USC Football Player Found Dead In San Pedro

mario_danelo.JPGDeaths Along Point Fermin Cliffs Not Uncommon

Mario Danelo, a kicker with the USC Trojan football team, was found dead Saturday afternoon in the cliffs below the Point Fermin Lighthouse in San Pedro.

The 21 year old junior played in last Sunday’s Rose Bowl game, contributing two field goals in the Trojans 32-18 win over Michigan. And on Thursday night, Danelo was featured on the Late Show With David Letterman as one of the “Top Ten Signs You’re Watching Too Much College Football” – and came in as number one: “In bed, your wife says, ‘Get a Trojan’ — you come back with USC Kicker Mario Danelo.”

While news reports quote police as saying Danelo’s body “suffered traumatic injuries”, apparenty from a fall along the 120 feet cliff, they have yet to rule out if this was an accident, suicide, or homicide.

Regarding the Point Fermin location where Danelo’s body was found, a commenter on Digg who lives in San Pedro writes, “He had to climb over a fence to get to the edge, but you can take a a path a ways further down if you want to walk down to the rocks without taking the direct jumping/falling route.”

The number of deaths along the cliffs of San Pedro, and at Point Fermin specifically, is unfortunately common enough that there is a death marker that “commemorates the many jumpers and people who have fallen to their deaths from the bluffs above Cabrillo Beach. It serves as a warning to visitors to be careful.” (source:

In 1996, four teenagers killed themselves by jumping from the San Pedro cliffs in two seperate double suicides – one incident was from the edge of the Point Fermin Lighthouse.

2 thoughts on “USC Football Player Found Dead In San Pedro”

  1. There’s no obstacle a three year old couldn’t penetrate that prevents people from accessing the cliffs anywhere along the Peninsula. It’s an area where it’s both really, really easy to fall to your death, and to deliberately kill yourself.

    The media circus surrounding those double suicides in ’96 was bizarre. It was really sad seeing every goth teen in Pedro scramble to associate themselves with Amber or Alicia so that they could get interviewed by the Times or the Breeze.

  2. last night, they airlifted the body next to the studio at angels gate cultural center where i was working. the family was there and it was very sad listening to them crying out. it is so awful and heart breaking what has happened. i also live right at point fermin park. one half of one of those double suicides was a girl who lived in the house i live in now. someone is air lifted from the rocks below (sometimes still alive) at least once a month here, although it’s never something one gets used to.

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