Mandeville man focus of Netflix docuseries ‘The Pharmacist’
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - “We have a bunch of small cassettes. I got hundreds of hours," Dan Schneider, ruffles through boxes in his corner office at his Mandeville home.
The 69-year-old grandfather has dozens of boxes filled with tapes and documents into his son’s 1999 murder.
"I wound up getting Danny's autopsy,” Schneider said. “I wound up getting the police records. I had to do all of that to put the pieces of the case together."
22-year-old Danny Schneider Jr. was gunned down in his pickup truck in the lower 9th ward in 1999.
"I went full force. I was kind of crazy a little bit,” Schneider said. “I was not going to let this killer stay on the street."
His investigation into his son’s death and the opioid epidemic is the subject of a four-part Netflix docu-series called “The Pharmacist”.
The show synopsis says, “a small-town pharmacist stakes a mission to save his community long before the opioid epidemic gains nationwide attention.”
"A lot of people in St. Bernard were dying. A lot of people around a number of states were dying," Schneider said.
His son was killed in the 800 block of Forstall Street on the night of April 13th. Police found him slumped over the wheel of his red pickup truck.
Schneider says in the show trailer, “My son was murdered buying crack. The police have the attitude that the kids got what they deserved.”
At the time of his son’s death, Schneider’s friends and relatives put fliers in the area around Forstall and Dauphine even mailed fliers to the homes looking for clues. They even offered a $10,000 reward for information that led to an arrest.
“I was kind of on a mission. I had promised God that if he helped me solve my son’s murder and nobody would get hurt, I would kind of go on a mission,” Schneider said.
Jeffrey Hall was arrested and convicted of Schneider Jr.’s death. Hall pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2000. He served 13 of his 15-year prison sentence. "After the miracle happened that I solved my son's murder. We got some measure of justice," Schneider said.
He then started thinking about his next investigation. Schneider, a retired pharmacist, became a sleuth. Following the conviction of his son’s killer. He started looking into addiction. That’s when he found Dr. Jacqueline Clegget, who ran a pain management clinic in New Orleans. He says she was over-prescribing OxyContin.
“My initial thing was to help the police, help the DEA, and help the FBI then again I ran into a lot of resistance,” Schneider said. “I felt like she was really responsible for a whole lot of deaths.”
In 2009, she pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge.
"I felt I was living in a movie. It was surreal,” Schneider. “Some of the things that I confronted and did was, if I looked at it on the outside, I almost wouldn't believe it."
Since, the show’s release, it’s all people in St. Bernard Parish are talking about.
“It’s a big thing on Facebook. A few came in and said they watched it and stuff,” said Vanessa Dean.
"I basically binged it. I did. I did. It was good," Maria Jackson said.
Schneider says he hopes the show can help start a conversation with parents and their kids.
“I had no idea prior to that, that he was doing crack,” Schneider said. “In hindsight, there were somethings I missed, and I would like to get that to some parents out there. There are some things you’ve missed.”
It’s a conversation Jackson intends to have, “I told my son last night, I said, you know you really need to come and watch this. He’s 14 and I think it’s something even pre-teens should watch because it is something that could happen to anyone of us.”
“The Pharmacist” is currently available for streaming on Netflix.
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