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Scott Christianson, PhD - Renowned Investigative Journalist, Author, Colleague and FriendMarianne Skolek-Perez, Salem-News.com Investigative Reporter
His investigative reporting helped to gain the release of 12 wrongfully convicted prisoners and end the death penalty in New York and New Jersey
(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) - Last week, I was notified of the death of Scott Christianson and once the sheer shock wore off, it was replaced with my deep desire to pay tribute to my unique friend.
As a child, I remember a publication entitled "Reader's Digest" being in big supply at an aunt's house. She would read me something called "My Most Incredible Character" from the Digest. Little did I know that I would one day meet my very own most incredible character by the name of Scott Christianson.
Several years ago, I received an email from Scott asking if we could talk about the opioid epidemic. Thus began a working relationship involving emails and telephone calls evolving into meetings in Washington, DC, Silver Spring, Maryland and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
I shared with him contact information for attorneys and government officials I had the good fortune of being associated with over my 15 years of exposing pharma, elected officials, non-profit organizations and the FDA in their culpability involving the opioid epidemic.
Although Scott never dwelt on his impressive and diversified writing and lecture career, as our working relationship grew I knew his investigative reporting helped to gain the release of 12 wrongfully convicted prisoners and end the death penalty in New York and New Jersey.
A link to Scott's obituary is shown here for those not familiar with his being considered one of the top 20 investigative journalists in the country: Scott Christianson.
Over the years, we had a practice of referring to individuals and organizations in the opioid epidemic as "black hats" (bad guys) or "white hats" (good guys). There were times when we realized that "white hats" had at times switched allegiance and donned "black hats."
One evening we were meeting some officials for dinner outside Washington, DC and the evening was going better than we expected. Scott leaned over to me and said "too bad this can't last longer." I whispered back to him "it will if we order coffee and dessert."
There was an honesty and integrity involved with knowing and being associated with Scott. He was the "real deal" and wanted to make a difference in the lives of many. I was honored to be working with him.
We very seldom talked about our personal lives, but over dinner one night outside Philadelphia he told me how proud he was of his family -- no detail -- just a sincere smile and a pride.
I told him that my husband was a pastor and I would often say to him "you are sending people to heaven and I am sending them to hell." Scott knew my determination to expose those individuals and organizations responsible for the catastrophic death toll to prescription opioids. I knew he shared my determination.
In one of our conversations last year, I told Scott that the medical center I had worked for in New Jersey as a nurse had a real life "angel of mercy" who had killed several patients. I had the book written about the nurse and Scott asked if I could mail it to him -- which I did.
As a gift to me, Scott returned the favor by mailing me a signed copy of his book "Bodies of Evidence - Forensic Science and Crime." Inscribed on the first page was "For Marianne & Lou, Who have heaven & hell covered, all best wishes in the fight for good & justice, Scott Christianson 16 Dec 2016" I will treasure that book for the rest of my life.
One of the newspaper articles regarding Scott's death said his most recent book project looked at the opioid crisis and the contributing role played by drug companies. "He was going to blow the lid off of all of them", it said.
Yes Scott, the lid will be blown off all of them as you look down from heaven wearing the biggest white hat imaginable.
Scott Christianson, PhD as big as life and a true "most incredible character" to a mankind needing to have a warrior fight for them. Rest in peace my friend - I will never forget you.
#RIPScottChristianson #ScottChristianson #Accountability #EndBigPharma #TruthWillOut
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