ACTOR Philip Seymour Hoffman reportedly withdrew $1,200 (£740) in six transactions from a cash machine at a grocery near his home just hours before he was found dead from a suspected heroin overdose.
The Oscar-winning star of the film Capote was found dead in his Greenwich Village flat in New York with a syringe still in his left arm.
The disclosure came as Hoffman’s family last night awaited the result of a post-mortem examination, which took place yesterday.
“He withdrew cash from the ATM [automated teller machine] at the grocery store. Bank records show this,” a law enforcement source said.
There were no surveillance cameras at the cash machine at the D’Agostino store near where Hoffman lived.
There are conflicting reports on whether Hoffman was alone or with others when he made the withdrawals.
However it has also been reported that Hoffman made the withdrawals while talking to two men carrying shoulder bags around 8pm on Saturday. It is understood that no cash sum to account for the money Hoffman withdrew was discovered during the police search of his flat.
Detectives have launched an investigation to determine who sold Hoffman the fatal dose of heroin and where and when the purchase was made.
Police are also believed to have found up to 49 full envelopes of the narcotic – known as “Ace of Spades” and “Ace of Hearts” – along with 23 empty bags of heroin, four bags of white powder believed to be cocaine, as well as a range of prescription drugs.
Police are investigating whether Hoffman had injected a lethal batch of heroin which has been linked to scores of recent deaths across the US east coast.
Yesterday Dr Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said Hoffman’s death, which came after a long period of sobriety which ended last year, “epitomises the tragedy of drug addiction in our society.
“Here you have an extraordinarily talented actor who had the resources, who had been in treatment, who obviously realised the problem of drugs and had been able to stay clean.”
Dr Volkow added that someone who is addicted to drugs can relapse even after a long break.
“Give them a tiny amount and they immediately escalate to the same levels of drugtaking as before” – which is why addiction is considered a chronic disease and overdose is common,” she said.
Hoffman’s “is a story that unfortunately is not infrequent – to have an individual who takes drugs in his 20s and stops for 20 years relapses in his 40s and overdoses,” she said. A private wake is due to be held for the actor today.
Hoffman won an Academy Award for Best Actor for the 2005 film based on the life of the author Truman Capote – who died of liver disease worsened by alcohol and drug abuse – and was nominated three times for Best Supporting Actor. He appeared in many films including the Talented Mr Ripley (1999), Charlie Wilson’s War (2007) and the Master (2012).
He had recently separated from his long-term partner Mimi O’Donnell with whom he had a son and two daughters. Ms O’Donnell and the children lived a few streets away from the flat which Hoffman rented.
Celebrity friends including Annie Leibovitz, Bobby Carnavale and Cate Blanchette were seen visiting Ms O’Donnell’s house yesterday and on Monday.