After they found Philip Seymour Hoffman dead in Manhattan with a needle in his arm, Stu Walton figured the cops would arrest somebody within 24 hours.
“I was off by a day,” Stu Walton said, sitting at the desk at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, where he worked for 23 years.
We can forgive Stu Walton for being a bit cynical about all this, because nobody was ever arrested, let alone within 48 hours, after his daughter Carrie Ann died of a heroin overdose in Medford 12 years ago.
“To everybody, she was just a junkie,” Stu Walton was saying. “There was no investigation, no attempt to find out who sold her the heroin, whether what was being sold posed a threat to any other addict. Maybe if she was a big movie star, something might have happened. But she wasn’t. She was just my daughter.”
Stu Walton remembers the little girl who loved animals and loved to sing, who grew up and worked hard to get Jarrett Barrios elected to the Legislature, the doting daughter who stumbled into addiction.
Don’t get Stu Walton wrong. He wasn’t and isn’t looking for every heroin dealer in America to be arrested, because he knows that’s unrealistic, just as unrealistic as locking up four people who may or may not have supplied the heroin that killed Philip Seymour Hoffman.
What bothers Stu Walton is that the overreaction to the sad news and the arrests that followed Hoffman’s death are no more enlightened than the official indifference that followed his daughter’s death in 2002, the societal apathy that has followed thousands of fatal heroin overdoses around here in the interim. Read more