The man who took his own life at Disneyland Resort over the weekend took to Facebook to post a lengthy explanation for his decision only hours before his death.
On Saturday evening at approximately 9:00 p.m., Anaheim Police arrived at Disneyland after Guests reported seeing a man fall from a parking structure at the theme park. They confirmed that a man was found deceased at the bottom of the parking structure on Disney’s park property and that he died from an apparent suicide.
The man was later identified as 51-year-old Christopher Christensen, a Fountain Valley School District elementary school principal from Huntington Beach, California.
On November 22, Christensen was charged with misdemeanor child endangerment and was expected in court on Monday. It was unclear whether any of these details played a role in Christensen’s decision to take his life, but a post on his Facebook page, dated December 3, the day of his death, could offer some insight into Christensen’s thoughts and mindset at the time of his death.
“I hate when people leave this Earth with so many unanswered questions,” the post begins, “so I hope this provides some insight and perspective.”
Christensen’s post then states that he and his wife Marlena were married 3 1/2 years ago, though most people did not know they had gotten married: “Marlena and I love and adore each other, and our relationship has been amazing,” the post continues, “up until recently.”
The post goes on to say that the pair got into a “heated argument” only a couple of weeks ago, during which “tempers were flared and strong words were exchanged.” But the post continues with a declaration: “However, never in this exchange did I hit, slap, or hurt Marlena in any manner,” the post reads. “Nor did I ever touch the girls (I never have and never will). I love the girls like my own, and they know that, as does everyone else who truly knows me.”
The post continues to read as follows:
Unfortunately, Marlena’s anger got the best of her that night, and she called the police, which landed me in jail that night. Yes, me! A man who has never hit or harmed ANYONE in his life! I think it’s safe to say that Marlena truly regrets making that call because the events of that night have completely unraveled both of our lives.
I am on the brink of losing my job, as I am out on administrative leave until my case is “resolved.” However, the legal system is extremely flawed (especially against men/fathers), and it’s sickening how quickly and easily an innocent man can be thrown in jail based on zero evidence or proof! In fact, take a look at the attached screenshots of Marlena’s message to my friend about the matter. She, too, had no intention of having that night come this far. She knows I would never hurt her or the girls, and she, too, has been trying to clear my name with little success. Again, the legal system is deeply flawed, to say the least!
So, here I am, writing my final FB post to all of you. I need you all to know that a gentle, kind, loving, and sincerely good man has been destroyed by one unfortunate night. It really is unfortunate! This is NOT me! This is NOT something that I ever thought would happen to me.
I have truly loved educating and leading thousands of students and families as a principal in FVSD for the past 21+ years. I have made so many wonderful connections with families over the years, and those who know me closely know how much I cared for my students, staff, and families. Please remember me for all the good I brought to the world of education.”
The post concludes with the following:
This is not an ideal way to go out, but at least I get a chance to say some final words to those who I love and adore.
Take care, everyone. Please, please, please be kind to one another! Treat each other with kindness and grace. There is too much anger in the world, and people need to start treating each other better. What I’ve shared with you above is a prime example of how ‘anger’ can really have long-lasting and extremely damaging effects on a person’s life.”
Christensen was a well-liked school administrator in California, and from his own account, he seemed to be one who loved his work. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and those who knew him best during this difficult time.