The Death of Peter Laughner

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The bummer is, Peter died.  He pulled off the incredible feat of destroying his body before his 25th birthday ever arrived. He did it by savagely consuming virtually any mind altering substance he could put his hands on, but it was mostly the booze and speed -- both among the most destructive chemicals around -- that destroyed his liver and inflamed his pancreas.

Here's what Pete wrote to a close friend during the summer of 1976, when his health troubles began in earnest:

"I'm fucking drinking myself to death... No band, no job, running out of friends... .It's easy; you start upon waking with bloody mary's and beer, then progress thru the afternoon to martinis, and finally cognac or pernod.  When I decided I wanted to quit (in July) I simply bought a lot of speed and took it and then drank only about a case of beer a day, until one day I woke up and knew something was wrong, very wrong.... I couldn't drink, I couldn't eat, I couldn't piss or shit anything but water... And then the pain started... Slowly, like some kind of rat eating at my guts until I couldn't stand it anymore and was admitted to the hospital..."

That "rat" was the first bout of pancreatitis... and the beginning of the end. This is very sad stuff, but there's an abject lesson here: drugs and alcohol CAN kill you -- especially if you buy into certain pop culture myths...

Here's a selection of the many words printed about Peter after his death on June 22, 1977.

Cleveland Plain Dealer

Cleveland Press

Cleveland Sceneealer

Cleveland Plain Dealer
Jane Scott Obit