How Do You Mourn The Death Of "Glee" Star Mark Salling, A Convicted Sex Offender, Who Has Just Committed Suicide?
For the stars and fans of hit musical TV series Glee, January marks another sudden death of one of its cast members. Mark Salling was found dead on Tuesday, January 30, with police reports stating that the 35-year-old appears to have hung himself from a tree in a secluded area near his Los Angeles home.
The actor who played Noah "Puck" Puckerman in all six seasons of Glee was reported missing by a family member at about 3am on Tuesday. The LAPD was notified as his family feared he may harm himself again, given his history of depression and suicide. The police eventually found his lifeless body in Big Tujunga Creek, where his black Nissan Infiniti was still parked on the side of the road.
Mark's Glee co-stars and colleagues took to social media to express their grief over his passing. Matthew Morrison posted an Instagram photo of the two of them with Cory Monteith, another Glee actor who died of an overdose in 2013, while vocal arranger Tim Davis called him a "broken man," and Jane Lynch shared she was struggling with the news in a TMZ interview.
While many of the people Mark had worked with shared a sense of loss, others are on the opposite side of the spectrum because of his disturbing past.
In December 2015, Mark was arrested for possessing thousands of thousands of pornographic material depicting minors, some as young as three, engaged in sexual acts. At least 50,000 pornographic videos and photos were found on his laptop, and another 4,000 were saved onto a flash drive. He was eventually released on a $20,000 bail.
It was because of this that other people, including some of his co-stars, found it difficult to pay tribute to his memory.
Glee's Finneas O'Connell said, "I don't feel sorry for him. Only sorry for his fans" over Twitter, while many others said they would rather share their compassion for the children in those photos and videos and their families.
I’m not defending Mark Salling in any way. I’m not even taking a pity on him. But that doesn’t change the fact that his death just feels odd. Glee was once a huge phenomenon show and a major part of millions of people. Puck was part of it. Then we discovered that Salling is definitely not good person. Then we discovered that he had died. It’s sad. Not in a mourning sad way, but more of in a tragic ending sad. RIP MARK SALLING
After admitting to possessing illegal pornographic material, Mark was banned from coming within 100 feet of schoolyards, parks, public swimming pools, playgrounds, and video arcade venues, and restricted from verbally or electronically communicating with children under 18 of years of age without their parent or guardian present. He was also required to register as a sex offender and enroll in a treatment program.
The actor was deeply affected by the events and fell into a deep depression that made it necessary for him to seek psychiatric help. In October 2017, after months of lengthy legal battles in court, Mark slit both his wrists but was rushed to the hospital in time to save his life. His first suicide attempt took place a few days before he would formally agree to a plea bargain in court for his case. The plea bargain would have sentenced him to serve four to seven years of jail time, along with the other conditions mentioned above.
Just three months after his first suicide attempt, Mark succeeded in taking his own life. He was pronounced dead on arrival, but official autopsy results are still pending. More information has yet to surface regarding the circumstances surrounding his death.
Given his past and his tragic death, is there truly any right or wrong way to mourn his passing? Mark is survived by both his parents and brother.