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Ossining Series To Screen Film About Yorktown Addict

"Whispering Spirits," a film about Yorktown resident Justin Veatch, is being screened in Ossining.
"Whispering Spirits," a film about Yorktown resident Justin Veatch, is being screened in Ossining. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Whispering Spirits

OSSINING, N.Y. -- The Ossining Documentary and Discussion Series will screen a documentary on Thursday about Justin Veatch, a 17-year-old Yorktown resident who died of a heroin overdose.

The screening of "Whispering Spirits" takes place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Ossining Public Library. The film focuses on Veatch and his music career that was cut short by his overdose.

Following the film will be a discussion about heroin abuse in the area, featuring Justin's father, Jeffrey Veatch; Ellen Morehouse, the executive director of Student Assistance Services Corp.; and Rachel Snowcraft, who works for Phelps Memorial Hospital Center's Addiction Treatment Services.

"We expect this will be a special and meaningful evening -- and appropriate for so many," Suzie Ross of ODDS said. "There will be many perspectives shared."

Ross said ODDS wants to bring issues to the community and allow to be discussed in an open forum. The film hits close to home for Ross, who is friends with the mother of an addict.

"You're living life on the edge, wondering what's going to happen," Ross said. "This is happening in our backyard, and no one wants to talk about it. It happens everywhere, but it wasn't as big a deal in Westchester until recently."

Ross first heard of "Whispering Spirits" when it was screened at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville.

"Justin was a talented high school student who lost his life," Ross said. "This happened right in our backyard. I wanted a documentary that felt closer to home."

The documentary focuses on Veatch's talent and all of the music his father uncovered after he died.

"Everyone is aware and reading about this, but I want to see it discussed in Ossining on a community level," Ross said. "My friend is going through so much sadness and pain. It's just a tragedy when you can't help your child. There's no worse feeling than that."

The screening comes a week after a Croton-Harmon High School graduate overdosed on heroin and Westchester County police announced 23 people were charged with dealing heroin.

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