Danny Schneider's murder: The tragic death featured in Netflix's The Pharmacist
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Neflix‘s latest true-crime docu-drama The Pharmacist features the story of the death of Danny Schneider. The young man was brutally murdered in a botched drug-deal to the disbelief of his parents. Danny’s father – Daniel Sr – grew frustrated at the slow pace of the investigation by authorities and so the pharmacist decided to look into it himself.
The death sparked an interest in the damage that drugs could do, and ended up with Daniel Sr uncovering how a doctor was selling prescriptions to hundreds of drug addicts for opioid painkillers.
Daniel Schneider, a pharmacist from Louisiana, investigated the murder of his son Danny (Netflix)
The Schneider family’s world was torn apart on April 14, 1999. Daniel Senior and his wife, Annie, were woken at 2am to the site of two police officers, who explained to them that their eldest child, 22-year-old Danny Junior, had been found dead. He had been shot in the head in a crack-cocaine deal gone wrong in a drug ravaged part of nearby New Orleans.
The Schneiders were shocked and told the police they were wrong, and that their son was upstairs sleeping. They said he had been out studying with his friend the previous night and had returned later that evening. Sister Kristi, 18, went to her brother’s room to check on her sleeping sibling and found the bed empty.
The Schneiders were shocked – they had no idea “polite, gentle and compassionate” Danny had been taking drugs. But police said they found young man’s crumpled body in his Ford pickup truck, with cash in his hand. Retrospectively the bereaved father – who was a pharmacist – recognised signs that his son may have been suffering with a substance problem.
Falling grades in his last year of secondary school and a recent conversation about wanting to dissuade other youngsters from taking drugs sprung to his mind.
Investigations from the New Orleans Police Department were slow moving and Daniel Sr became frustrated so took the murder investigation into his own hands. In a snitches-get-stitches atmosphere, witnesses were thin on the ground. Mr Schneider began phoning around the neighbourhood where his son was murdered and was met with phones being slammed down.
But after hundreds of calls he chanced upon a woman who said she knew something. She told him that the son of a friend – a boy called Jeffrey Hall, 15 – was the killer. Daniel Sr had to talk his witness around to testifying while she received threats in the post and had her house vandalised.
The woman and her four children were put in witness protection. Hall was arrested on May 14, 2000, admitted manslaughter and was sent to prison for 15 years. Following the jailing of his son’s killer, Mr Schneider started investigating the opioid epidemic in New Orleans and uncovered a massive conspiracy.
The Pharmacist is available to stream on Netflix now.