The Last Days of Christopher Savage He flew into Dulles at
10 p.m. on April 15. He was found dead on his friend's couch at 1 p.m. on April 19.

The ‘undisclosed destination’

On April 15, Christopher Savage made the trek from his native Bakersfield, Calif., to D.C. He’d arranged for a place to crash, desperate for a new start.

No one knows whether the 36-year-old Savage believed his stay in the District would be an extended vacation or a real settling down. He had sold much of his record collection and his record player. A friend set up a PayPal account online for other friends to donate money for his trip. Two Germans sent him a couple hundred bucks.

Savage's roommates in D.C., Vinnie Betette and Claibourne Reppert
(Photograph by Darrow Montgomery)

What is clear is that Savage had left a lot more than records back in Bakersfield.

In July, he began dating Sabrena Sullivan, 21. They had their first date at a P.F. Chang’s. Within weeks, they were living together. Within a month, he proposed in the backyard of their rental on Pine Street, presenting her with a platinum ring and a three-diamond setting. “I said, ‘yes,’ and I pounced on him,” says Sullivan. “I was sitting down, and I just tackled him. It was really cute. He wanted to do it at P.F. Chang’s, but I think he couldn’t wait.”

“Everything we did together was fun somehow,” Sullivan says. “Every single thing we did.”

In November, they moved into his parents’ house to save money. And then Savage, who battled a heroin addiction, slipped up. He told a friend he started taking painkillers; Sullivan says it was more serious than that. “I don’t know what was really going on. I was just scared.…It was hard for him,” says Sullivan, noting that Savage was haunted by sleeplessness and nightmares. “He was just really worried about a lot of things…what had gone on in the past—the drug use, everything his family went through. They loved him so much.”

After Sullivan broke off the engagement and moved out, Savage took it as a catalyst. He started planning for his big move to D.C.

Savage decided he would not tell most of his friends, convinced they would try and talk him out of it. He told Sullivan in an e-mail he was headed for an “undisclosed destination.”

Six hours before Savage boarded a bus from Bakersfield to LAX, he dashed off an e-mail to Sullivan:


Savage had never been to D.C., had never heard of a jumbo slice, had never tried falafel, got spun around a traffic circle, or experienced Adams Morgan on a Friday night.

Four days into his new life in the city, in the early morning hours of Saturday, April 19, two assailants—maybe more—mugged Savage of his possessions and severely beat him. The police later dropped him off at his apartment at 16th Street and Kalorama Road NW.

That same morning, a roommate woke up to find him dead on the couch.

The news of Savage’s death has been a topic of D.C. blogs—most notably on Brightest Young Things and on one of his favorite band’s message boards. His parents back home in Bakersfield are still awaiting the results from the autopsy report. The cause of Savage’s death remains unknown, as does the question of whether he received proper attention from the city’s emergency medical agency and police department.

For now, there is only retracing his steps, rereading his e-mails, listening again to his phone messages, and recounting the brief conversations he had with his new friends in his new city.

Back in Bakersfield, Savage’s longtime buddies meet up and share memories at his old haunts. Sullivan says she has saved all of her ex-fiancé’s e-mails, including his very troubling final one—his only one from D.C.

In the hours, maybe minutes, before his death on that Saturday morning, Savage flicked on his roommate’s laptop and sent off one last e-mail to her. In the subject line, Savage wrote: “HELP.”

Day One

For his trip out East, Savage leaned heavily on his friend—and only tie to D.C.—Vinnie Betette. He asked for phone numbers of Betette’s friends so he would have plenty of people to call in case he ever got stuck roaming city streets alone. He ended one note: “sorry if I sound like a worry wort I am just over stimulated and exmutherfuckencitedd.”

When Savage arrived at Dulles, Betette, 30, waited there to pick him up, as promised.

They drove into D.C. in Betette’s 2000 green Ford Escort, a box of kitty litter in the backseat. Among his bags, Savage had brought what he called his “Brady Bunch suitcase,” a hard purple piece of luggage.

In March, Savage had called up his friend and pitched the idea of moving cross-country to stay with him. “I was all for it,” Betette recalls. “I loved having the dude around. My girlfriend and I talked about it. We’d give him a month [in our apartment].”

During the drive, Betette says, Savage kept telling him, “I’m so glad to be out of Bakersfield.” An agricultural town at the southern end of California’s Central Valley, Bakersfield is described by one friend as the state’s “armpit,” a mean place full of meth.

Before the trip, Savage was living with his parents. He’d recently been laid off from his bartending job at a rowdy joint called the Mint and was filling his time with part-time work as a “shop-bitch,” doing the grunt work at a tattoo parlor.

His work history consisted of much dabbling. Savage tried the military. He tried plumbing. He tried tattooing.

His escape from underemployment came via an Internet connection.

Savage and Betette had met online last spring, bonding over their shared devotion to Norway’s homoerotic death-punk act Turbonegro. The band’s over-the-topness—it titled one of its releases Small Feces, Vol. 1—was destined for a cult following. One developed in the style of the old Kiss Army; Turbo fans call it Turbojugend.

On the Web, Savage was different—he was invincible, organized, and disciplined. On MySpace and on message-board threads, he adopted an alias: Savage Von Ravage.

Savage had helped found Turbonegro chapters in Bakersfield and beyond. Obsession with music stretched back to high school, where Savage learned to drown out bad Bakersfield vibes in the loud, aggressive noise of the most extreme punk rock. He favored arty political bands like Crass and loved the tare-ass anarchy of British Oi! bands. He didn’t see it as just stuff to put on his record shelves, but as a way of life. He wore the pins and the patches to prove it.

In mid-September, Savage and Betette organized a Turbonegro fan-club meet-up in Guadalajara, Mexico. Only a handful of devotees showed. One morning, while everyone else was shaking off hangovers, Betette says, the two of them went out to the only open cafe.

Over super-strong coffee, Savage opened up about his addiction to heroin. Betette divulged his own drug past; he was in recovery as well. The two shared the usual war stories.

“He and I were both suffering with that everywhere we turned,” Betette says. “You lose friends and make new friends and lose them. It’s one of those cycles he was stuck in.”

Among Savage's limited belongings, he brought this piece of luggage, his "Brady Bunch suitcase."
(Photograph by Darrow Montgomery)

For Savage, the cycle dated back to the early ’90s, when he discovered heroin. In 1995, he left Bakersfield for Portland, Ore., hoping a new city would keep him clean. Nine months later, he was back to injecting the drug and needed help. “He called his dad and his dad bought him a plane ticket home,” says his Portland roommate, Kore Kili, 38. “I came home from work to a note.”

