Art Linkletter, understandably devastated, became one of the most vocal critics of the counterculture, speaking out against drugs at every opportunity, while telling the tale of his daughter's LSD death. Dr. Timothy Leary, the LSD guru who had urged young people to "turn on, tune in, drop out," became his archenemy.
In this fascinating video from 1980, Leary is surprised on an interview show with a call from Linkletter. Listening to him scream at Leary that he "wishes he had died, or been hung" was a little disconcerting coming from someone whose public persona was that of the kindly father.
Did Art Linkletter truly believe that his daughter's death was caused by LSD or was it easier for him to view it through that prism? Did it make his burden easier to bear, believing that an outside force of some kind was responsible, and not any negligence on his part?
One thing is for certain. The story lodged itself in the public's consciousness and helped to fuel the anti-drug sentiments that led Richard Nixon to declare a War on Drugs in 1971, a seemingly unending battle that has strained our prison system and drained the nation of valuable resources.