Privilege Continues Into Death

If anyone ever tries to tell you with a straight face that justice is blind and that the rich and the poor are treated equally, just go back to this story:

Four people were arrested in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday evening with more than 350 bags of heroin as part of the investigation into the death of the actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, the authorities said.

Narcotics investigators executed search warrants in three apartments in a building at 302 Mott Street on Tuesday evening, the police said. Three men and a woman were arrested, and the investigators recovered the bags of heroin inside the apartments.

Information stemming from the investigation into Mr. Hoffman’s death led the police to the building, a law enforcement official said. None of the people arrested have been charged with the sale of drugs and a firm connection to Mr. Hoffman has not been established, officials said.

I am sure it is standard operating procedure for the NYC police department to immediately convene a high profile task force every time they find a dead junkie with a needle in his arm. The dealers didn’t kill Hoffman, he killed himself. Read between the lines. They found him lying on his bathroom floor wearing shorts and socks with his glasses resting on his head and the needle still in his arm. Put it together. He knew what he was doing. He wasn’t at the sink and fell because he got a bad dose or laced dose- he deliberately chose to lie down on the floor, rest his glasses on his head, and ride the tiger. He had done this many times before…

It’s a tragedy, and it is horrible, but the only difference between Hoffman and every other junkie that overdoses is that Hoffman died on expensive tile in a multimillion dollar apartment, while most junkies die on a cum and body fluid stained couch in a flophouse or under a ratty blanket under a highway overpass. And I assure you, NYC’s finest aren’t knocking down doors and grabbing surveillance video for those people.

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129 replies
  1. 1
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    But John! We’re talking about the death of an Important Person here! Results must follow!

  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    They can arrest all the fucking drug dealers they want. It won’t do shit.

    Jesus, don’t they watch HBO?

  3. 3
    Lolis says:

    Yeah, although I think some of this is because PSH moved so many people with his acting and isn’t solely about his wealth. The dealers should have known this was going to happen. I’m surprised they were still operating. I would have flown to Mexico and laid low a good six months if I was them. I can’t say it is a bad thing that some heroin dealers were arrested.

  4. 4
    Immanentize says:

    Bob Dylan:
    In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel
    To show that all’s equal and that the courts are on the level
    And that the strings in the books ain’t pulled and persuaded
    And that even the Nobles get properly handled
    Once that the cops have chased after and caught ’em
    And that the ladder of law has no top and no bottom

    The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll

    Just us.

  5. 5
    maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor says:

    @Lolis: Street-level drug dealers aren’t exactly known for their foresight and planning skills.

  6. 6
    JoyfulA says:

    I thought this was going to be about the “death tax.”

  7. 7
    catclub says:

    @Lolis: [Four people were arrested in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday evening with more than 350 bags of heroin as part of the investigation into the death of the actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, the authorities said.]

    “The dealers should have known this was going to happen.”

    Not smart. Of course, a little thought and I wonder if they even knew what PSH did, besides being their customer.

  8. 8

    Money and notoriety will get you to the head of the line. Every time. You don’t even have to be alive; they’ll just drag your lifeless body to the head of the line, and you’ll still get better service than most of the still living people behind you.

  9. 9
    terraformer says:

    Great post.

  10. 10
    muricafukyea says:

    Blah blah blah…now van down by the river car in the field Cole is a narcotics squad drug expert. He cannot even figure out how to get his fuking car out of a fuking field. He would rather sit around and post pictures of his cat all day.

    Probably never occurred to him that he is reading about this particular junkie and this particular drug bust only because the junkie was famous. Not because this is the only fuking time they bust heroin dealers.

  11. 11
    Elizabelle says:

    Barn door: look yonder. There goes horse.

    This week is grey, grey, grey with PSH’s passing.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    Cacti says:

    One wonders where this law enforcement efficiency was when Tupac and Biggie were murdered.

  14. 14
    aimai says:

    Oh. This really isn’t what I’d call a privilige of wealth and power.

  15. 15
    maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor says:

    @muricafukyea: In addition to being a vacuous troll, your use of “fuk” is moronic. “Fuck” is a great word. If you can’t spell it with the “c” you don’t deserve to be using it.

    Fuck off.

  16. 16
    Botsplainer says:

    I’ve been bumping into heroin quite a bit lately.

    Shit is spreading, and it is bad news.

    I have a client, an ordinary, decent criminal who recently got out of the can after doing a stretch for selling crack – his junkie ex (mother to his child) recently caught a charge for selling smack in concert with her current paramour. My ordinary decent crack seller told me he never would sell smack – said it is a bad business, full of violence (dealer against dealer, dealer against customer, customer against dealer) because of the potency of the addiction.

    Run that one around in your head for a while.

  17. 17
    BarbCat says:

    @muricafukyea: Good point. It’s complicated and I’m for anything that focuses people on addiction. Drug dealers getting busted is part of their job description. Inequality is indeed everywhere.