Savage’s return to Bakersfield didn’t work either. Jail and prison stints followed. There was a prison marriage and a post-prison annulment.

In the last few years, he had steadied himself. Friends say he got into a methadone program and had nearly completed it.

The addiction-conquering narrative extended through Savage’s arrival in D.C. “Look, my bills are up with this program, and I’m going to come here and try and get off it,” Betette recalls Savage telling him. “He came trying to kick it,” Betette says.

Once on the ground, Savage dropped his stuff off at the spacious Adams Morgan one-bedroom apartment of Betette and his live-in girlfriend, Claibourne Reppert, who is in her 20s. The guest’s luggage was loaded down with fanboy paraphernalia that Savage was prepared to hand out to his new friends in D.C.

The hosts brought Savage to the Pharmacy Bar on 18th Street NW, a spot that would become Savage’s internal compass. Anytime he needed to get someplace, he was sure to pass Pharmacy. Betette told him how to get to just about anywhere he needed from the bar’s address.

That night, they ended up drinking until closing time, getting hammered on PBRs and shots of Maker’s Mark. They played the Faces on the jukebox. Betette explained that the neighborhood was vastly different on a weekend night.

Savage and Betette discussed his next step. “Dude could do anything,” Betette says. “He’s a journeyman plumber, a tattoo assistant, bartender, barback, cook. I told him it was wide open. We could find him a job no problem. I said, ‘You should kick it for a week, just be on vacation, see how the methadone wears off.’ But he wanted to get right to work.”

Day Two

The 2 a.m. takeout was all over the apartment the next morning. Pizza remnants hardened on the floor. Savage had broken the cardinal rule of houseguests everywhere: Do not let your hosts wake up to a disaster.

Savage had slept on the couch; the air mattress proved too small for his 5-foot-10 and more than 300-pound frame. After waking, he quickly set to cleaning up.

A few days before he arrived, Savage created a résumé. Under “objective,” he wrote: “I would like to utilize my various and diverse skills in the area of customer service, social coordinator, personnel assistance, maintenance and labor services, or the plumbing trade.”

He also tapped out a cover letter that included the following passage:

Kyle Riley told Savage D.C. can be a rough city, especially in areas south of Columbia Road.
(Photograph by Darrow Montgomery)

“Please note that in 1996, I was convicted of a D.U.I. in the state of California. As a result, my driver’s license was revoked. Despite this setback, I am researching and looking into the requirements and procedure in Washington, D.C. to become licensed again. As you may be more familiar with the laws and policies of D.C., if you have any suggestions or knowledge concerning this type of matter, please advise. In the meantime, I am able to begin work immediately after my move to D.C.”

Before he pounded the pavement with résumé and cover letter, Savage thought he needed a haircut. He arranged to meet Reppert, who works as a stylist at Trim on Columbia Road NW.

Reppert kept Savage’s haircut simple: short on the sides, spiky on top. When she noticed the elaborate tattoo spanning his neck, she says, he explained that he got the ink in prison. “You have to cover them up with color because cops could spot them a mile away,” he told her.

That night, they watched TV, perhaps an episode of Top Chef. Savage was stressed about his finances, says Reppert. He talked to his sister, his father, and mother. His mother was supposed to send him money. Savage was down to his last $16.

It didn’t matter. Betette and Reppert say they were prepared to provide for him. “He was a sweetheart,” Reppert says. “He looked tough, he looked like a big dude. [But] his voice was really effeminate. It was hard to match his voice to his body.”

“He was really aware of not imposing on us,” she goes on to say. “He would say, ‘If you need me to leave, just say: Go kick rocks.’”

Day Three

On Thursday afternoon, Savage hung out with a friend of his hosts, Kyle Riley. At the apartment, they drank beers and watched TV.

Riley, 25, thought he should school the newcomer on D.C. Savage asked about the small things: how to get around, what were the cool places to go.

“Like, no offense. It’s a rough city,” Riley explained. “I want you to be smart when you go out.” If you go drinking, Riley counseled, stay away from the area south of Columbia Road—it’s poorly lit and easy to get lost around there. Riley remembers Savage telling him that D.C. couldn’t be any rougher than the penitentiary.

“I just wanted him to know,” Riley says. “The way that he spoke, the way that he carried himself, he just seemed to me to have a real trusting nature that I didn’t want to get taken advantage of. I wanted him to be safe out here.”

That night, Savage set out for the Black Cat, where he hoped to get a job. There he filled out an application and discussed his prospects with a club supervisor. Apparently, Savage made a good impression.

Savage hit the bar when the interview ended. Charles Smeed, 35, says the supervisor pointed Savage out to him. Smeed brought his beer over from the end of the bar and took a seat, introducing himself as a fellow Black Cat door staffer.

They hit it off. Smeed says they got along well because they share the “old school skinhead” style—the kind that involves an affinity for bomber jackets, punk rock and ska bands, and a chip-on-the shoulder attitude (emphatically not the neo-Nazi kind, Smeed asserts). They drank PBR and did a couple shots. Smeed felt as if he’d met a kindred spirit.

Savage worked his first shift as an employee at the Black Cat hours before his death.
(Photograph by Darrow Montgomery)

Savage made it clear that he was thrilled to be out of Bakersfield, that he was eager to start a new life with new friends. Smeed said to him, “Dude, you’re in the right place.”

They discussed tattoos. Smeed told Savage he had plans to get a crucified skinhead on his neck—a common bit of ink among their set. Savage said he was thinking of getting a similar piece on his chest but with a laurel wreath. When Smeed went to get his tattoo the Monday after Savage died, he added the laurel wreath element as a way of honoring his friend.

“He was definitely a cool cat,” Smeed says. “It was hard not to like him.”

After a few beery hours, Savage made his way toward Adams Morgan, where Betette was DJing at Asylum as part of his “Riff Raff” punk set.

Reppert was already there. Betette was busy spinning records but hung out during smoke breaks. Standing outside the bar, Savage gushed about his new friends. He was fitting into his new world. “He was saying, ‘Arnold’s a great guy, I met your friend Charles,’” Betette recalls.

Savage started to get pretty drunk and a little sleepy. An Asylum staffer noticed and politely encouraged him to leave. Reppert volunteered to help get Savage home. As they walked out, Betette cranked up the Stiff Little Fingers, and Savage sang along.

On their way home, Reppert noticed Savage had started limping. He said he was in pain, she remembers, from either an infection or a cyst on his backside. She can’t recall for sure. Whatever it was, it had started to hurt.

