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Think Out Loud

Documenting The Life And Death Of James Chasse

Pete Springer/OPB

James Chasse was not a name most people knew before he died — at least most people unfamiliar with the early punk rock scene in Portland. Chasse suffered from mental illness, but filmmaker Brian Lindstrom told me that his death in police custody did not reflect a failure of the mental health system. On the contrary, Chasse was in many ways a success story — at least, before his death. Rather, Lindstrom says, the tragedy involves failures on a bigger and more disturbing scale.  

How closely did you follow the case of James Chasse, his death, and the subsequent lawsuit and federal investigation that followed? What questions do you have for documentary filmmaker Brian Lindstrom about Alien Boy?

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