  18. 18
    Yatsuno says:

    @muricafukyea: Herp de Durf. Why oh why won’t that ebil closet Republican John Cole shut up? DURF DEMANDS UR SILENCE!!!

  19. 19
    JPL says:

    Small towns have their own form of justice, it’s who you know.

  20. 20
    zzcool says:

    The average dealer selling heroin to a junkie who then proceeds to ‘die on a cum and body fluid stained couch in a flophouse or under a ratty blanket under a highway overpass’ isn’t that much higher up the food chain than the junkie themselves.

    Someone selling heroin in fancy envelopes to the rich and the famous is going to have connections though. If I was part of the police force I would also do what they are doing now. PSH isn’t buying horse off the street. He gets the good shit and only the high level dealers are gonna get it for him.

  21. 21
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Immanentize:
    You know, William Zantzinger wasn’t the one who died. And although Zantzinger was undeniably mean and abusive to Hattie Carroll, it seems a stretch to attribute her death later that night to that.

  22. 22
    maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor says:

    @Botsplainer:

    My ordinary decent crack seller told me he never would sell smack – said it is a bad business, full of violence (dealer against dealer, dealer against customer, customer against dealer) because of the potency of the addiction.

    Wait, your crack dealer said that?

    Scumbags never cease to amaze me in their capacity to come up with shit to make them feel better about themselves.

  23. 23
    Bargal20 says:

    ….meanwhile, in an office building about a 10 -minute squad car drive away, the board of directors of Philip Morris International are complaining about their cafe’ latte’.

  24. 24
    CaseyL says:

    I don’t see this is “heroine dealers who sell to famous and wealthy person who then ODs are more likely to get busted,” so much as a “heroine dealers who sell to famous and wealthy person who then ODs are more likely to get busted.”

    IOW, at least some heroine dealers somewhere are more likely to get busted; and it is possible – unlikely but possible – their terror of facing serious jail time will persuade them to inform on someone higher up the heroine dealership food chain.

    I’m sorry, but I can’t get up much of a head of steam about this. Anything that takes down any dealer of the hard shit is good news to me.

  25. 25
    catclub says:

    @maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor: Wait, your crack dealer said that?

    my thoughts as well. Also, crystal meth seems to have some bad aspects.

  26. 26
    dan says:

    I don’t understand why it is wrong to pursue these particular dealers?

    And also, too, because of his high profile, it may be more likely to identify someone that dealt to PSH, rather than someone that deals to a junkie that dies on … one of those mattresses that you described so … eloquently.

  27. 27
    catclub says:

    @CaseyL: “heroine dealers”

    Anyone who tries to sell Elizabeth Bennett will NOT be invited to tea, OR introduced to Mr Darcy.

  28. 28
    Arclite says:

    @catclub: True, if it was Brad Pitt they would have gotten out of Dodge. But to look at PSH you wouldn’t know he was a movie star. Also people look differnt in person than on the screen. Lastly he was a character actor.

  29. 29
    NCSteve says:

    You know, John, it’s just possible that when a junkie in a big city big dies while shooting up, with the needle literally in his arm, it gives the cops on the heroin beat, whose whole life is pretty much one of managing the heroin trade so as to keep the body count to a minimum, some concern that they’ve got heroin on the street that is dangerously pure. And, that being the case, they might well give priority to getting it off the street fast, before junkies start dying in numbers that create a PR problem, especially when the dead junkie leaves a trail of breadcrumbs back to the source. And why not? What were they supposed to do, not follow up the lead because he was white, rich and famous?

  30. 30
    NCSteve says:

    You know, John, it’s just possible that when a junkie in a big city big dies while shooting up, with the needle literally in his arm, it gives the cops on the heroin beat, whose whole life is pretty much one of managing the heroin trade so as to keep the body count to a minimum, some concern that they’ve got heroin on the street that is dangerously pure. And, that being the case, they might well give priority to getting it off the street fast, before junkies start dying in numbers that create a PR problem, especially when the dead junkie leaves a trail of breadcrumbs back to the source. And why not? What were they supposed to do, not follow up the lead because he was white, rich and famous?

  31. 31
    Gindy51 says:

    Wait till krocodil gets a footing over here. Then you are going to see some heavy shit go down. Stuff is harder than heroin and nastier than meth.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desomorphine

  32. 32
    CaseyL says:

    @catclub: Oy. How did I not catch that??

  33. 33
    rodnchance says:

    Had those drugs been legal he could have been taking a safer dose under the care of a physician charged with helping to deal with addiction.
    Portugal, 12 years ago changed their drug laws, this has led to a diminishing in drug use and wasted lives, but here in the Corporate States of Amurika, we have to keep paying for prison guards the DEA and all the associated organizations that make big bucks dealing,(pun intended) with victim-less crime.

  34. 34
    Botsplainer says:

    @maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor:

    Wait, your crack dealer said that?

