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Hoarders: from Reality TV to Reality

by Howard Gerber on September 13, 2012

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Hoarders: from Reality TV to Reality

Hoarding isn’t a new condition. In 1947, a pair of brother achieved legend status by starving to death amid piles of possession in a New York brownstone. Homer and Langley Collier were the last elderly remnants of a wealthy Manhattan family. They moved to a fashionable Harlem neighborhood in 1909, and as the neighborhood lost its cachet and transitioned downward, the brothers sank into increasingly reclusive and paranoid behavior. In the end, Langley was killed in an avalanche of trash while bringing Homer dinner, and bedridden Homer starved to death. There have been others, some famous, some not, usually considered, kindly, to be eccentric. Still, it was rare enough to be largely unknown. [continue reading…]