What Reppert does remember is what he said about it: “He said if he didn’t fix it, ‘One morning you may find me dead on your couch.’”

Day Four

Friday morning, Betette found Savage half awake and in a cold sweat, possibly suffering from methadone withdrawal. He’d been throwing up.

“I sat with him for a while,” says Betette. “He knew I knew what he was talking about.”

Betette left for work around 8. Savage stayed in close contact, calling a couple times during the day and getting directions from the apartment to the Black Cat.

Savage left the apartment at 6 p.m. and got to the club on 14th Street NW around 7, an hour early, for his orientation shift. On the way, “He called three times,” Betette says.

He toured the club with Smeed, whom he’d be shadowing that night. Smeed showed him the dark spots, the places where kids might try to drink or get an adult to buy booze for them.

Smeed describes having this huge, tough-looking man following him around, nervous and anxious for approval. Savage charmed the staff—Smeed had never seen another trainee make the trouble to introduce himself on his first night to as many co-workers as Savage did.

It was a slow night at the club, with the show ending around 12:30 a.m. Things were so tame that the joint started letting the door staff go early, including Savage.

“He asked me if he did a good job. I told him yes,” says a supervisor. “He said all night he was carrying only one glass. He was looking forward to carrying huge stacks of glasses.”

Savage grabbed a PBR and a triple Maker’s Mark after his shift and found a seat next to the pool table. He and Smeed discussed scooters. Smeed, an avid rider, says Savage was “a bit optimistic” that he’d be able to buy one after a few paychecks as a door staffer.

Savage left the Black Cat by 2:30 a.m. He got totally lost, overshooting 16th Street and winding up on 18th when he tried to find his way back to the apartment. He was unfamiliar with the closing-time scene in Adams Morgan on weekends. He told Betette later that he thought there was some kind of melee going on.

Savage saw the sign for Kalorama. That clicked with him. He knew Kalorama. He made the right and headed down the street, but he didn’t get very far.

Near the intersection of Kalorama and Champlain Street, a man offered to sell him crack, Savage told Betette later that night. He refused. The man continued to pester him, following him for a few paces.

The man told Savage to put his number in his phone. Savage finally agreed and got out his phone. He started punching in the number. The man then put a gun in his face, and then another man he didn’t see punched him in the back of the head. He fell down, and they dragged him behind a Dumpster, Betette says.

“Within two seconds,” Betette says, “four kids started stomping him.” He described them as high school kids. They went through Savage’s pockets after kicking and stomping him for about 30 seconds.

After the beating, Savage got up, walked to 18th Street, and found a cop to explain what happened. According to the police report, the incident took place at 3:45 a.m. at the 2200 block of Champlain Street NW. It states that the mugging took place on the sidewalk. For method or tools used, the report reads, “n/a.”

The report inventories the possessions that Savage lost in the incident: a Sanyo flip phone, $277 in cash, a U.S. passport, a social security card, and a MasterCard.

The officers’ narrative of events differs from what Savage would later tell Betette. According to the report, Savage initially observed his assailants sitting at the entrance of 2301 Champlain St. NW with a group of other people. There is no mention of crack being offered—only the back and forth over the cell phone.

Savage then told the cops that a man approached him from behind and “placed his fist” to his head “simulating holding a weapon.” One of his assailants, the report states, ordered Savage to the ground.

One of the men was listed in the police report as roughly in his early 40s, slim, and a little more than 6 feet tall; the other was listed in his early-to-mid 20s, 180 pounds, and 5-foot-6-inches, and had dreads.

Both men, the report’s narrative goes on to state, kicked Savage in his midsection. They then went through his pockets.

The report doesn’t mention kids and doesn’t mention Savage getting dragged behind a Dumpster.

The officers described Savage’s injuries as simply “bruises to stomach” and note that he “refused” to be taken in for further medical attention. Detective Sean Caine, who interviewed the officer Savage flagged down on 18th Street after the assault, said the officer twice offered to call an ambulance for Savage, who declined both times. The report does not mention the heel marks all across his chest, clearly visible in a photograph taken later. Nor does it address whether or not Savage received any blows to the head.

Assistant police chief Diane Groomes says in an e-mail that it “appears the Fireboard did not respond to the incident,” meaning EMTs did not show up on the scene to check Savage over. The police report states “n/a” in the section regarding treatment by a D.C. ambulance.

In response to a question about police procedure, police spokesperson Traci Hughes says that the police department “does not have a protocol for officers to use should citizens who display an apparent need for medical attention refuse assistance. Officers are required to request FEMS [D.C. Fire and EMS] to respond for any apparent medical need or if a request for medical assistance is made by a citizen regardless of the circumstances.”

Following the incident, police officers drove Savage around in their cruiser in the hope that he could spot any of his assailants. Betette says Savage told him a female officer jumped out of the car when they saw one of the kids involved in the beating. The officer grabbed the kid but didn’t make an arrest. She then took Savage back to the apartment.

Reppert recalls Savage arriving at about 5 a.m.

“Why can’t I get it fucking right?” Betette recalls Savage telling him. Savage started crying. He told him that the perps had put a gun in his mouth.

“The fucking guy couldn’t get a break,” Betette says. “He was starting to feel the effects of not being on the methadone, so he was sick on top of it. It’s almost like being dope-sick.…He was shaking pretty bad.”

Savage didn’t complain about getting hit in the head. He pulled up his shirt to reveal the heel marks.

One of three Turbonegro fanclub jackets Savage brought to D.C.
(Photograph by Darrow Montgomery)

According to Betette, Savage didn’t say he was in any physical pain. He just asked for Betette’s cell phone so he could call his father in California. Betette gave him his phone and went to bed. He got up half an hour later to use the bathroom and saw Savage sitting on the couch facing the computer.

At 5:25 a.m., Savage sent his ex-fiancée, Sullivan, an e-mail to tell her what happened. At this point, he became a really unreliable narrator of his own story. Whether this was because of a concussion, some other injury, or just the entire drama of the night, no one is sure. This e-mail is the only bit of evidence left except for what an autopsy might reveal.