    Dude is reformed, on the straight and narrow. Apparently sold both rock and powder, and is interested in providing a positive role model for his son now that he’s out of prison. Ironically, he might be one of the most positive people I’ve ever run across, full of good wishes for everybody.

    Doubly interesting is the fact that the social worker is taking the mother’s side on everything involving the kid he wants to get to know. Momma claims that the police were lying about the smack being sold out of her house, that smack wasn’t being sold while the child was present (those were just unique visitors, that they were lying about the observation of foot traffic, and that they were lying about her involvement in the sale of all the heroin that was found at the house pursuant to the search warrant. Also interesting is that all these charges (including the resisting arrest charge and the charges against her multiply convicted felon boyfriend) were inexplicably dismissed.

    Somebody’s gone to Snitchville. My guy is worried that somebody will figure it out and that his kid will get caught in the crossfire.

  35. 35
    max says:

    They found him lying on his bathroom floor wearing shorts and socks with his glasses resting on his head and the needle still in his arm. Put it together. He knew what he was doing.

    I’m not clear here, Cole. Are you saying he knew he had a bad dose, or are you just saying he was going to take a big dose so he prepared beforehand?

    Another words, are we saying he took too big a dose, or are we saying he got a bad load? Personally, my suspicion is that it was a bad load because he still had the needle in his arm. A big dose has to circulate first, so there is time to remove the needle, and I expect folks usually do.

    Note: no, no personal experience, thank you.

    Bonus: Eat – Mr. & Mrs. Smack

    max
    [‘Shit, for all I know he may have been so high he fucked up and left air in the needle. Hard to prove.’]

  36. 36
    Calming Influence says:

    An interesting thing happened when Holland moved to decriminalize drugs. Most media focus was on marijuana, but heroin was decriminalized as well, and junkies were able to get heroin and clean needles, or methadone if they wanted it, through doctors. The interesting thing was that the average age of heroin addicts started to go up. Weird, right? Not really. What it showed was that people who were already addicted were actually being taken care of and weren’t dying of overdoses, but also fewer young people were becoming users.

    If it weren’t for the hulking evil of Moral Hazard, it wouldn’t seem like a bad idea.

  37. 37
    mike with a mic says:

    It’s not entirely about him personally.

    Let’s get real, famous people don’t really buy drugs from low level dealers. Instead they deal with slightly higher up dealers who have a taste for hot women, nice clubs, fast cars, and the rich and famous. Busting one of those dealers is going to land you a lot closer to the actual organized crime or distributors behind it.

    Your junkie that dies on a cum stained couch, he doesn’t know anybody worth arresting. Just two bit fucks who will be replaced the instant they are off the street, and they probably don’t know anybody either. Your rich and famous, probably knows a guy fairly high up the food chain who knows the real players.

    Simply put, one of those leads is worth pursuing, the other is a waste of time and effort.

  38. 38
    raven says:

    Some phony shit to be outraged about.

  39. 39
    EthylEster says:

    @Botsplainer: but i thought heroin was coming back because pain-killer addicts found out it was cheaper!

  40. 40
    Suffern ACE says:

    The press report said he kept a journal. Don’t know if he kept it up to date, because, well, junkies can be distracted from their daily entries. However, is it possible that the reason they could make arrests like this is that PSH left lots more evidence behind than the average dead junkie?

  41. 41
    raven says:

    @max: If “WE” are saying anything it’s bullshit. No one knows.

  42. 42
    Raoul says:

    At the risk of stating the obvious, there is a big difference is selling regular heroin or contaminated and deadly heroin. If the latter, cops have a duty to take these individuals off the street to prevent further calamities.

  43. 43
    Belafon says:

    This Newsmax headline cracks me up:

    Jesse Ventura: I’ve Gone ‘Off Grid’ to Escape Drones

  44. 44
    raven says:

    @Raoul: All smack is deadly if you die from booting it.

  45. 45
    JustRuss says:

    Maybe I’m missing something, but if I’m going to lie down somewhere in my shorts, the bathroom floor is about my last choice.

  46. 46
    Chris T. says:

    most junkies die on a cum and body fluid stained couch

    Now there’s an image for you. But wait a minute, isn’t cum a “body fluid” already? :-)

  47. 47
    Calming Influence says:

    @Raoul:

    At the risk of stating the obvious, there is a big difference is selling regular heroin or contaminated and deadly heroin. If the latter, cops have a duty to take these individuals off the street to prevent further calamities.

    Law Enforcement: Serving the Public By Keeping Our Street Heroin Pure.

  48. 48
    different-church-lady says:

    Don’t you just hate it when the cops bust junk dealers for the wrong reasons?

  49. 49
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Belafon:
    What, you don’t believe that The Man is out to get washed-up wrestler/actor/politicians?

  50. 50
    Calming Influence says:

    @JustRuss:

    Maybe I’m missing something, but if I’m going to lie down somewhere in my shorts, the bathroom floor is about my last choice.

    You’ve obviously never been in my bathroom!

