The Wire family has lost another one. Nathan Barksdale, the inspiration behind several characters in the beloved HBO drama, passed away on Saturday at 54 years old.
According to the Chicago Tribune, he died in a federal medical prison in North Carolina while serving a nearly four-year sentence for drugs. In the’80s, he ran a heroine-dealing operation under the nickname "Bodie" which saw him get shot 20 times leading to amputation of his right leg below the knee. He was also sentenced to 15 years in a federal prison for torturing three people in an apartment in the early ‘80s.
He went on to leave the criminal world behind, working with the anti-violence Safe Streets program. His story would later inspire central characters on The Wire including the drug kingpin Avon Barksdale and a dealer named "Bodie" Broadus.
Unfortunately, he didn’t stay away from the criminal world forever. Barksdale was busted by the Drug Enforcement Administration after a wiretap investigation in 2014 and pleaded guilty. He admitted to relapsing and feeding his heroin addiction once again.
This loss comes three months after Melvin Williams, the former drug kingpin who also inspired bits of The Wire and even appeared in a few episodes, passed away at 73 years of age.