By Joe Eskenazi
On Tuesday, readers of the San Francisco Chronicle
were informed that Dr. Dan Kliman was a quiet, retiring sort. Today, they read that he walked into an open elevator shaft and plunged to his death.
Anyone who knew Kliman would scoff at the former, and Inspector Matt Krimsky of the San Francisco Police Department says his "words have been twisted around" to infer the latter.
"He gets into the elevator car. For some inexplicable reason, the elevator gets stuck between floors -- we think between the sixth and seventh. He is somehow able to open the doors from inside and sees that he's between floors," said Krimsky, who is investigating the death. "We know he got into the elevator ... and ended up in the elevator well. How he did that is under investigation."
Kliman's body was found in the elevator shaft of the Sharon Building at 55 New Montgomery Street on Monday, Dec. 1. It had apparently been there since the preceding Tuesday. Kliman, a co-founder of San Francisco Voice for Israel, took an Arabic course in the building, though the Tuesday, Nov. 25 class had been canceled.
Krimsky claimed the SFPD had "evidence" placing Kliman within the elevator car, but would not go into further detail. "All I can tell you is we have physical evidence he forced his way out
of the elevator. Beyond that I cannot compromise the integrity of this investigation."
"We've got forensic evidence pointing toward a tragic accident. There is no evidence of foul play whatsoever. Underscore that, bold it and print it with an exclamation point."
Kliman, 38, was an ardent defender of Israel who often tangled verbally
-- and even physically -- with anti-Zionists during street protests.
Friends said he had received death threats. Krimsky said he has
been besieged with calls from those convinced Kliman was murdered. The
inspector, raising his voice, emphasizes that "this was NOT a homicide."
Krimsky said he hoped to be able to be less opaque about the nature of the evidence placing Kliman in the elevator car by the end of the week. Failing that, he said he is "absolutely certain, that, for the record, the police should have the results of all the forensic evidence and all interviews concluded by December 15."
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