  51. 51
    John Cole says:

    @max: People don’t shoot while standing up, because in general, falling over and crashing your head on the sink or the toiletbowl with a needle in your arm can be quite painful. Save that kind of injury for nude mopping.

    But from what is so far verifiable is that he was found dead, needle in arm. Not one mention of foul play, not one mention of physical injuries. A bunch of heroin was in the house (the number of packets varies in the reports I have read). Tests conclude it was not laced. He withdrew 1200 bucks from various atms.

    If I had to guess, he recently relapsed again after his most recent stint in rehab and his body just couldn’t handle the dosage anymore.

  52. 52
    smintheus says:

    Two Americas. Only thing that unites us is music.

    “Tell me what street compares with Mott Street?”

  53. 53
    Ash Can says:

    @Belafon:

    Jesse Ventura: I’ve Gone ‘Off Grid’ to Escape Drones

    Just how much bouncing-around did this guy’s head get while he was a wrestler?

  54. 54
  55. 55
    efgoldman says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    What, you don’t believe that The Man is out to get washed-up wrestler/actor/politicians?

    Even paranoids have enemies.

  56. 56
    shortstop says:

    @Calming Influence: But that’s in July, when the heat makes redolent the tubs full of fishies displayed on the sidewalk. And you don’t want to be wearing sandals on your way to Joe’s Shanghai for soup buns, because when they empty out those tubs at the end of the day and all the fishy water lands on your toesies, it’s soooo gross. Otherwise, all good!

  57. 57
    WaterGirl says:

    @Botsplainer: That seems like an awful lot of detail to be providing about a client. Is that really kosher for attorneys to do?

  58. 58
    WaterGirl says:

    @raven: That’s what I thought about the Seinfeld thing yesterday. If Seinfeld’s comments are all you have to be outraged about, you’re having a good day.

  59. 59
    MikeJ says:

    @EthylEster:

    but i thought heroin was coming back because pain-killer addicts found out it was cheaper!

    Republican health care plans have always depended on informed consumers comparison shopping.

  60. 60
    max says:

    @John Cole: People don’t shoot while standing up, because in general, falling over and crashing your head on the sink or the toiletbowl with a needle in your arm can be quite painful. Save that kind of injury for nude mopping.

    Right. And most of the obits I’ve seen for OD’s says that the person was lying somewhere comfy before they shot up. Rarely does one hear of an OD with a needle still in the arm.

    Tests conclude it was not laced.

    OK. Hadn’t heard that. Generally most lacing is relatively harmless anyways, but the accidental addition of something that catalyzes when cooked could seriously kill you. That said, very few chemicals, when injected, are toxic enough to drop someone on the spot, such that they wouldn’t have time to remove the needle or untie their arm. (Arsenic would be one that is fast acting enough to drop someone quick.)

    If I had to guess, he recently relapsed again after his most recent stint in rehab and his body just couldn’t handle the dosage anymore.

    Maybe. May have also gotten an unexpectedly pure dose and the opioid effects were strong enough to suppress breathing.

    Or he may have chosen to inject an extra-large dose because he didn’t give a shit anymore.

    max
    [‘Most of what I’ve read indicates that long-term heroin junkies don’t actually die of it – it’s the newer users and often it’s neglect that does it.’]

  61. 61
    Calouste says:

    @John Cole:

    I thought the $1200 was a bit of curious news. I’m not up to date with the street value of drugs, but 50-70 doses of heroin sounds like it would cost quite a bit more than $1200. Also, 50-70 doses sounds like something that would last a week or two at least? I’d think if they caught your average Joe with 50-70 packets they would charge him with possession with intent to distribute.

  62. 62
    shortstop says:

    @MikeJ: Zackly. If the government nannies us with universal coverage, people will just wallow like pigs in the most expensive narcotics available. Let’s put some skin in the game.

  63. 63
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Calming Influence:

    Most media focus was on marijuana, but heroin was decriminalized as well, and junkies were able to get heroin and clean needles, or methadone if they wanted it, through doctors.

    If what people mean by “legalization” is “existing addicts can get the drug they need to function from doctors, which hopefully will help them eventually get into rehab or other medical care,” I’m okay with that. It’s the people who seem to think we should go back to selling cocaine and heroin next to the beer who scare the fuck out of me.

  64. 64
    LanceThruster says:

    I actually think it’s less privilege and more just high profile. The notoriety is good PR to get a bust connected with it.

  65. 65
    raven says:

    @LanceThruster: And to raise consciousness about the issue.

  66. 66
    raven says:

    @Calouste: They were talking on the news about a hit costing $6.

