The son of legendary New York City police whistleblower Frank Serpico has died of an apparent drug overdose inside his Manhattan apartment. He was 41.
Police were called on Monday afternoon to a luxury condominium building in the heart of the Financial District, where they discovered Alexander Serpico unresponsive. He was pronounced dead a short time later.
Drug paraphernalia was said to have been found near Serpico’s body in his apartment on the 21st floor at 75 Wall Street.
Alexander was the only child of retired NYPD detective Frank Serpico, 85, whose heroic work exposing crooked cops saw him labelled a rat and left to die by his fellow officers after he was shot in the face by drug dealers.
His life was later immortalized in 1973 film Serpico, starring Al Pacino as the defiant cop whistleblower.
Police have not said how long Serpico had been dead before the apartment building manager accessed his unit and made the grim discovery, reported New York Daily News.
The city medical examiner’s office will determine Serpico’s official cause of death.
A graduate of the School of Visual Arts, Serpico worked as a film editor specializing in movie trailers, television promos and commercials.
According to his IMDB page, he worked as an editor on NBC’s Saturday Night Live between 2009-2014.
While the younger Serpico appears to have lost his life to drugs, his father spent his life fighting crime and corruption in New York City’s police force.
Alexander Serpico, 41, was discovered lying face down in bed in his Wall Street home around 1 p.m. Monday and was pronounced dead a short time later, cops said. He was the son of Frank Serpico, who famously exposed corruption within the NYPD in the late 1960s and early ’70s.. pic.twitter.com/Gtzzl7EXtx— Tony White (@TonyUbiquitymme) May 11, 2021
As a plainclothes cop in the early 1970s, Frank Serpico had dared to reject bribes and turn in dirty cops, prompting his colleagues to label him a ‘rat’ for his perceived betrayal.
As of Wednesday morning, the elder Serpico has not publicly commented on his son’s death.