Police continue to search for answers in Hoffman's death

The NYPD made four arrests and charged three in connection with the actor's death


Prachi Gupta
February 6, 2014 10:50PM (UTC)

The NYPD has moved quickly to find the source of the drugs that police suspect killed 46-year-old actor Philip Seymour Hoffman in his Manhattan apartment on Sunday.

On Wednesday night, three people were charged with drug-related offenses in Manhattan Criminal Court in connection with the death of the actor. Robert Vineberg, a 57-year-old jazz musician, was charged with "a felony charge of heroin possession with intent to sell," reports the AP. Twenty-two-year-old DJ Max Rosenblum and his girlfriend, a design student of the same age, Juliana Luchkiw, were charged with possession of cocaine. All three were indicted within a day after their arrests.

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While investigators, tipped off by someone who had seen Hoffman at the three defendants' Mott Street building before, work quickly to determine the cause of the actor's death and the source of the heroin found in his apartment, family and friends continue to mourn the death of the intensely private actor.

The LAByrinth Theatre Company held a vigil at the Broadway theater and turned its lights off at 7:45 p.m. for a minute to honor the actor, who had been a member there.

Hoffman's death has shocked the world because it was so sudden, and without any outward sign that he had relapsed (Hoffman recently appeared at Sundance, and was recently filming the "Hunger Games" franchise in Atlanta). But screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who also struggles with addiction, explained that this is one of the tragedies of addiction. He recalled a conversation between the two about death in Time. "'If one of us dies of an overdose,'" Hoffman told Sorkin, "'probably 10 people who were about to won’t.”'

"He meant that our deaths would make news and maybe scare someone clean," Sorkin explained.

The actor, who had been sober for 23 years, relapsed in 2012. In December of 2013, he admitted to another drug relapse at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting, reports the New York Times. In the days leading up to his death, his longtime partner and mother of their three children, Mimi O'Donnell, told police that he seemed high. Twenty-four hours later, he was found dead.

Quartz's Lauren Alix Brown uncovered an interview between Hoffman and philosopher Simon Critchley in which the actor admits that he struggled with happiness and "how to just be," but Hoffman's death unsettles so many because it's not as simple as that. "He didn’t die because he was partying too hard or because he was depressed," writes Sorkin. "He died because he was an addict on a day of the week with a y in it." And that is what is so scary about his death, especially to those who struggle with addiction. The NYPD will continue to look for all the answers they can find, but there are some aspects of the actor's death that will never make sense.

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Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Addiction Death Drugs Heroin Philip Seymour Hoffman

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