  67. 67
    sherparick says:

    I am sad a good actor I enjoyed died young, but he is not the first or will be the last since creative people appear to carry a bigger risk of drugs, drink, or fast cars ending a life prematurely, There does appear to be a bit of media freak out and moral panic going on, the kind of thing that has driven U.S. narcotic and drug policy for 100 years now, to apparently no good effect, and usually with very bad racist motives, (fear that Irish, Italians, Chinese, Mexicans, and Blacks would spread their bad habits to good White Protestant kids). http://facultypages.morris.umn.....g_laws.htm

    Heroin and morphine addictions frequently followed our wars, the first one starting in the U.S. after WWII and Korea. And of course the U.S. is completing another long war (and the treatment of pain, both physical and psychic is often not distinguished from addiction by the DEA)., We are getting lots of “large numbers” about heroin addiction with supposedly 700,000 addicts. No mention is made that in the 1960s there was an estimate of over 1,000,000 addicts, and of course the total U.S. population is now 315 million people, compared to 200 million in 1968. http://www.heroinaddiction2.co.....idemic.htm

    I always wonder about the logic of denying a product to an addict except through criminal and underground channels, which I also think it something the risk taking person finds makes using and acquiring the product more attractive. Once you relapse, you are feeling a compulsion to find the product right? You are in misery without the product, right?

  68. 68
    Cassidy says:

    @Mnemosyne: That’s ludicrous. It goes next to the snickers and fun dip.

  69. 69
    Chasm says:

    Information stemming from the investigation into Mr. Hoffman’s death led the police to the building… a firm connection to Mr. Hoffman has not been established, officials said.

    Which, given the recent FOI release regarding DEA use of "classified" sources and how to conduct parallel investigations, could seem to imply that the information that "lead the police to the building" was obtained via electronic records, if you know what I mean and I think you do.

  70. 70
    raven says:

    @sherparick:

    I always wonder about the logic of denying a product to an addict except through criminal and underground channels,

    Uh, that’s where the money is. Did you see the first installment of Boardwalk Empire? They were celebrating prohibition because the were going to get rich.

  71. 71
    MikeJ says:

    @Chasm:

    could seem to imply that the information that “lead the police to the building” was obtained via electronic records, if you know what I mean and I think you do.

    Looking at a dead man’s call history is pretty standard stuff.

  72. 72
    Suffern ACE says:

    @max: one of the lessons that the Boston Marathon Attack highlighted is that the kind of police that run to the tabloids to be quoted as “sources ‘close’ to the investigation” tend to be embellishers who fill in details they don’t have. But because the leaking unprofessional policemen get their stories out there first, those facts get inserted out there first. In this case, the “needle” is an unnamed police spokesman (but not a mere source) in a Reuters report. But it wasn’t an official statement. I’m wondering if the needle is a detail that we sould consider when recreating his death.

  73. 73
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @max:

    Or he may have chosen to inject an extra-large dose because he didn’t give a shit anymore.

    One report stated that he was breaking up with the mother of his children.

  74. 74
    raven says:

    @max: If he was booting smack he didn’t give a fuck, period.

  75. 75
    aimai says:

    @John Cole: Hello? He was in his own fucking house. With a locked door. Why would he take any dose only in the bathroom. Does being addicted to Heroin make you like bathrooms better than a nice, comfy, bed?

  76. 76
    WaterGirl says:

    @raven: Is booting smack the same as shooting smack?

  77. 77
    raven says:

    @WaterGirl: Yea

    “Mainlining a drug into your bloodstream, drawing back the syringe to refill it with blood, and then injecting it back into your arm. The theory being, the blood injected back into your bloodstream, will carry with it, any residule narcotic leftover in the syringe.”

  78. 78
    Schlemizel says:

    Justice IS blind! She can, however, smell money quiet clearly

  79. 79
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @WaterGirl: Yep.

  80. 80
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @muricafukyea:

    Do you even fucking know how to fucking read??

  81. 81
    Calming Influence says:

    @Mnemosyne: This is exactly it: Through Doctors.

    Alternative Philip Seymour Hoffman reality:

    Phil is in his Greenwich Village apartment, staring at the junk he just bought, the needle and the spoon, and thinking about the road he has started down, again. It’s called junk because it’s junk. There’s really no telling what it is if you’re not a chemist. But Christ, he just wants it. He doesn’t want 12 fucking steps, he doesn’t want Celebrity Rehab, he doesn’t want another emotional fight. He just wants it, like a lot of people just want a drink. But he can’t walk down the street to a bar or a restaurant to get what he wants.

    Luckily, Phil has money, time, and friends. He packs a bag, grabs his passport, and gets a cab to Newark. 6 hours later he’s in Amsterdam, and 2 hours after that he’s talking to a doctor who’s referring him to some counselors, a group of celebrity addicts he knows of, and is now giving Phil a shot of fucking HEROIN. (Yeah, HEROIN. That shit that I could process from poppies I grow in my own yard if I was so inclined, and if I wasn’t put off by governments in general having such a big fucking hardon about DRUGS and trying to control everyone’s “mental state”.)

    Phil contacts family, friends, and agents, lets them know what’s going on, and settles in to a nice flat overlooking the Zuiderzee. He knows he’ll kick it, but for now he feels safe.

    If only.

