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Sally Menke, longtime film editor for Quentin Tarantino, found dead near Griffith Park [Updated]

Director Quentin Tarantino's longtime film editor, who went hiking with her dog amid the extreme heat Monday, was discovered dead early Tuesday morning by searchers in Bronson Canyon, according to law-enforcement sources.

[Updated at 1:59 p.m.: An earlier version mistakenly said she was found in Beachwood Canyon.]

6a00d8341c630a53ef0133f4aac42c970b-500wi Award-winning film editor Sally Menke, 56, worked on such movies as "Pulp Fiction," "Kill Bill" and "Jackie Brown."

[Updated at 7:49 a.m.: A previous version of this post incorrectly listed Menke's age as 53.]

Menke had gone hiking in the morning, and her friends alerted police after she failed to come home.

Search dogs, an LAPD helicopter and officers from patrol units spent hours in Griffith Park searching for her.

Her locked car was found in a Griffith Park parking lot. Menke's dog was found alive, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The sources, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because the investigation was ongoing, said Menke's body was found at the bottom of a ravine near 5600 block of Green Oak Drive.

No cause of death was immediately reported, and it's unclear whether the heat was a factor.

[Updated at 8:42 a.m.: LAPD Lt. Bob Binder said Menke and a hiking buddy set out about 9 a.m. to hike a trail in Bronson Canyon, in the shadows of the Hollywood sign. An hour later, Menke's partner decided to turn back. Menke and her Labrador retriever continued on.

That was the last time she was reported seen. Friends and family contacted authorities about 4 p.m.

First on the scene were officers with the city's General Services Department, which patrols the park. Searchers with the LAPD Metro Division and Los Angeles Fire Department were called in around 6 p.m. Her family and friends aided in the search.

Menke's body was found just after 2 a.m. at the bottom of a ravine near the 5600 block of Green Oak Drive in Bronson Canyon.

Her dog was sitting next to her body, which was about a football field's length from nearby homes.

Ed Winter, assistant chief of the L.A. County coroner's office, said there did not appear to be a jump in deaths Monday because of the extreme heat.

Sources familiar with the death investigation believe Menke became disoriented and collapsed, and the weather conditions contributed to her death. Winter said the coroner's office is trying to determine whether the heat played a role in Menke's death.]

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photos: The scene at the end of Green Oak Drive, where the body of Sally Menke was placed in the coroner's truck. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times. Below left, Sally Menke Credit: WireImage

Comments () | Archives (93)

That's a great loss. My condolences.

It would appear that a Grown Adult Person does not know that Heat CAN and WILL Kill. Even with your Body Hydrated with Plenty of Water, a person can still suffer a Heat Stroke or simply just pass Out. If you were to be walking along a Ledge on the Rim of a Dangerous Location and Passed Out, your Body will go Down, towards the Ground, but may just Fall Over the Ledge and if it is a Long Way down, guess what. You would Die in your Sleep, after you Touched Bottom. The Fire Department in Los Angeles County has Advised ALL people to stay indoors, unless you absolutely have to go out.

Very sad news. Her family (both biological and film) must be devastated. Thanks for sharing your talents with all of us, Sally -- your editing legacy lives on.

Aw man, that's really a shame. She was a great editor and will always be remembered. Makes me really sad that she won't be on board with any Tarantino movies now.

no cause of death reported usually means shady business...

Anyone know what time of day she went hiking?

This is really sad news - she was an excellent editor. My thoughts go out to her family!

Very sad, but why would you hike when it's 113?

God rest her soul; I hope that they can find out what happened quickly.

A truly tragic story. A terrible, pointless loss.

she was a great editor and will be missed in the industry. 'Jackie Brown' is my second favorite QT movie after 'Reservoir Dawgs'.
it very well could have been the heat. Americans in warmer climates need to be more careful in the heat. i have never had heatstroke before untill yesterday's unbearable heat. i began throwing up and collapsed in front of my brother due to a long walk home in the heat.
ALWAYS make sure to be careful in the heat and do not take unnecessary risk.

That's too bad about her death, BUT why would anyone try and hike when the weather is SO hot!!!!!!! When on the news they are all reporting on how NOT to overheat!!!! Bad choice..my condolences.

Sally Menke, you will be missed.

This is not the time or place to take a 'holier than thou' position on heat exhaustion, especially as no formal cause of death has been announced. A great talent has been lost and Mr Tarantino must be thanked for giving her a chance to shine in such a male dominated field as editing. R.I.P.

Very sad and a great loss.

As an aside, I went for a short walk yesterday around 2 to get some lunch, and felt lightheaded when I got back. It was very unsettling. I'm in her age range, and it surprised me. I used to spend lots of hours in high heats doing strenuous activities. So I learned I'm not invincible any more.

Let's learn from her misfortune.

At 56 years old, she should be indoors in a cool place, not out in 113º heat.

Nobody in their right mind would go hiking in the heat we've had, I mean a morning walk, yeah, but this is suspicious. If it was suicide, why, oh why can't people be stronger and patient to see life through. Whatever happened to this dear lady - may she rest in peace now that's her life has ended forever.

@ donfitness Reread the article it says what time.

Tragic. Her work is partly responsible for my chosen career path. RIP Ms. Menke.

We will miss you Sally. RIP.

Condolences to her family, friends and, mostly, her loyal dog. What a touching story that her dog was with her when found.

Maybe she loved hiking in the heat. And better to die doing something you love, out in the beautiful land, than to die in some hospital.

I went out last night at 12:45 to walk the dog. There were police at the end of the street. I got scared and went back in the house.

Hiking in 113 F heat is a good way to lose weight. It also carries a high risk of dehydration & heat stroke (nausea, vertigo, fatigue, etc), so should be avoided by most.

When hiking, always try to walk uphill first, so the return hike to your car is downhill, when hikers are tired. Easier on the heart & lungs, lower body temp, etc.

oh geez, look at the i told you so remarks.

very touching about the dog and a very sad loss.

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