U.S. News


Man Admits To Killing Climbing Partner With Claw Hammer

A Virginia man is facing manslaughter charges after admitting to killing the man who taught him to climb.
Posted at 6:39 PM, Jan 15, 2014

They were supposed to be each other's safety nets, but a rock climber in Virginia has been charged with manslaughter after authorities say he bludgeoned his climbing partner with a claw hammer. 

"Witnesses told them they saw Farrar and DiPaolo arguing in the parking lot. One witness later found Farrar with major head trauma and saw DiPaolo running up the trail." (Via WJLA)

The 69-year-old Geoff Farrar was rushed to the hospital but died later that day. At first, speculation was that Farrar had fallen to his death because he frequently climbed without a rope. But the investigation revealed much more.

Police eventually arrested 31-year-old David DiPaolo, who admitted to killing Farrar. (Via WRC-TV)

According to court documents, DiPaolo says it was self-defense. 

"DiPaolo admitted to the argument but said the next thing he remembered was being choked by Farrar. ... He said he used the claw hammer to strike Farrar in the head." (Via WJLA)​

Also in those court documents, DiPaolo apologized and said he didn't intend to kill Farrar. 

According to The Washington Post, friends of the two say they'd been climbing together since DiPaolo was a child and Farrar had even taught DiPaolo how to climb. Those who knew the two were shocked by the revelations. (Via WRC-TV)

Federal prosecutors are handling the case because the incident happened at Carderock Park in Maryland, which happens to be a national park. (Via YouTube / Dave Manheimer)

DiPaolo has yet to enter a plea in the case.