YOU WHO ARE M,AKING RUDE AND DISRESPECTFUL COMMENTS ABOUT THE ANONYMOUS BODY FOUND IN YOUR PARK THE BODY HAD A NAME IT Was dale and i for one considered ,my Little brother so im with MIKE DALE WAS OUR BROPTHER AND HE LEFT behind family who loved and cared for you so in the words of my brother Mike can we chill on the disrespect even if he wasnt our little brother he was a human being we love you Dale mike i will lioght a candle for him at church much love as always sincerely Zook

  15. Shelly

    Amen Lorri! He was a good guy, this is very very sad!

  16. On behalf of this tabloid, this community and myself; I extend my deepest apologies and condolences to the grieving family members.

  17. The Arcata Eye is a broadsheet, and has no apologies to make for its coverage of this story.

  18. Mike

    Thank You Robert. Keypod its not the coverage of the story, It is the comments made by some of its readers. Any coverage is fine by me because we dont know any thing about what happened only what we read. Some of the comments made not only here but on another forum are not only hurtfull to my family but would be to any greaving person. Any information that anyine has please try and get it to us.

  19. I generally don’t approved comments of cruel nature, and I don’t see any directed at the deceased person here. By the way, I just posted an updated story regarding the cause of death.

  20. shawn

    the found man was my first love, my first husband, the father of two of my kids. Dale was a good man. he just got lost along the way, as happens to some of us. maybe they arent directed AT him, but every homeless person out there has somebody who loved them. they dont always choose that life. Dale was going for help, he just didnt go soon enough. Dale was and is very much so loved, and will be sorely missed. We where looking for him, finally found him in grants pass. Heard he was going home, then he was dead. his oldest son had been looking for him for years. Its devastating to know the search is over. I am sooooo sorry that i let you down Dale. I LOVE U ALWAYS.

  21. Mike

    Kevpod While i do see less disrespect here than on another forum there is a little and it just hits to close to home. Thank You sir for printing the update on the COD. To everyone that is following this story. Dale had his demons and took care of them in his own way. Does it surprise me that Meth had something to do with this, NO not in the least. I will say this. Dale is in a much better place. In the past he was an accomplished Chef, Mountain Biker, and outdoorsman, Dale must have had some real problems to be living so uncofortably in the woods. I only ask that all of you look at this as a lesson. Shit happens and it is usually not in our control. Dale could have had a FoodTv type of career and something happend. Look were it took him. NONE of us are any different.

  22. Dave Champion

    Dale was my friend that i have missed for many pains me to know that my search for him ended so close to me finding him alive the dale that i knew was a good friend. I wish i could have seen him one last time. god bless you my friend.

  23. Kathleen Helphrey

    My husband grew up with Dale and his brother Mike. The stories I have heard over the years of Dale, from my husband,my girlfriends were of a fun, loving guy. I wish my husband could have seen Dale one more time and maybe been able to help get Dale down to him family sooner. Dale you will be miss by all of us here and God Bless you and now live in peace.


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