  82. 82
    Mnemosyne says:

    @aimai:

    There are conflicting reports, but one story said that the friend who came to check up on him did so because Hoffman hadn’t shown up to pick up his kids. If he thought someone was bringing his kids home or that another person might come home, I can see why he might shoot up in the bathroom.

  83. 83
    different-church-lady says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: It’s hard to tell. But he sure as hell knows how to troll.

  84. 84
    aimai says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m not arguing that he didn’t do it–obviously he did. I’m just taking exception to John’s weird argument that he lay down in the bathroom because he knew it was going to be such a huge hit or something. I don’t think someone who takes a huge hit of heroin knowing their kids are coming over at X time (if this story is true) is really that future oriented that they decide “do it in the bathroom because they might interrupt me.”

  85. 85
    different-church-lady says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s the people who seem to think we should go back to selling cocaine and heroin next to the beer who scare the fuck out of me.

    I’m finding it hard to navigate a world where some people think we should decriminalize all drugs and others think we should treat soda like a controlled substance.

  86. 86
    Calming Influence says:

    @raven: Worked at Black Rock City DPW 2002-3 and made friends with a Northern California grower. The last thing he wanted was legalization.

  87. 87
    max says:

    @Suffern ACE: But it wasn’t an official statement. I’m wondering if the needle is a detail that we sould consider when recreating his death.

    Ah. I agree with you. I wouldn’t have said anything at all (because this is the sort of thing that happens every day) except Cole seemed to be making a big thing of a distinction I wasn’t comprehending.

    For his original point, I completely agree, to wit:

    Prosecutors have turned over an investigation of a Texas man’s disappearance and death to the state attorney general’s office after the Justice Department launched its own investigation. […]The official autopsy found that Wright had died from an accidental drug overdose after toxicology tests showed cocaine and methamphetamine in his body and no evidence of severe trauma.

    But Wright’s family was baffled, because they said he never had been known to use drugs – and his partially unclothed body had a slit throat and missing an ear, tongue and two teeth.

    max
    [‘”He was at the intersection of Race and Class, and they said he was getting high right there on the street.”‘]

  88. 88
    WaterGirl says:

    @raven: Huh. I thought mainlining was just injecting yourself with a needle. I guess we don’t know what we don’t know.

  89. 89
    Mike with a Mic says:

    @aimai:

    As someone who hung out at a lot of night clubs… yeah bathrooms are for drugs. That’s why you see 3+ guys cram into a single stall, ditto for parties. The best party is always in the bathroom blowing lines.

    You do that at home to so people don’t see it. Not because you care that they know, but so you don’t have to share. You round up the people you like and go into the bathroom and then lock the damn door.

    Not that I did smack, but all powders are like this.

  90. 90
    Elie says:

    I dunno.

    This thing has left me cold. Sure, Hoffman was a great actor. He was also fucked up. I don’t know what his family situation was, but its the family and loved ones who also pay and have the left over and unresolved pain and guilt over not being able to stop him — somehow. They get to live with that.

    I feel sad for his family and friends most of all. For him I just feel the waste and pointlessness of it.. and do not want to make him into some sort of tragic hero by overweighing his accomplishments — in essence, an excuse — ya know those creative types just have to self destruct”. Well, they DONT have to. Some do. Lets move on… the glory was fleeting and now he is just another dead junkie.

  91. 91
    Calming Influence says:

    I have to say that the minutia of this death strikes me as a morbid distraction from WHY he had to die this way. Is the risk of DRUGS so great that we drive obviously smart, talented people into back alleys to get a fix? Doesn’t it sink in that if smart, talented people are continuously dying like this, that laws, and “smart and talented”, won’t prevent the attraction?

    It’s effective, just like abstinence oaths prevent sex.

  92. 92
    Ted and Hellen says:

    Is there some reason to be certain that he didn’t deliberately OD with the intent to kill himself?

    There’s a LOT of ridiculous projection/speculation going on in this thread, presenting itself as near-certainty. Looking at you, JC.

  93. 93
    debbie says:

    @max:

    This is such wild conjecture. The implication that he did it on purpose — ie, meaning to die — has no basis in fact. Junkies who OD don’t suddenly fall down dead. They slump and lose consciousness, they don’t crash to the floor. Maybe he was sitting on the floor to begin with.

  94. 94
    Mnemosyne says:

    @aimai:

    I could see, The kids are going to come home soon, so I’d better do this last one in the bathroom.

    Or, y’know, the rich just have comfier bathrooms than we hoi polloi do.

  95. 95
    WereBear says:

    @Elie: Geez, lady, I hope you are never in some kind of intractable pain and these words come back on you.

    In my experience, addicts self-medicate.

    Yes, they would be better off addressing their problems or getting mental health treatment or being able to get real pain management, but that’s the bottom line… they are in some kind of pain.

    I haven’t heard such self-righteous denigration and holier-than-thou crap since I left the Baptists.

    And that’s why I left.

