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Letter to the Editor: Patrick Cifor Did Not Commit Suicide

The niece of a man deemed to have killed himself contests that finding.

- By Angela Cifor

I want to discuss the death of Patrick Cifor. He was my uncle. I loved him. I love his daughters. I love my father, Patrick's brother. The Cifor family is flawed in many ways, but one thing is certain: Cifors do not quit. They do not give up. They do not commit suicide.

Walnut Creek is a small town. It is a wealthy town, quiet and peaceful. The Contra Costa sheriff’s department—tasked with protecting the citizens of that county—has an excellent record with respect to community safety. But they are understaffed.

When Patrick Cifor died, the Contra Costa sheriff’s department conducted a routine investigation. They took limited witness testimony at face value. They placed a significant amount of weight on the Medical Examiner's statement, which ultimately arrived at the conclusion that the cause of death was a suicide because there were no defensive wounds on Patrick's arms.

Patrick Cifor did not commit suicide. The facts support this. Every person who knew Pat supports this. Patrick Cifor was murdered. How and why is unclear. What is clear is that the Contra Costa sheriff’s department far too quickly ruled Pat's death to be a suicide without a complete investigation, without sufficient interviews, and without any perspective on Pat's life, his acquaintances, his friends, and his associates. They failed Patrick, and they failed the community of Walnut Creek.

The Contra Costa sheriff’s department claims to have conducted an investigation. That “investigation” was a complete failure because of many staggering omissions. Not a single officer interviewed Patrick’s therapist, his neighbors, his friends, or his business associates. Those that were close to Pat shared their confusion about this with his family. The knife that Patrick allegedly used to stab himself was not sufficiently inspected. The sheriff’s department told Pat’s sister that his body would be cremated in three to five days; it was cremated 12 hours later. What is happening in Walnut Creek, California? Why is no one questioning what happened?

As a Cifor and as a citizen who believes in truth and justice, I am not OK with this situation. Patrick Cifor was a father, a neighbor, a friend, and—most importantly—a kind-hearted man. Ask questions. Demand answers. Do not let this go away without a fight.

KAC February 25, 2013 at 04:21 PM
Why was it the Sheriff's Dept that decided Mr. Cifor's body should be cremated? Isn't this a decision that is normally made by the family? Suicide by knife is very unusual - if possible, I would hire someone to do an independent analysis of what happened. Good luck.
Dubious February 25, 2013 at 06:38 PM
I too am in a state of disbelief about the death of Pat Cifor. While being unable to provide any sort of "proof" that Pat's death was a homicide, I find it unlikely that he would take his own life, especially in this manner. The story has never made sense or added up.
HE Reigns February 26, 2013 at 02:27 AM
Patrick Cifor would never committ suicide, He has told me this ~ He loved Life! He lived every day to the fullest and he truly cared for everyone close to him~~ I have been friends with Pat for over 30 years. Pat Cifor had recently ended an tumultuous long term relationship, and after several months was moving on... He was happy. Pat was a Father and his girls were his Joy~ He also owned an Insurance Firm, and knew full well that insurance would not pay if death is deemed by suicide- He would NEVER leave his College girls without financial security. There is a murderer walking around free and we should Demand and investigation! I don't know how, but we cannot let this rest as it stands!
Sandra Cifor February 27, 2013 at 06:35 PM
This is my brother and I know this was an open and shut case as far as the Sheriff's dept. is concerned. We will never believe this was a suicide. It is implausible. There is so much evidence to the contrary it isn't even funny. I hope to God this Sheriff's office never has something like this happen to their loved ones. I can only hope someone will help us get to the bottom of this and not just shove it into some quick file somewhere because they don't have the time or money to investigate it.
BuzyBea April 17, 2013 at 07:15 PM
Has anyone looked into the girlfriend?

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