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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Greg Reeves

Reeves

I have some sad news to pass along this morning: Greg Reeves, who founded Crime Scene KC, passed away during the night. We were just told a short time ago. Greg had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, what people used to call Lou Gehrig's Disease. He left The Star in March because of the illness.

His obituary is available here.

There are other people who knew Greg better, but I want to point out a couple of things. There wouldn't be a Crime Scene KC without Greg. He built one of the best, largest blogs in the state with a fantastically loyal, friendly readership -- and won awards while doing it. Nobody had done this particular job before, so Greg had to cut his own path. He was a pioneer.

Before he started blogging, Greg was an integral part of The Star's investigative journalism team. He knew databases and computer-assisted reporting better than anybody in our organization. Without his work, several important stories -- stories that informed the public and helped hold public officials to account -- never would have happened. His work was a major part of The Star's 1992 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.

The last time I saw Greg was several weeks ago, when we went to lunch. By that point, the disease had a noticeable effect on him, and he had a difficult time moving his arms. Despite dealing with a terrible illness, though, he remained upbeat. Bragged about his kids. Cracked some dumb jokes. That positivity is characteristic of the entire time I knew him. Whenever I needed help, he consistently encouraged me. Even after he left The Star, he was always willing to field a phone call and answer questions. He was a good friend.

My life would have been a lot poorer if I hadn't known him. And I suspect that's true for a lot of people out there today.

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