Autopsy reveals more questions than answers in Hoffman case

Posted Feb 5, 2014 by Angela Atkinson
After the body of Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found in his Manhattan apartment Sunday, officials said an autopsy was performed Monday.
New York City Police Department officers stand guard inside the apartment building of US actor Phili...
New York City Police Department officers stand guard inside the apartment building of US actor Philip Seymor Hoffman after he was reported dead February 2, 2014 in the Greenwich Village area of New York
Stan Honda, AFP
Though no conclusive results are available, there are now more questions than answers.
"We're conducting the examination in the cause of the manner of death," Julia Bolcer, spokeswoman for the New York City Medical Examiner, told Reuters, adding that there was no timeline on when to expect the results.
But on Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune reported that Hoffman’s cause of death is “still pending further studies,” according to the New York City chief medical examiner.
Despite his genuine talent and career success, 46-year-old Hoffman was found on the bathroom floor of his apartment with a syringe in his arm. Police recovered dozens of small bags of a substance believed to be heroin, many printed with the words “Ace of Spades” in white lettering, others stamped with an ace of hearts playing card image.
Various prescription drugs, including one used to treat heroin addiction, another for blood pressure and a muscle relaxer, were found in the apartment as well.
Four people, including Robert Vineberg, 57, Thomas Cushman, 48, Max Rosenblum and Juliana Luchkiw, both 22, were also arrested in New York and have been charged with drug offenses that are likely connected to the narcotics found in the star’s Greenwich Village apartment, New York Daily News reported.
The suspects were arrested Tuesday during a raid in the Chinatown district of Manhattan once police had found what they believe was the source of the heroin that killed Hoffman.
Vineberg and Cushman are charged with felony drug possession, while the younger suspects both received misdemeanor drug possession charges.
Various sources have reported that the raid was a direct result of the investigation of Hoffman’s death, and that a large amount of bags of what appeared to be heroin were recovered. A police spokesman told Reuters that the heroin found in Hoffman’s apartment wasn’t cut or mixed with fentanyl, a synthetic drug recently blamed for many overdose deaths.
The actor was the apparent victim of an accidental drug overdose, but there are currently more questions than answers in his death.
One of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind: why would someone who was at such a high point in his very successful acting career go back to using the same drugs that had so negatively affected his youth?
Maybe the private journal found in his apartment will offer answers.
Hoffman, who has publicly shared his struggles with substance abuse in the past, leaves behind his partner, Mimi O’Donnell and three children. He was considered one of the most gifted film stars of his generation. After more than 20 years of sobriety, Hoffman had put himself in a rehab program last year. His family plans to bury him in a private service later this month, a representative said.