A Musical Homage to the Chronicle Crime Reporter: The Ballad of Henry K. Lee
I don’t think you have to do exactly what I do every morning to fully appreciate the video below, but it would probably help.
See, it’s my 6:30 a.m. pleasure each day to sift through a hundred or so articles from Bay Area media, culling the most important news for inclusion in our Morning Splash feature. Among the municipal affairs of state — the budgets, court decisions, and political goings-on — inevitably, included in the pool of potentially newsworthy items, is the crime reporting of the Chronicle’s Henry K. Lee.
- Man found shot to death in downtown Santa Rosa – Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer (Jun 30)
- Fairfield, CA, market owner killed in robbery – Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer (Jun 29)
- Mom, daughter guilty of murdering Dublin woman, 91 – Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer (Jun 28)
During those groggy 6:30 a.m. sessions, it’s been my indulgence to picture Mr. Lee as a Weegee-like figure, working late into the night to document the region’s noiresque underbelly. Haunted, perhaps, by things he’s seen, the places he’s been, the dark corners of minds touched by just enough madness to murder. Yet driven by an unwavering sense of professionalism — hey, it’s a job, you gotta pay the bills — he carries on, cigarettes and flask at the ready for those rare moments it all becomes just a little too much. “Just the facts, SFPD spokesperson. I’m on deadline…”
And then I’m moving on to read about the Twitter tax break or the redevelopment agency fight…
Silly, I know. But I’m not the only one who has projected onto the man-of-a-thousand-crime-scenes. Check this song by the Berkeley-based rock duo The Manna Tease.
Lyrics and more about the song here.