"Steve" and Hannah Saunders. (June 2013)
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- It's eerie. Only a few weeks ago, WZZM 13's Hannah Saunders was under a freeway where the victim of Thursday morning's suspicious death gave her the final interview of his life.
"We live up here, we have good time, we get drunk everyday, we make our money," said Steve Spadorcia when Hannah spoke with him. He was rarely sober; it was the only way he could hold on to some happiness while living in these conditions.
"I used to have two jaguars and a three-story house. Drank it away. Drank away the wife, and drank away the job."
His nickname on the street was "The Fly." He panhandled in downtown Grand Rapids almost every day to pay for his food, cigarettes, and booze.
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"I've been homeless six years now... In and out of programs, then homeless, then programs, then homeless." Steve would get help with his addiction, but sobriety never stuck. It became such a deep-rooted problem over decades, and he could not stop it all by himself.
We asked him at the time, if this would be the way he would spend the rest of his life. "I don't know," answered Steve. I don't see it any other way. I don't have any hope right now."
It wasn't just the alcohol; Steve Spadorcia believed he needed mental help too. Instead, he found help in the money he got from panhandlers, which fed his addiction and numbed his pain until he died.
Maybe if he hadn't, we wouldn't be reporting on his death.