  96. 96
  97. 97
    magurakurin says:

    @WaterGirl: I always thought mainlining was injecting into a vein as opposed to skin popping which was just into a muscle. Luckily in my youth heroin was considered a serious no-no by most folks I knew and hung around. It was around but everyone I knew was scared to death of it. Seems like it goes in cycles, gets popular, lots of people die, becomes fearsome again, people avoid it, time passes people forget, gets popular, lots of people die….

    “…….milk blood to keep from runnin out..”

  98. 98
    Rex Everything says:

    @raven: This is exactly right. Addictive drugs are a capitalist dream, except for one small problem: they’re cheap and abundant. The only way to make them expensive and scarce is by making them highly illegal; hence…

  99. 99
    Elizabelle says:

    The NYPost (?) reported that PS Hoffman had been tossed from the family apartment because he was clearly abusing drugs.

    Kind of “tough love” by his partner.

    Feel so badly for his family. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. The addiction is in charge.

    I think it was an accidental overdose. He had those kids to live for, and was planning numerous projects.

  100. 100
    debbie says:

    @WereBear:

    We all self-medicate in our own way. How else would the Internet flourish?

  101. 101
    Calming Influence says:

    @Mnemosyne: If I was asked to start a brawl in either a room full of drunks or a room full of junkies, I would choose the drunks, no question, hands down. But maybe real Americans think mindless aggressive behavior is normal enough, but nodding off is creepy.

  102. 102
    WereBear says:

    @debbie: Some coping mechanisms are better than others, certainly :)

  103. 103
    Cassidy says:

    @Mnemosyne: and it’s easier to clean up when the opiates make you puke.

  104. 104
    Mnemosyne says:

    @WereBear:

    If I remember Elie’s background correctly, though, she’s on the other side of the equation because she has a loved one with mental illness that he refuses to get treated, so she’s thinking more about the pain that Hoffman’s partner and kids are in right now than his pain. Given that, I can see why she would sympathize more with the spouse trying to hold everything together with an (essentially) suicidal partner than with the addict himself.

  105. 105
    Elie says:

    @WereBear:

    Do you have a family member who uses or has intractable related problems?

    I do.

    Not judging him — and you read what I did not say. But neither am I throwing laurels on his self destructive and painful life like you want to.
    Yes, I believe in mercy and know that he could not help it. But I have also been on the other side — That pain and the limits of what love can actually do to help someone– well — I don’t wish that on anyone. Judge ME all you want, sister/brother.

  106. 106
    Elie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Thank you… thank you for your mercy …

  107. 107
    John Cole says:

    All I know is my one of my really close friends and fraternity brothers overdosed, and he was just a regular middle class guy, so there was no task force convened to find the dealers who sold him his final hit. All that happened was that his family and friends quietly mourned and no one really wanted to talk about the subject, because mental illness and addiction are apparently embarrassing topics, he’s just dead in some field somewhere. If he was a world famous actor, though, maybe people would have cared. Maybe we could talk about the readily available drugs which prevent overdose, or free needles, or free clinics to keep people alive and get the profit motive out of the damned thing that drives people to spike heroin. But we can’t, because that would be another handout or just like the HPV vaccine encourages girls to be sluts, that sensible shit would make more people want to use heroin.

  108. 108
    John Cole says:

    And that is just one of several friends and a relative who have overdosed on the damned thing the relative and another lived, thank FSM, and are still with us and clean, with occasional relapses), and not one time did anything like this happen, with an all-out manhunt for the dealer.

    That’s privilege, whether you want to admit it or not.

  109. 109
    WaterGirl says:

    @Elie:

    Lets move on… the glory was fleeting and now he is just another dead junkie.

    That’s the part that I find harsh, seemingly uncaring, and insensitive.

  110. 110
    Elie says:

    @John Cole:

    ..and speaking plainly about it. Its the damned secrets.

    It is very lonely in those secrets that we loved ones have about our afflicted. You don’t want to reveal their shame to the world — you want to protect their honor and reputations. That said, you want to come out of the shadows and talk about their illness openly and without dressing up — like you would any wound or illness — what can we do to help it… how can we shed light on this so families are not suffering underneath a veneer put on for the outside world.

    It is very lonely being a loved one without being able to help – whether talking about drug addiction, alchoholism or mental illness. Thankfully there is help and assistance but its just not about the glamor of a talented life wasted. All the untalented friends and family need to at least be acknowledged.

  111. 111
    WaterGirl says:

    @John Cole: Yep.

    I’ll bet it’s the same for the family of every brown skinned girl or woman that goes missing, where the case doesn’t get much attention, but then some white girl goes missing and suddenly the whole nation cares.

  112. 112
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @John Cole: Outsourced to Stanton Peele:

    Drug use is not uncommon, addiction is less common. Following addiction, recovery is also quite common, with or without treatment – although we are convinced that the opposite is true. At the same time, relapse is not uncommon, and can be handled functionally. What is dysfunctional is our temperance attitudes towards substances, their use, and their misuse. Our attitudes towards drugs are more lethal than the substances themselves.

