Report: Police Found "50 Bags" of Heroin in Hoffman's Apartment

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 3 2014 4:42 PM

Slatest PM: Police Reportedly Recovered Dozens of Bags of Heroin From Hoffman's Apartment

1743762-actor-philip-seymour-hoffman-waits-for-his-photo-shoot-on
Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman waits for his photo shoot on Main street during the Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2003 Park City , Utah

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

"50 Bags": ABC News: "Investigators found roughly 50 bags of heroin and used syringes in Philip Seymour Hoffman's West Village apartment, police told to ABC News. This information comes one day after the Oscar-winning actor was found inside his New York apartment. ...  Hoffman was pronounced dead at the scene. ... The cause of death has not yet been determined, but should be coming later today. The New York City Police Department is continuing to investigate."

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Two Brands: NBC News: "A law enforcement official told NBC News that toxicology tests will likely determine the actor's cause of death. A city police lab is testing unused heroin found in Hoffman's apartment to determine potency. It was too soon Monday to know if the heroin Hoffman injected was tainted, if he mixed levels between two heroin 'brands,' or if Hoffman took too much of the drug. Another source told NBC News that the two types of heroin found in the apartment — 'Ace of Spades' and 'Ace of Hearts' — have been seen periodically over the years in the Northeast."

Waiting For Confirmation: ABC News and NBC News are both reporting the "roughly 50 bags" detail, citing unidentified police sources. The New York Post, meanwhile, puts the number at "nearly 70 small bags of heroin." So, if nothing else keep in mind that we know at least one of those reports is wrong—it's still obviously possible that both will be proved false before everything's said and done. The Associated Press is treading carefully and has refrained from reporting a number, saying only that "Hoffman was found in a bathroom with a syringe in his arm and with glassine envelopes of what was believed to be heroin," according to its sources. The news wire does, however, confirm the "brand" detail: "Stamps are common as a form of drug-world branding, and authorities make note of the ones they encounter. It wasn't immediately clear whether the ace of hearts and ace of spades stamps could lead investigators to any clues about the source of the items found in Hoffman's apartment."

It's Monday, February 3rd, welcome to the Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @JoshVoorhees, and the whole team at @Slatest.

Holmes' Lawyers Want SCOTUS to Weigh In: Associated Press: "Lawyers for the man accused of killing 12 people at a Colorado movie theater said Friday they will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to require a Fox News reporter to reveal the confidential sources she used in a story about defendant James Holmes. The defense wants reporter Jana Winter to identify the law enforcement officials who told her that Holmes sent a notebook containing violent images to his psychiatrist before the 2012 attack. Holmes' lawyers say whoever spoke to Winter violated a gag order and should be punished. They also say that officers might have lied when they denied under oath being Winter's sources, undermining their credibility as potential trial witnesses. New York state's top court ruled in December that Winter did not have to testify in Colorado because she is protected by her home state's shield law, which says reporters do not have to identify confidential sources."

Cancer on the Rise: AFP: "New cases of cancer will rise by half by 2030, reaching 21.6 million per year compared to 14 million in 2012, the UN said on Monday in a global analysis of the scourge. Cancer deaths, meanwhile, will likely rise from 8.2 million to 13 million per year as the world's population grows and ages and more people adopt risky lifestyle habits, said the report compiled by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.  It took aim at Big Tobacco, saying its sales drive was 'inextricably linked' to a likely surge in lung cancer. Released on the eve of World Cancer Day, the report was compiled by more than 250 scientists from over 40 countries. It is the first such overview in six years. World Health Organisation Director General Margaret Chan, whose agency oversees the IARC, said the overall impact from cancer would 'unquestionably' hit developing countries the hardest."

That Time Again: Washington Post: "Treasury Secretary Jack Lew urged Congress on Monday to act quickly to raise the federal debt limit, saying he will run short of cash to pay the nation’s bills by the end of this month without additional borrowing authority. Enforcement of the debt limit is currently suspended, but it will come back into force on Friday under the terms of a deal lawmakers struck last fall. That leaves Lew bumping up against the limit at the height of tax-filing season, when, he said Monday, he will have far less flexibility to juggle the books and ward off disaster. ... Congress, meanwhile, is moving at a relatively glacial pace. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said last week that he will not permit the nation to default on its debt. But House Republicans emerged from their annual policy retreat without a strategy for raising the debt limit."

A Good Problem to Have: New York Times: "In a year when three dozen governors are up for election, unexpectedly robust revenues from taxes and other sources are filling most state coffers, creating surpluses not seen in years and prompting statehouse battles over what to do with the money. After so many years of sluggish revenues, layoffs and draconian service cuts, governors and legislators are eager to use the newfound money to cut taxes, restore spending or, in some cases, pay down debts or replenish rainy-day funds for future recessions. But though revenues are improving, lawmakers are likely to find that there is not enough to pay for everything they want to do, experts say. ... While Republicans are tending to advocate more tax cuts and Democrats are more often pushing to restore spending on education and other programs, the differences between the two camps are not always so stark, with some governors outlining plans that appeal across party lines."

Mandela's Estate: Wall Street Journal: "Managers of the late Nelson Mandela's estate said Monday the former South African president left more than $4 million in assets to his family and cherished institutions, including the African National Congress party that he led to power in 1994. Mr. Mandela, whose death in December prompted an emotional outpouring in a nation he helped unite, was also the head of a sprawling household that in recent years had splintered over commercial disputes. Mr. Mandela married three times, had six children and more than 30 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Many of them have since gone into business, with some trying to capitalize on the famous—and potentially lucrative—Mandela family name. Mr. Mandela's will made provisions for each of them. His children have already received about $300,000 each from Mr. Mandela's estate, according to excerpts from the will released Monday at his foundation's offices in Johannesburg. Most of his grandchildren and great grandchildren will now receive about $10,000 each."

That's all for today. See you back here tomorrow. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.

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