Today, in news designed to make us all go, “Ugh, that’s a rough one, even for Halloween”: A one-handed actor who appeared on a recent episode of Better Call Saul has publicly confessed to cutting off his own limb, and not losing it during military service, as he’d previously claimed. Local New Mexico actor Todd Latourette—who played a character named “Skell” on the fifth episode of the current season of BCS—says he cut his hand off 17 years ago during a psychotic break, but has used the injury in recent years to drum up sympathy from casting directors to help further his career.
“I severed my hand with a skill saw,” Latourette—who’s also appeared in bit parts on Longmire and The Messengers—told his local news station, adding, perhaps unnecessarily, “The state of my mind was a psychotic episode.” He says he later cauterized the wound himself, and states that he’s coming forward with the truth in order to serve as a cautionary tale for people living with mental illness: Take your meds, please.
Meanwhile, much of the coverage of Latourette’s confession in right-leaning media environments has focused on the “stolen valor” aspect of the story, because apparently falsely claiming to be a veteran is more shocking to people than a dude going full Evil Dead 2 on his own fucking hand. It’s worth noting, then, that a), Latourette made it clear he knows he’s destroying his own career by coming forward with this now, and is apparently doing it to assuage his own guilt and spread a message about he dangers of untreated illness, and b), anyone whose condition has progressed to the point where it’s causing them this degree of self-harm probably deserves some sympathy from people, regardless of their service record.