Philip Seymour Hoffman Cause of Death

Philip Seymour Hoffman's Cause of Death
Philip Seymour Hoffman's Cause of Death and autopsy report.

How did Philip Seymour Hoffman Die?

This article provides an overview of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s cause of death and details of the autopsy report. With the Oscar buzz taking over the celeb-sphere, the sudden news of the death of the highly regarded artist and dedicated actor Philip Seymour Hoffman rocked Hollywood. Hoffman, age 46, was found dead in his New York apartment on February 2, 2014.

Hoffman won Academy Awards for his excellent performances in movies like Capote. In addition, he was regarded for his work on The Master, Cold Mountain, and Owning Mahowny. However, Philip Seymour Hoffman was no stranger to drugs.

What happened on the night he died?

On February 2, David Bar Katz, a screenwriter, and playwright found his friend in the bathroom of his office apartment in Manhattan, New York. Investigators uncovered enough evidence to suggest that the potential cause of death was a fatal cocktail of prescription drugs and heroin. Hoffman was found dead with a hypodermic needle still attached to his arm.

Often described as a sleepy-looking and frumpily dressed man, Philip Seymour Hoffman often talked about his drug-addled past. Struggling with substance abuse since the age of 22, Hoffman had sought rehab care several times. At one point, he even admitted to abusing any substance he could find.

After 20 years of remaining more or less clean, Hoffman experienced a relapse with an addiction to prescription drugs and heroin. He checked into rehab for ten days in May of 2013. He is survived by his long-time partner, Mimi O’Donnell, and three children, ages six, eight, and eleven.

Autopsy results inconclusive: suspected overdose?

After finding the lifeless body of the Oscar-winning actor and conducting the crime scene investigation, the New York Police Department ordered an autopsy to determine Philip Seymour Hoffman’s cause of death. The primary results of the autopsy were inconclusive while the police were considering the case as a suspected overdose.

Over 50 envelopes of heroin were found in Hoffman’s apartment, along with several syringes and a range of prescription drugs. The heroin found in the apartment did not contain fentanyl. Fentanyl is a dangerous substance that has been recently tied to over 20 fatal deaths in the Pennsylvania area.

Further reports tested negative for fentanyl. During the investigation, the police also found buprenorphine, a substance used to treat addiction to heroin.

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s cause of death was likely a result of a heroin overdose.

The arrest of four drug suspects

After further investigation, four people were arrested concerning the large amounts of illicit drugs found in the Manhattan apartment. Three men and one woman aged 22, 48, 57, and 22 were arrested in the NoHo district and detained for drug-related charges.

Subsequently, the search of three apartments revealed roughly 350 bags of heroin. Of the four people arrested, drug-related charges were dropped against one, while others were booked for possession of cocaine and other misdemeanor charges.

According to some reports by TMZ, a drug user tipped off the NYPD when he saw the actor contact the dealer who lived in the same building. In the last few hours of his life, Philip Seymour Hoffman was found to have made six transactions at a supermarket ATM near his home.

He withdrew nearly $1,200 from his bank account in hours. The police are piecing together CCTV footage and other surveillance evidence to determine his exact location that day.

Questions and Comments

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Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including Michael created more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at


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