Savage misspelled Sullivan’s name, typed in fragments, got the dates of his stay in D.C. wrong, and the entire timeline of his mugging all turned around. It had been less than two hours since the incident. The only thing that is clear is how utterly freaked he was. He wrote (emphasis his):

sabrana I came to DC because i cant bear living without you i got here the 15th on the 18 was held … they hand cuffed me on th way to work tossed me in a recycling dumpster at 7 and they found me at 6 no shoes cell phone atm card passport id and367 dollars in me sabrena your supposed to lov and take care of your man i would travel 100000000000000000000 miles to protect you call my moms cell phone ans she will give u a numbber to call me or gie one to her............I love you so much please 1 more chance....tub of broken love chris

Day Five

That morning, Reppert got up to go to work and saw Savage on the couch. Feet crossed, he was wearing only a pair of blue checked boxers. He was still wearing his glasses. The remote control was wedged between his left biceps and his left side. In his left hand, he gripped a lighter. His right hand extended out from the couch. Half a jumbo slice was on the floor. On the coffee table was a large bottle of Vicodin. Just below his hand was Betette’s cell phone.

Reppert didn’t try to see if he was awake. But she took a picture of him with her BlackBerry. “I saw his stomach,” Reppert explains. “I was going to show people his bruises. I was going to tell people what happened because I worked in the area. I took a picture of his bruises because it was so crazy.”

Reppert can’t stop looking at the picture now. The photo shows black and blue welts across his chest and his stomach.

Other than the bruising, Savage looked normal, like he was sleeping, she says. “It was almost like one of those party dude pictures,” Reppert says.

Betette got up a little before 1 p.m. and walked into his living room, where Savage had been sleeping on the couch. He got an entirely different feeling.

“I got up, and just as soon as I turned this corner I knew he was dead,” Betette says from his living room. “This wave of something came over me. He was ice cold.”

Betette called 911. He told the operator that his friend had died, that he was going to try mouth-to-mouth. But he couldn’t pry Savage’s mouth open. The operator didn’t understand.

“I was saying I couldn’t do it,” Betette says. “She said, ‘Are you refusing to do CPR, sir?’” He yelled at her: “I can’t do it!”

“This was the most haunting thing for me,” Betette says. “His tongue was in his teeth. Touching him—I’ve never felt anything like that before. He was so cold. There was no color in his face. All of his blood had drained to his hand.”

A fireman arrived shortly thereafter. “Oh man, your friend’s dead,” the fireman said.

Emergency personnel were on site for four hours, waiting for the body to be taken away. “Everybody was waiting for the guys with the bag, I guess,” Betette says.

Betette told the medical examiner that Savage took painkillers, including Vicodin, to help with the methadone sickness. Two days later, the medical examiner’s office indicated that the physical trauma didn’t look like it was enough to kill Savage.

Detective Caine, who was present for Savage’s autopsy, says it did not appear that Savage had suffered a concussion or any broken ribs. “From my observations and the doctor’s observations at the autopsy,” he says, Savage did not die from injuries sustained in a beating. Caine says the cause of death remains undetermined “pending toxicology results.”

As soon as they got the body out, Betette and Reppert left also. They went to Betette’s parents’ house in Tenleytown and stayed there for two days. With the help of friends, they got rid of the couch.

Betette hasn’t erased the voicemail Savage left him at 3:45 a.m. that night. Coming through the speakerphone, Savage’s voice sounds tinny and shaky. He’s drunk and short of breath. “It’s Savage. I’m lost, man. Call me if you can.”

Extra: Tributes from Bakersfield: Recollections from Savage's hometown friends

Our Readers Say

The original article on Chris Savage can e viewed here:
I don't get it.

Drug - Addicted Drifter Meets Unfortunate End

Dog Bites Man
Nice job on this story.
Nice portrait and account of the story. BYT's coverage was weak and emotional and their title stretches past sensationalism. Thanks for setting a good example with this quality piece.
I'm not somebody who is moved easily, but that was a really touching read. A great portrait, though heartbreaking.
i miss the hell out of you chris and my heart is broken.i love you brother you'll never be forgotten. clockwork forever
PG - as the writer of the BYT story, I think you don't get the point. Of course it was emotional. It was written entirely from emotion the very day after Chris died. It was a piece written about meeting someone who then died, that's pretty much what emotion is - how you feel when you hear something fucked up. It wasn't an investigative reporting piece that gathered facts over a week and interviewed people who know him - that wasn't the point of it, either. It was a quick one-off about the emotions people have when they hear someone they just met died, especially under the circumstances known at the time.

Comprehend much? But nice dig at a story that has many many of his friends commenting on over there.
Jimbo- You're a douche bag. So if you have an unfortunate going can we shrug it off our shoulders by explaining that you were an asshole?
'Asshole dies, who cares?He was an asshole right?' I doubt you would get a city paper dedicated to you.
Chris was an awesome guy and I'll tell you it's great going out and seeing if face everywhere. Thanks City Paper.
Mitch Albom read this story and thought it was too hacky and sentimental.
C. -

I don't think the guy was an asshole - but that's not the point. It doesn't really matter whether he was nice or not. There just wasn't much in the article to make me feel like there was a broader point being made, beyond the fact of this individual's untimely death.

Of course we shouldn't shrug off a death. Death is sad. But I do question the merit of this story as a cover article. There are plenty of deaths in DC every week. I just don't see what was so interesting about this particular individual. Do you read the obituaries every day? Are they worth putting on the front page?

I feel sympathetic to his friends and family, but the City Paper's responsibility is to its readership.

And - when I die, I won't t expect a front-page story about it.

If you are trying to say that "awesome guys" should have big stories written about them when they die, then you might want to start a publication to do that.
This is definitely a sad story, but I think it's really a testimony to the fact that people need to be better-educated about certain neighborhoods in D.C. and when to avoid them.

As gentrified as the city is, there are still blocks that aren't safe in otherwise safe neighborhoods. I live a few blocks from where Christopher Savage was attacked, and although the area around Adams Morgan is considered safe, I have friends who have been beat up and mugged there. I've had a few close calls myself.

People need to be better educated about the precautions they need to take when out alone at night. Christopher got lost, but if he'd stuck to major streets (Columbia Road, 18th Street, 16th Street, etc.) he might have been okay.

Of course, he was from out of town, so he had no way of knowing. And no one thought it was important to tell him to avoid the back streets in Adams Morgan after dark.

People, particularly locals, need to realize that we're not invincible and that we're not always safe everywhere in the city. We also need to make sure we properly educate our friends and visitors from outside D.C. about where it's okay to walk after hours.
Jimbo - I think you're missing the point of the story. Yes, people die in DC (and elsewhere, every day). I know when I wrote the initial post on Chris I said "Now it may seem strange to be writing about someone whom I didn’t know, and had only exchanged a few sentences with. I mean tens of thousands of people die every day and no one writes about them, but what struck me was that I had just spoken to him and a few hours later he was dead. "

And I think that was why the City paper decided to do a story as well. Chris came here to get a better life, to change his life, and he did it pretty much on a whim to come and live with friends as he worked his way up. He immediately sought out people, employment at a rather popular nightclub, and made an impression on the few people he did meet in his five days.

