From 1974 to 1977 there was a program on television called, “Chico and the Man”. A young man named Freddie Prinze played the lead part.
In 1977, Freddie committed suicide. Christians were saying he went to hell. But I didn’t believe that. So I asked God to give me a vision of what happened to Freddie. He gave me a vision and spoke to me about the love and compassion he had for him…I saw Freddie on God’s lap being comforted. God said, “Not everyone can handle the things of earth.”
Jesus himself hung on a bloody cross crying out for mercy for His persecutors saying, “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.”
We as Christian need to stop judging and start seeing others through the eyes of compassion. Just as Freddie is in heaven with Jesus, so many are in heaven today because of God’s compassion. “Beloved, let us love one another. For love is of God.” 1 John 4:7
Prinze carried his Bible with him everywhere and talked to God in his diary. In his Bible, he wrote, “Dear Lord, I am not afraid to die. But please let me live until I buy my mom the house I promised her.”
In Las Vegas in August 1975, he married Katherine Cochran, with whom he had a son, Freddie Prinze, Jr. (born on March 8, 1976 in Albuquerque, New Mexico). He loved his role as a father, and his growing popularity. But all the fame had a downside to it: Freddie’s doctor put him on Quaaludes which caused him to become addicted. He was subsequently arrested in Nov. 1976 for DUI. He was a lonely kid. After he married Kathy he thought, there would be less loneliness. When she chose to divorce him, he was devastated. A manager he had fired was suing him. Although he was very successful for a 22-year-old, he had more loneliness, fear, and worries than most that age. On the day Prinze committed suicide he received divorce papers from Kathy’s lawyer demanding $25,000 in lawyers’ fees, $10,000 in court costs, $4,000 a month alimony for Kathy and $1,000 a month support for the child, as well as retention of all properties held in Kathy’s name, plus dental and medical expenses for her and the baby. All of this was retroactive to December 8, 1976. In all of it, what hurt Freddie the most was that he was restrained from going to the house except to visit Freddie Jr.
Life Unraveled Quickly for Freddie Prinze
Things were unraveling quickly for him, and he started to mention thoughts of suicide to many of his close friends and family. Freddie Prinze called his mother, friends and manager and announced that he was committing suicide. While his manager tried to stop him, he placed a .32 caliber pistol at his forehead and shot himself.
His mother Maria and father Karl were already on their way to help Freddie choose life. But they were too late. They were both shattered when they discovered their son had shot himself. Later at the hospital after a long night, surgery and being on life support at UCLA Medical Center Maria was able to talk to her son. Although he was not conscious she sat by him and talked to him saying, “Freddie, if you can hear me, I’m going to tell you something very important. Please let me know somehow if you hear me. Please let me know. Move your eyes or fingers if you hear what I am going to tell you. We all love you and we are praying for you. But there is someone else who loves you more, and that is God. Jesus is here. He’s standing next to you, Freddie. He is holding your hand. I can feel Him. No matter what the outcome is, God loves you. He saved you.”
“Freddie’s limp hand became strong, as his fingers squeezed my hand in a hard grasp. So hard that I could not take my hand away,” she said. “I was shocked. “Thank God, he hears me,” I almost shouted. “Thank God. Lord, from now on he is in Your hands. I love him. We all love him but you love more. I know You love him more!” The tears of joy were welling up. “What your decision is, Father, I accept with humility because he is Your child. I gave him to You when he was born. I always put him in Your hands. So he is in Your hands Father. Do whatever You must, but please give me the strength to go through, Lord. and please take care of Freddie” An amazing feeling of lightness came over me. For the first time since the phone call at 2:30 in the morning, I had peace. I was crying, but I felt as though my soul had been set free from its terrible weight, for I knew that God was there.”
At 10:30 that night Freddie’s heart began to fail. Maria was called into a doctors office at 1pm the next day where the doctor said, “we have done everything that can be done. We have declared him dead.” Goodnight Sweet Prince, Rest in Peace: (1954-1977)