  113. 113
    Elie says:

    @WaterGirl:

    It IS harsh. But that IS what it is at its bottom line. Harsh. There is no mitigation for that waste. And that is why, at its heart, there is no way to dress up what this loss was. Another junkie. That is at the core of the tragedy — exactly. We should just allow ourselves to feel that.. not the judgment — but the futility of it — the waste. There is no transcendence to make this all better. There is no “all better”. Grief should not be made into some sort of perverse justification for it… its an enraging and frustrating loss….

  114. 114
    WereBear says:

    @Elie: Heck yes, I do.

    I still have sympathy. And for you, as well.

  115. 115
    Elie says:

    @Elie:

    Part of my task and the task of all families of those with illness of this nature — is to learn forgiveness and release from anger. I work on it. All the time. I am a work in progress. The forgiveness is not just for the afflicted loved one — but for me — forgiving myself. Working on it all the time…

  116. 116
    Elie says:

    @WereBear:

    thank you…

  117. 117
    Steve Crickmore says:

    It is heart-breaking that arguably America ‘s most favorite, most accomplished, most admired, most loved actor at the peak of his career, cries out in desperation in an interview, that if he ” doesn’t get off heroin he is going to die”. And then, he does just that, six weeks later, alone in his apartment, some time, within a time frame of twelve lonely hours. Probably speaks to our feckless society as much as to him.

  118. 118
    shortstop says:

    Some family members and friends of addicts may flinch at some of the things Elie said. Recovering addicts themselves won’t. One of the first pieces of the road back is not attempting to minimize the reality of the damage.

  119. 119
    Elie says:

    @Steve Crickmore:

    Yes…

    Its the perception of that missed opportunity — if a friend or loved one saw or knew that… and maybe didn’t know what to do, or was busy or distracted and looked up a few days later to this…or whose efforts were ignored or angrily denied.. all of the above…

    In the end, we remember his art and that beauty and then we have to move on….

  120. 120
    karen says:

    I don’t think that’s why made the big bust. I think that having all that evidence in front of them they made an EASY bust.

  121. 121
    shortstop says:

    @karen: Probably a combo: a) PSH’s celebrity, b) easy bust due to the rampant evidence, c) chance to show off to the media as badass crimebusters (which is really a subset of a).

  122. 122
    maye says:

    @aimai: He might have been warm (overly heated apt?), and the tile floor was the coolest spot to lay down. Also heroin makes you vomit, and close proximity to the toilet is quite sensible.

  123. 123
    maye says:

    @debbie: I’ve seen people shoot heroin, turn blue, and fall off the chair. It happens.

  124. 124
    Steve Crickmore says:

    @Elie: What I have learned in life, you must be proactive, even to others. Everyone waits for the other to do something,. Hoffman really needed a minder at this point. And he was asking for help and reaffirmation. His celebrity status and natural shyness probably got in the way of people helping him, or genuinely offering, but if we look back, he gave off many signs and warnings. It is curious, like a Greek tragedy, that all his fame, and tremendous self-knowledge for the characters he played, gave him such a poor lantern at the end to avoid the fate he saw before him, that he felt powerless, on his own to overcome..

  125. 125
    Keith G says:

    @John Cole: When celebs die, it’s big news. Local investigators gear up to show they are doing something because of the thirst/hunger for info – as seen by hundreds of speculative comments on blogs such as this one and continuing coverage in media world.

    Privilege? I think this sort of dilutes the meaning of a word that is already subjective and nebulous.

  126. 126
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Keith G:

    When celebs die, it’s big news.

    Note the multiple front page posts about Hoffman’s death on this very blog.

  127. 127
    Ramalama says:

    Apropos of nothing I had just finished re-reading Jim Carroll’s The Basketball Diaries when Hoffman died. Perhaps I should buy a lottery ticket.

    I refuse to see the movie version of it because the book scratches that spot in my brain that is often never satisfied, constantly itchy. The beautiful, seemingly lite, tale of a boy getting hooked on heroin in New York City in 1965-66.

  128. 128
    rea says:

    The dealers should have known this was going to happen

    It would not be at all surprising if the dealers in question ahd nothing to do with Hoffman, and were just busted because the police wanted to be perceived as doiing something about Hoffman’s death, and these dealers were handy.

  129. 129
    Hollywood says:

    “most junkies die on a cum and body fluid stained couch in a flophouse or under a ratty blanket under a highway overpass”

    – Really? you have stats to prove that? Because the junkies I know definitely didn’t die like that. They actually died in bathrooms too.

    Imagine you were a cop chasing dealers for years. Your superiors don’t have the power or care to support you in more enforcement. Then, a case like this comes along and there are high profile dealers involved selling to the rich and famous. NOW you get to pursue the lead. You’re going to “pass” on it due to some moral battle about the care that other junkies get?

    No. You’re going to pursue the dealers and get crap off the street while you can. In a truly useless battle to get drugs off the streets, this is one small victory of an unwinnable war.

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