The CP did a piece on the Birdman of Dupont recently. Why was his death any more important than anyone elses? Who knows? But I found that story interesting. And the Birdman had touched a lot of people.

I think Chris' is interesting due to the sheer untimeliness of it all. Had he moved here, worked here, and lived here for a number of years before dying then it probably wouldn't be a story, but coming here to change your life and dying (of whatever reason) a mere few days later -is- a story, at least in my opinion. I do know that Chris' friends in Bakersfield greatly appreciate the fact that DC cared enough to write about someone that, to a person, they all felt was just an amazing guy. You can read their comments on the BYT article. I think that the City Paper showed a lot of class in covering Chris's death (and his life).

My opinion and worth what you paid for it.
This was a decent story at best, it lacked enough depth and relevance in my POV to be a cover story. And the story perhaps should have been held up until we learn what really happened. Was he really beaten randomly or was he buying drugs? Did he die because of his injuries or did he overdose on drugs? I think we need to have more information before publishing this type of story, especially a cover story.

That being said, this story is a sad commentary on the DC police, EMS and Washington. The area of Adams Morgan certainly needs to be cleaned up and the police need to launch a major crack down on crime throughout the city.

I am not sure what the problem is and why criminals continue to haunt good hard working people in this city. I won't accept that the bad economy is too blame, as it is hard to believe any person who could be gainfully employed would commit nasty crimes and murders.

In my NE neighborhood there has a been an increase in violent crimes. This goes along with petty theft and drug dealing and all around bad manners such as littering, spitting, leaving around dirty condoms and countless other things that display a lack of concern for the good residents.

No doubt, part of the issue is the continued War on Drugs that makes it profitable for criminals to sell drugs and addicts to commit crimes in order to get drugs. I think legalizing drugs in this city and distributing them through the government would solve some of the serious violence problems. And this is another issue the story could provoke people to discuss.

Aside from the typical sociological excuses, it is clear the police are not doing their jobs well enough. Good hard working residents need to be protected from the fucking losers, yes the FUCKING LOSERS who prey on them.
Why on earth is some homeless junkie dying because he overdosed on someone's couch considered news?

His story changed so often because he was LYING, not because he was suffering ill-effects from his assault. I don't think we'll ever know what happened between him and the people he bought the drugs from.

Sure hope Shitty Paper bothers to do a follow-up when the toxicology results come back. Somehow I doubt they will when the guy's blood is full of smack and who knows what else.

Another douche and waste of (a lot) of skin is dead. Who besides his hagiographers give a shit?
Reading through some of the comments that were left about this article it's quite clear that most of you didn't know Chris personally. This 300 lb., tatted up, rough looking guy was the biggest teddy bear I think I have ever met. His life and his death have touched the hearts of an enormous amount of people...some who knew him and some who didn't. He as many of us are, was haunted by his own personal demons but was intelligent enough and strong enough to want to make a better life for himself and get on the right track. It's just too ironic that he decided to move to a new state for a fresh start at life and then a few days later his life was tragically taken away. No matter who he was, his life was meaningful and no less important than some guy who makes 6 figures on Wall St. and his story deserves to be told. Those of us in Bakersfield who had taken the time to get to know Chris and what a great guy he was, will miss him greatly. Thank you to to the Washington City Paper for taking the time to tell Chris' story.
i read this on the way to work and have been mulling it over all day. my impressions:

first, that this guy was surely likable, lovable, charming and fun
secondly, that he was likely not the most honest fella on the planet.

i don't know the guy, but i have had in recent years, many a friend/acquaintance with addiction troubles. They are often wonderful people in every way except for their uncontrolled addictive behaviors. all bets are off when they are in a cycle of need. they can become wildly deceptive, unrelaible, irritable, and nutty. that's the way it goes. its a hard thing to live with or even get your head around, but its true.

also, he was a big guy, but with an "effeminate voice". okay, so he looked tough but wasn't. he was therefore a target. he probably knew this, had dealt with it many times (prison?!). so the email to the ex-gf? the tale he told the roommate? reworked stories that made him look better-- he could maybe get some pity points with his ex, could justify why he'd had the crap kicked out of him to his male peers (they had a gun in my mouth!) not passing judgement, just saying. he wanted people to like him, so he didn't want to look like a sissy. granted, there were likely some methadone issues with his clarity, but not enough to justify the tale he told.

my two cent detective theory is this: he was drunk, he was hurting from withdrawl and he tried to buy some drugs off the wrong guy. he got the crap kicked out of him, went home, had a cry and sent some drama email, then he took enough vicodan to knock out a horse, and he ended up all Heath Ledger.

it sucks, and i am sorry it happened, but i wonder why CP didn't wait to run the story until the tox report came back..
David, did you know Chris Savage? I'm guessing not. You shouldn't judge someone on their past, especially if they are making an attempt to change. I'm sure you've made mistakes in your lifetime, I have, everyone has. No one's perfect. Chris Savage was a very nice person, maybe if you would have met him before he died, you would have thought differently.
Here's to two of the biggest assholes i have the great pleasure of never having to actually meet!

David. If you plan on checking back to see what kind of shit your ignorant comment stirred up (as you probably have nothing better to do), get ready to be associated with the term DOUCHE BAG quite a bit.
DOUCHE BAG DAVE. See? You'll get used to it...

Amy. Ok, maybe you aren't so much of an asshole. Thanks for reading this article on your way to work and mulling over it all day. It looks like you had plenty of time to develop your two cent detective theory, which i guess only came off as asshole-ish. Perhaps if you happen to get the shit beat out of you senseless in the future you'll be able to recall where you had your last latte that day or whatever. Just saying.

Chris was very loved, problems or not, and no one's jackass comments or opinions will change that for those of us who actually knew him.
Look, I'm sorry for what happened to this guy; he seems like a basically decent guy with problems, a lot like many I've known. Drugs will do that.

But. The article is simply crappy reporting. I had the same reactions as many of the other posters as I was reading the article. What a shame he didn't know about that little pocket of darkness behind the community center (we call it "the doughnut hole"). My God, how could the police just drop him on a couch to leave him to die, without even calling an ambulance? That's awful.

