Josh Feinberg, College Student 'Upset About Grades,' Commits Suicide off Malibu Dam
A former Agoura High student named Joshua A. Feinberg, now 21, jumped 100 feet to his death off the Rindge Dam at Malibu Creek yesterday. The century-old structure is located about three miles inland from the Pacific Coast Highway.
Though sheriff's officials from the Malibu/Lost Hills station originally told City News Service that "another young person was rescued off a ledge about 5 p.m.," it appears the second person was a friend looking for Feinberg after receiving a suicide text.
Sgt. Vivian May tells Malibu Patch that "there was a text message to a friend and a note left in [Feinberg's] car. He was upset about his grades."
The Weekly has not yet confirmed which college or university Feinberg had been attending. Many of his Facebook friends attend schools in Santa Barbara and Moorpark, but that could just be because they're close in proximity to Agoura Hills, Feinberg's northeast L.A. County hometown.
According to R.I.P. notes posted to Twitter, family and friends held an immediate candlelight vigil last night, in honor of the college student.
When commenters on Malibu Patch started debating over whether the suicide should be blamed on the victim's home life or societal pressure to do well in school, a reader named Kellie, identifying herself as a friend of Feinberg's, wrote the following:
"I grew up with Josh, have known him for 14 years of my life, and know the kind of person he was. I think it's a bit cold to point fingers, blame his parents or anyone else for that matter. Bottom line: we do not know the whole story, and probably never will. Is there anything wrong with simply stating: "What a tragedy, my heart goes out for his family and friends" and leaving it at that? Do we really need to touch base on the trials and tribulations of struggling college students in this generation? Yes, we all know how difficult college can be, the stress of succeeding in this day and age is one that no other generation has ever felt. We all know how hard it is to find jobs after school, even with degrees. We all know that a grade is just a grade, and there is more life left to go. We all know that suicide is a permanent solution for a temporary problem. We do not know the pain that he experienced, the hopelessness he felt, and what was constantly going through his head. I only ask that everyone be respectful during this time; the pain we're all feeling won't go away by using him as a mindless statistic."
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Update: Another old friend named Nick Grodotzke says in a Tumblr tribute that Feinberg used to play basketball, and that he had a twin brother, Jeff. "His happy-go-lucky attitude spread all over anyone that came in contact with him," writes Grodotzke. "He respected everyone, loved to have fun, and was always happy."