I felt compelled to post this, not only because it deals with a cast member of Little House, but because it is a pretty poignant message from a Mother that simply loved her son. Carl's first acting appearance was on Little House in the episode "For The Love Of Nancy", in which he played Elmer's brother. This episode aired shortly after Carl had his seventh birthday.
Carl died in 2011 at the age of 36 in Tucson, Arizona. He is profiled in the Star and Guest Star Sticky. In that profile, I stated that he died of a heroin overdose while in prison for a theft he committed. However, there is much more to the story. The following is a letter that his Mother posted recently explaining what happened to him and the circumstances surrounding his death. I feel that she certainly deserves to have it heard, since there have been a lot of negative things written about him on the net.This is a picture of Carl both as a child actor and an adult. In "For The Love of Nancy"........
This Is her Post............
I am writing this update because of the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, due to a heroin overdose and because someone posted something about Carl being just a junkie. I would like to tell my son's story to help you understand and to warn you about the dangers of drug addiction....
My son Carl Steven became addicted to his prescription medication Oxycontin for severe TMJ and after 2 micro surgeries. Carl was on Xanax because he was a victim of a violent car-jacking in his younger years that left him with severe panic attacks and ptsd.
Addiction is a known side-effect to these meds. Oxycontin is a horrible drug that will change who you are. Yet, it is still prescribed too freely! Carl had lost his medical insurance and was unable to proceed with his medical treatments and medically it is dangerous just to stop those kinds of medications, so Carl robbed some pharmacies for his pills, as he was so afraid of getting so sick or dying. Carl got caught because he wanted to get caught as he was so ashamed of what he had done. He came from a good and loving home.
When I first talked to Carl on the phone after his arrest, I asked him why did he confess without an attorney, and he told me it was because how could he go to God for forgiveness if he lied to the police. You see, Carl had never been arrested before in his life, never had spent a night in jail, so never in prison, and no criminal record! Carl was always a good person, a peacemaker, he didn't like to fight, he was never in a gang,,, Just an everyday great kind of guy... Married over 10 yrs, he was a loving husband, and Carl was such a loving daddy to his only son (who had just turned 3 yrs old when he daddy died). His dad and I were blessed to be his parents... he had a great sense of humor and man... could he sing! I miss him so.
Arizona doesn't have any kind of prison drug treatment or rehab programs, so an Arizona judge sentenced Carl to 13 yrs in prison!
When Carl finally made it to prison, it was so scary because this was our very first encounter with the prison system. In this PRISON, the inmates there taught my son how to shoot up heroin! as Carl had a PILL addiction... so he didn't even know how to shoot it! Shortly after, my beloved son died of a heroin overdose!
I never really thought about illegal drugs being so available in prison. Carl knew nothing about heroin, just that it helped him find some peace as his guilt was immense and his time had really just started. Carl wanted to live... but the lure of illegal drugs is too strong... especially when your in a box and going to be there for years, while your child and wife live alone, no kindergarten, no walks in the park with his son, but he still wanted to be here! We all wanted him here.........
WE NOW KNOW THE DRUG WAR IS A COMPLETE FAILURE....SADLY, ILLEGAL DRUGS ARE IN THE PRISONS TOO... PRISON IS NOT THE ANSWER FOR THE DRUG ADDICTED BECAUSE IT IS A SETUP FOR FAILURE, IF THE DRUG ADDICT CAN GET ILLEGAL DRUGS IN PRISON, THEN THE INMATE NEVER REALLY GET CLEAN, THEN HE GETS OUT, AND CHANCES ARE HE WILL REPEAT THE CRIMES... JUST SWINGING DOORS AT THE PRISON... THEY NEED TREATMENT AND NOT BARS!!! THE PRISON SYSTEM IS A FAILURE, AND THEY JUST KEEP BUILDING MORE AND THE SADDEST THING IS THAT PEOPLE DON'T CARE BECAUSE THEIR PRISONERS AND THEY GET WHAT THEY DESERVE. While I can understand their sentiments, not all prisoners are scum and disposable like that!
I want to see things change for other parents, so that they will never have to bury their son or daughter for an Illegal Drug Overdose in prison!!! For that child/children to have a chance to get their mommy/daddy back home because the debt to society was paid and they get another chance to make better choices in their life.
I want to see lock-down drug treatment or rehab programs .... I'm trying to find the right resources!!! HEROIN IS A HORROR STORY!!! Please stay away from drugs... they are a plague on our lives and society ... We need to help each other!
Thanks for reading and I hope and pray you will take heed, and because almost everyone knows someone that has a drug problem. Don't ignore it, because it will never fix itself, do whatever you can. Do a lot of homework about the drug, because I just learned more today about heroin being such an enticing drug that makes all your emotional pain go away... a serene feeling... which I could understand would make you want to find some peace somehow being behind bars away from family!