Then I get to the last couple of paragraphs, and it turns out the guy almost certainly ODed. That doesn't make his death OK. But it makes the reporting that went earlier misleading and irresponsible. This is not burying the lead. It's cutting it up, burning it, and pouring concrete over the ashes. I find it disrespectful to take stories like this and try to dress up what really happened, instead of facing reality head on and saying that this person was valued despite all his imperfections. And whether or not you agree with that, it's surely bad journalism.

This story may get you free drinks at the Black Cat, but it doesn't make you a good reporter.
okay.. let me clarify to namecallers everywhere.

i worked as a toxicological tech at the nyc office of the medical examiner for ten years. here's how it goes: alcohol and painkillers-- bad idea. methadone, painkillers, alcohol-- worse idea. in large enough amounts they can cause the respiratory centers of the brain to malfunction and caridac arrest to ensue. looking at the scant evidence offered from the DC ME, there was no physical trauma that would have been sufficient for death.

that's why i wondered why CP hadn't waited for the report. it looks like they wanted to skew the readership into deep emotional response and not play up the facts. this seems like bias-- if a Hill lobbysist or bigshot financier died in similar circumstances, i doubt CP would have kept the cause of death outta the story. no indie cred with that.

second, i lost my fiancee to a methadone, xanax and vicodan overdose 5 years ago. i identify with Savage's ex. i got literally THOUSANDS of notes, emails, phone calls with a similar begging tone for help. i can't tell you how many times the guy tried to turn his life around. he, like Savage, moved multiple times and depended on the goodwill of others. he was also smart and lovable. i miss him everyday, but that doesn't change the fact that he was a junkie. he lied so much and so skillfully there was no possible method to figure out what was true. even when i heard of his death, i wasn't convinced it wasn't just another story he had cooked up and convinced friends to lay on me for sympathy. you just get worn out. you have to walk away. its horrible, but its self-preservation. my heart goes out to the people who know what im talking about.

and, to Savage's hosts-- bless you. you are definitely kind, good hearted people. maybe someone should set up a paypal donation find to get you a new sofa or vacation. you fucking deserve it.
im just "all Heath Ledger" a term the nyc medical examiner office uses frequently?!and having lost someone to possibly the same circumstances,you feel entitled to judge this man?!youre far from perfect,thats obvious,none of us are...but have some respect for people who lost someone very special and keep your pseudo professional opinions and bitter feelings to yourself...
facts are facts... and here they are as CP represented them.

guy with a drug habit
guy who was drunk and disoriented
300lb prison tatted ex con who was attacked
refused medical help
the story of the attack changed
ended up dead next to a bottle of vicodan
medical examiner can find no cause of trauma sufficient for death, despite external bruises
toxicology report pending

if someone dies due to a cause you don't like, that doesn't make them any less dead. nor does it make them any less missable or any less loved, all denial of why he is dead aside.

come on-- the CP was totally leading the reader down the primrose path with this one. they painted Savage as some kind of innocent fanboy bumpkin, who got attacked in the big, bad city. and then it turns out that he is likely an OD, but they skim over that part, pointing fingers at cops. this was not an 8th grader lost on a field trip.

as to the Heath Ledger-ness of it, well, those of us who work with corpses 24/7 do develop the gallows humor. you'd be surprised. but i guess you aren't a forensic toxicologist, so it probably comes off as rude. coping mechanism, you know?

and the defensiveness, personal attacks, etc., notwithstanding, your pal is gone. sorry for that. but denial isn't gonna help.

if he died as a result of the attack, the tox report will vindicate you. if not, it will give you some clarity on why mixing substances is a bad bad idea.

either way, are you gonna feel better? is he gonna come back?

is CP gonna do a better story someday?
This story basically tells you the incorrect way to deal with a drug problem. Trading the needle for triple shots of Makers Mark in not going to lead you down a different path. Physical relocation does not help, a drug problem follows you wherever you go.
If these people surrounding this guy were true "friends" then they would have gotten this guy into a treatment facility rather than a job at a bar.
Drug addiction, if untreated, only leads to three places: Jail, Institutions, or Death.
The outcome of this story, though tragic, comes as no suprise.
This is a very sad story. I do believe that the painkillers he was on definitely contributed to his Death. Nevertheless, this poor guy got mugged in Adams Morgan. That is what is so troubling.

We need to do more for this neighborhood and we need to do it now. I say more cameras to keep eyes out in areas where we cant always have cops!
I agree with Alex. You really shouldn't be drinking any sort of alcohol when trying to get off drugs. It just leads you back to your drugging ways. However, I can see Chris had no real employment prospects other than a bar and he had to do what he had to do to make money in a new city. Props to him for trying to find a life here by the way.

All that said, I feel bad for Chris. I've struggled with addiction and thru the grace of god, AA, NA, friends and family, have nineteen years sobriety and am working my ass off in year twenty the same way I did during day one and that's not picking up a drink of drug just for today. I'll deal with tomorrow when tomorrow comes.

RIP Chris.
This guy isn't the first or last mugging victim in Adams Morgan. Several of my friends have been held at gun point forced to withdrawal the maximum amount from the nearest ATM. Cameras are necessary. Something needs to be done.
What I dont understand is why people like Amy and Dave are making comments like that?? What purpose does it serve?? Does it make you feel better to put someone down who is no longer with us? This story is mostly for Chris's friends and family to better understand what happened. This is a great story. Is it sad that you dont have anything better to do than put down a man that we all love and miss very much. To us he was not a "300lb prison tatted ex con who was attacked" or "some homeless junkie dying because he overdosed on someone's couch" he was our friend or family member! Chris was an amazing friend who could always make you laugh or care enough to give the shirt off his back even if that was the only possession he had left. It is sad that you would continue to make ignorant comments knowing that Chris's friends and family is reading this. The last thing they need to read right now is your ignorant comments about someone you dont know and never will. Although I agree that everyone has a right to their own opinion but come on now....find something better to do with your time. To Chris...we all love you man and hope you have found peace! Rest in peace!
i thought this was a great story and i applaud the city paper and the authors. none of the commenters seem to appreciate that it is a mystery why he died and that makes for good reading. the charges that the article is manipulative or poorly researched are unfair. there was something very voyeuristic about the article, and i think that's why i enjoyed it so much. its enthralling to learn about how this guy that i've never met makes friends, finds a job, and then dies.

once i finished, i was thinking over the different explanations - was it the mugging? a cyst? a relapse? i hope that the city paper runs a follow up article once more information becomes known. i'm fascinated!
The reason people like David and Amy make the comments they do is- as Amy acknowledged- a coping mechanism. You find out (again) how scary the world is, and rather than fully accept that, you blame the victims. Ex cons/drug addict/drifters get mugged, stupid people who wander in Adams Morgan (you would think this was Anacostia ppl, not NW!)) get beat up, sluts get raped, and etc. You will hear it everytime sometime bad happens. As per this logic, so long as you aren't a drug user, drifter, ex con, etc. you are safe. But you can't label and blame your way to safety. Chris was a person, no worse than you, who met an unfortunate end. Should you be that unfortunate one day, it would provide your grieving loved ones a measure of peace and placement in this sometimes horrific world to know that some people saw your humanity and chose to miss it, chose to remember it, chose to grieve together. If you have any comments beyond that, I don't think anyone involved is really listening.

