David Mitchell, weekly editor who exposed a corrupt cult, dies at 79

His tiny California newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for its exposé of Synanon, a renowned drug rehabilitation program that had turned into a violent operation


David Mitchell, a muckraker whose tiny California newspaper challenged the violent drug rehabilitation cult Synanon and, as a result, became one of only a handful of weeklies to win a Pulitzer Prize, died on Oct. 26 at his home in Point Reyes Station, Calif., in Marin County. He was 79.

His wife, Lynn Axelrod Mitchell, said the cause was complications of Parkinson’s disease.

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