I'm really sorry about what happened to you, man. I hope the people that did this pay dearly.
For what it's worth, I agree with Amy. This fellow met an unfortunate end, but how he got there, in many ways, was his own doing. Toxicology reports are pending, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it's not the beating that did him in. I guess we shall see.
"David, did you know Chris Savage? I'm guessing not. You shouldn't judge someone on their past, especially if they are making an attempt to change. I'm sure you've made mistakes in your lifetime, I have, everyone has. No one's perfect. Chris Savage was a very nice person, maybe if you would have met him before he died, you would have thought differently."

That's nice, dear, but that doesn't make this a news story. Lots of nice people die all the time, every day and for various reasons... most for less self-caused reasons that your heroin-addict teddy-bear hero, ya know? Great vanity piece for the author that should have been circulated among his friends. Doesn't belong on the front page of any newspaper, even the DC Shitty Paper.

Why should we care that another drug-addict was struck by violence, lied about it, and then died?
"This story is mostly for Chris's friends and family to better understand what happened."

Great, then why is ink being wasted in a "news" paper? It's not news, it's for his friends and family which is only, what, .000001% of the population of City Paper readers.

Nobody else gives a rats ass why another homeless, jobless, lying drug addict died. I'm just glad he was never sucking at the government tit on some tax-payer funded program for his self-caused problems.
Oh, and P.S. if you wanted to keep this to a "poor, Chris, alas I knew him so well, what a lovable guy" circle-jerk, then you should have kept the story from a public newspaper. It's not your own private little mourning space, mkay?
hey David-

why do you read the City Paper if you hate it so much? Or spend time dissing the reporters and their stories?

don't be such a hater.
i agree with David, how this made the cover of a paper in a city that just bosted 4 homicides in 4 hours, baffles me. Oh because it was Adams Morgan and not Anacostia as someone said? The city paper is attempting to put too many diffrent angles on the piece,when in fact, it appears that it was savage who did savage in. Not the "mean streets of Adam's Morgan". RIP to Savage, and everyone else who is passed in Dc in 2008
In the past 8 years or so since I have been reading CP, this chroncle of one's life lost took my breath away. Living on Conn and Florida for 5 years prior to 9/11, we moved 5 years ago to NC to escape the city and drama of AM and surrounding areas.

For those not familiar with second chances, rehab, and whatnot, you make life what you can. This beautifully written depiction was enough to have me stop what I am doing and comment about the sadness of reailty, the beautiful art of writing, and rememberence of a soul who graced the lives of many.

I feel sad for those who bashed his life after the fact-this isn't about you people, it is about a man named Christopher Savage and his "try" to become normal like eveyone else.

The CP has begun publishing avant garde' work of late and I check in every week to keep reading. I am pleased to be privvy to such personal and heartfelt emotions. Thank you for keeping it real.

My thoughts to the family.
Hey David, Rants n Raves called. Craigslist is low on hate- baters and needed you to report in ASAP.
David: How can you people make such ugly comments about this guy? Regardless of how he chose to live his life, he brought harm to himself, and possibly pain to his family and friends. It could be you, your child or sibling someday. Don't judge him like that. I doubt that you are flawless, probably miserable within, or so it seems. Isn't there any mercy anymore. We are surrounded by some ruthless people, and as we all know, we will be judged someday! He was probably a very nice, happy guy! I didn't know him but have been around people who had life battles. Haven't you? Allow him to rest in peace! God bless all of his friends and family.
David, you're a shitty person. The main difference between you and Chris Savage? Despite his drug addiction, hard living, hard drinking homeless couch-serving lifestyle, he'd never stoop to saying such shitty shitty things about another person, especially one who died while trying to turn their life around.

Congratulations! You're a douchebag.
Although Chris and I are very different, I relate to his story and understand the mixture of hope, exhilaration, disorientation, and loneliness he felt during his short time in DC. I am a 48 year old professional woman who came to DC in January when, like Chris, I ended a relationship. Unlike Chris, I have resources to rent a nice place, a job I love that allows me both to travel and work from home, and family here in DC. Still, I often feel a loss of "place" - of home.

Obviously, I don't know if Chris was using drugs the night he died. Whatever else was happening with him, it looks like he also was suffering literally with homesickness - a very real condition documented as far back as 1678. Homesickness, and what Ernesto DeMartino (philosopher, archeologist) calls "territorial anguish" comes in part from literally losing sight of familiar surroundings, and their associated cultural codes. The Italian word De Martino used to describe this, "spaesato" spawned the common phase "spaced out". Making new friends and finding a job at The Black Cat were all very productive means to create bearings for himself in his new city. For whatever other poor judgement or addictions Chris might have had, he was taking action to reorient his life to a stable point - making the last message left by Chris to his friends - "I'm lost man. Call me if you can" - even more poignant.

People in transition are in a vulnerable state of mind and body - this is probably one reason we recognize that "change" is so difficult for many, even when we initiate it and even when we know it is the best thing for us. Yet America was built on the willingness of many to give up the known for the unknown, which makes the story of Chris Savage more universal than it might first appear.

I'm very sorry Chris did not have a longer time to adjust to his new surroundings and establish a new life. My condolences to his family and friends who loved him.

Elle Allison
The man and all of his friends, family and acquaintances have my deepest sympathy.

I don't care whether the CP wrote the story in such a way to distract from the likelihood of an OD that night; it was still a touching story. Chris Savage sounds like someone you don't forget after meeting. Some addicts are just shells of people. Others fight for dear life every day. Chris sounds like the latter. Good for him for trying. RIP.
I feel sorry for his family and friends. I wish them well. Rest in Peace, Chris!
are you thinkin' what I'm thinkin'?

Could it be the H word....
So the heroin-addicted "teddy bear" goes to live with Sweaty Sid and his Nancy (love the picture of the greasy boy) and dies of a heroin overdose soon after falling on the wagon (amazing what a pocket full of money does to your resolve). Gee, one less button and patch wearin' hip loser in DC and at The Black Cat. Real front page news there. Losers.

I guess his buddies were too broke from buying bumps of H and some Pabst Blue Ribbon (and, of course, new buttons) to have a wake of their own, so they wasted the pages of City Paper to do it.

Nice artilcle. Keep it up.....
This last Christmas was the best one I ever had. Chris was there.
But I know for sure...I will never forget last Christmas. It was what I allways thought Christmas should be
I will cherish it forever.
Chris I am glad I know there is a heaven..that's what comforts me and my family...when we get there...we are gonna run and not walk..and knock you over with the biggest hug you ever seen.

Chris was not a loser.
Sure, it's a story about this one man trapped in addiction and lost hopes. But it's larger than that. What is happening to our fellow men and women? If we don't face the threats in this society, then we never wake up to the fact that we should do something about them, something effective. Sure, we can coast along and make sure WE are doing ok, that we have food and a roof over our heads and ignore the aspects of society that drag down someone weaker, less wise or less fortunate than ourselves. A story like this is both a bio of a man and a window to the soul of the society and country we live in. In this case, better rehab than methadone needs to be available. People who get trapped like Chris did need tools they can use to stay drug-free when that's what they want. I've spent the majority of my 37 adult years working in the non-profit sector, trying to make these changes, so my money is already where my mouth is.
I would just like to say that is is and tragic story.Regardless of his backgroud he is still a person even tho i didn't know him personally, but it seems to me he was tryin to get his life together and the key thing that proves this to me is that in less than a wk he found wrk and i know plp who have never been addicted to hard drugs and have been living in the District their whole life who have been out of wrk for months..

As a young black male who has been living in DC all of my life and is familiar w/ the streets and things that go on in the Streets of DC and have attended events in and around the Adams Morgan area regardless of how many police patrol that area friday-saturday it is still not safe and Adams Morgan is an HotSpot for Robberies and Assaults. This isnt the first and i doubt it will be the last time we hear about the dangers of Adams Morgan.

My Heart goes out to his friends and family

Also u insensitive plp out there who left negative comments on this article what is ur purpose?.. u have no rite to speak on a person u never knew..u have ur rite to an opiniton thats it,But if u couldnt say nething positive or uplifing for his friends and family y not keep it to yourself...sumone lost their life and all u can do is judge him for is past..So wat if the city paper decided that his story was worth being told let it be... write the editor or the writer. His friends r probly reading this. what if this was an relative of yours.would u like to read that plp are bad mouthing someone dear to u because of his or her bkground. And i bet that u ones who did come negative wouldnt even step foot in the Black Cat nevertheless wrk there and trust u are the same ones scared to even come out to Adams Morgan after dark or anywhere else in the District when the street lights come on.KEEP THE NEGATIVE TO YOURSELF!!!!
I would love to say I have ignored most of the comments on this article, but I haven't. I was a host of Chris Savage and he was a great guy. I don't understand why so many people decided to re-act in such a negative way to this article. Maybe their own substance abuse issues with themselves or with their family's? I don't know. I wish there was a reason that justified the pussy anonymous opinions left for a friend. I will tell anyone who wants to hide behind their bitch comments on the web that you can come and have a conversation to my face and I will take you down a notch. Chris was obviously a much better person than you will ever be.
And for 'Anrey'- Your mother obviously did not raise you very well and if you want me to break you down to your level the article shows where I work... come and see me.
To everyone who understood this article- You know life is a very fragile thing, love it and appreciate everything you have.Thanks for the support to Chris' beloved friends and family.
We heard about an article that was written as a "tribute," but I could only read a few lines before I realized that it would have been better that this article had not been written at all. Although there may have been good intentions, this was more of a disservice to him and his family. I agree with even those who left negative comments - why sensationalize this publicly, and then leave the option for comments and opinions to be left by people who are in no position to really do so?

My family and I, to this day, continue to grieve for Chris. He was a loved son, brother and friend. It breaks our heart to come across articles, such as these, that paint his last days so dark. It would be more of a service and greatly appreciated if this article would be removed.
Chris was a VERY good friend. He had been through a lot and was always eager to lend a listening ear or a couch to crash on. He'd give his friends the shirt off his back if it was his last possession on this Earth. I miss seeing him in front of the Mint. Last time I saw him was in front of borders in bakersfield when he was with Sabrena and I was with a few friends. He talked about the army, how much he loved Sabrena, how they met... Borders closed before they even got to go in because we had so much catching up to do. I miss that man.
ANREY... how dare you.

By the grace of god... there goes I. There are more people that get fingers POINTED AT THEM than there are who point fingers. how fortunate of you, jerk. Everyone has a different type of glass house. Good luck living in your own because it's obvious you're miserable
ALSO... I was friends with Chris, and it's nice to hear what happened from a source other than Bakersfield gossip. It provides a little more closure than what I had before, thank you City Paper, this meant a lot.
To all you people who found it so easy to write chris off as if he had no value as a person i really wish i had your squeaky clean blame free life of perfection and was surrounded by your infallible and immortal friends and family. I can only hope when one of your perfect friends or family members loses their life you get the chance to hear strangers that never met them refer to them as a "junkie" "loser" or worse, in the meantime enjoy the view your glass houses

And you are still greatly loved and missed, Savage. <3
I was the housemate of Chrs's, Kore's and Todd's in Portland Oregon during the 90's and knew him well. I am also from the Patch on the map we call BAKO and know the scene. Mr. Savage was the life of all our nights out in PDX and is still missed up here. I have to say speaking from experience it is a tragic loss and whatever the toxicology reports say about Chris I don,t care, addiction is no joke and it is a life long battle for us all. R.I.P Sav-Whaaaa.....
In case any one reads this, 5 years after the fact, I want to mention that response from 59, Tolson, is dead as well.. I, like many new Cris for a long time, and I have a ton of crazy stories about the wild times we had in Bako, and L.A...The last time I saw him in person, he was leaving my house. He was staying for a while, he was our bro, and he was trying to get it together... He didn't have it together, and after a month or so, he moved on to try to get it together some where else..Then I moved far away to get away from the Cali scene... and as time passes like it does, I got the news... He was a gentlemen with a monkey on his back. Life has all types of people and combinations of different aspects mixed into one person.. that was Chris. It is amazing that this became a big story and I as of this writing just found out about these articles..The question is, why doesn't this and other similar stories get the public pissed off enough to start doing something about the rampant crime in the u.s. and even worse in our capital...There are more people who deserve a really shit death worse than Chris..That man was not capable of hurting a fly, just himself...

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