Richard Lee (journalist)

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Richard Lee
Born Richard Lee
1963[1]
New York, USA
Nationality American
Known for Conspiracy theories regarding Kurt Cobain

Richard Lee is an independent journalist from Seattle, Washington. He is best known for his conspiracy theories regarding the death of Kurt Cobain which he believes was a homicide. Lee was the first to make this claim. Lee is also known for his attempts at various political offices and using related events to question political figures about the investigation into Cobain's death.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

Background[edit]

Born in New York in 1963, Lee grew up in Chicago and at a young age began writing for the Chicago Reader.[1] In 1982, he wrote the article "Playing for Change." Some time after the story was published, the city council overturned the law and legalized street performances.[citation needed] Lee also wrote for the University of Washington student newspaper, The Daily.[1]

Life in Seattle[edit]

Lee moved to Seattle in the early 1990s in search of an underdeveloped political climate. He began a short-lived career with the Seattle Weekly, a local alternative paper. After leaving the Weekly, Lee began a weekly public affairs show on Public-access television cable TV, Now See It Person to Person, a homage to See It Now, the historic investigative reporting show of Edward R. Murrow.

Lee's cable television show was removed from SCAN permanently in April 2008.

Investigations into Kurt Cobain[edit]

After the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994, Lee's coverage of the death led him to fabricated information which raised questions regarding the circumstances of Cobain's end. The official police investigation, under police chief Norm Stamper, concluded that Cobain had died of an apparent suicide. Lee is one of a number of individuals who promote the belief that Cobain likely did not commit suicide, but must have been killed by someone else.

Lee changed the name of his show to Now See It Person To Person: Was Kurt Cobain Murdered?, and then to the more definitive Now See It Person To Person: Kurt Cobain Was Murdered. Since then Lee has referred to his show and his related journalism and political activities by the abbreviation KCWM. Since 1994, with occasional involuntary hiatuses, the show has aired weekly and continues to investigate the Cobain case as well as somewhat related and prominent matters of Seattle public affairs.

Lee has appeared in some documentaries about Cobain, such as the BBC's Rock Shrines and Conspiracies TV shows. Lee's confrontational style has led to frequent encounters with police officers and other local figures. Lee is protective of his film, and if confiscated, he often fights in court to have the original copy returned to him.

Politics[edit]

Lee has run for a number of political offices in Seattle. He ran for Seattle City Council in 1999, but a judge ruled him ineligible because he reused old petition signatures to get on the ballot.[14]

Mayoral run[edit]

In 2001, Lee ran for Mayor of the city of Seattle[15] against incumbent Mayor Paul Schell, but lost to Greg Nickels.[1] Lee was critical of the way Schell's office responded to the WTO protests in 1999. He was the only candidate that year to gather enough signatures to be on the ballot without having to pay the filling fee.[16]

While running for Mayor in 2001, Lee showed up to a mayoral candidates' forum in a dress. He used the opportunity to question Greg Nickels about a supposed cover-up regarding the investigation of the death of Kurt Cobain.[17]

Notable incidents[edit]

In 2000 Krist Novoselic gained a restraining order against Richard Lee, which expired in 2005.

In 2004, Lee was arrested in Los Angeles at a court hearing for Courtney Love, in which he attempted to ask questions about killing her husband. The incident was covered in entertainment media, especially on Celebrity Justice.[18]

During the 2005 campaign, Greg Nickels got a mild restraining order against Lee, citing Lee's ambush interview practices over the past years as harassive. Nickel's lawyers, employed by the city, wanted a standard 500 foot restriction from the mayor's home and workplace, which would include city hall. The judge in the case kept the home restriction, but minimized the order to one floor of city hall and to a 50 foot radius in public places and events.

Part of the motivation for the restraining order was Lee's attempt to interview the mayor at a Democratic party event in Fremont to which many Seattle residents including Lee had been invited. Lee was ejected from the grounds by the owner, but remained on the sidewalk trying to ask questions of the mayor. As the mayor was about to leave, Lee was restrained by a plainclothes police officer that Lee then allegedly kicked in the leg. Lee is currently in court over the assault, for which he has pled not guilty, maintaining that it was he who was assaulted by the officer. During pretrial hearings, he succeeded in forcing the Seattle Police Department to return the original copy of his videotape of the incident, which they had confiscated, and refused to return over concerns of publicity. In 2008 the city was ordered to return the original videotape, which Lee then aired on his program; later that year the city dropped the charges against Lee.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Brunner, Jim; Young, Bob (September 6, 2005). "Six little-known opponents facing Nickels in primary". The Seattle Times (Seattle, Washington, USA: Frank A. Blethen). ISSN 0745-9696. OCLC 9198928. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  2. ^ Campbell, Phil (2005). Zioncheck for President: A True Story of Idealism and Madness in American Politics. New York City, New York, USA: Nation Books. ISBN 978-1-56025-750-9. OCLC 61718230. 
  3. ^ Campbell, Phil (November 21, 2002). "Insane Determination. Richard Lee's Wild Ride Through Nirvana Fictions". The Stranger (Seattle, Washington, USA: Tim Keck). ISSN 1935-9004. OCLC 27341179. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  4. ^ Brunner, Jim (July 14, 2005). "Mayoral hopeful seeks to conceal donors". The Seattle Times (Seattle, Washington, USA: Frank A. Blethen). ISSN 0745-9696. OCLC 9198928. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  5. ^ Brown, Mark (May 2, 1996). "Web debate nurtures eerie Cobain murder theory". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee, Wisconsin. USA: Elizabeth Brenner). p. 122. ISSN 1082-8850. OCLC 55506548. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  6. ^ Axmaker, Sean (August 3, 2005). "Gus Van Sant: "A cinema that might have existed"". GreenCine. All Media Guide. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  7. ^ Mulady, Kathy (July 29, 2005). "7 candidates to go up against Nickels in mayor's race". Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Seattle, Washington, USA: Roger Oglesby). ISSN 0745-970X. OCLC 3734418. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  8. ^ Rolph, Amy (October 25, 2011). "Duff McKagan to Kurt Cobain conspiracy theorist: ‘Get the (bleep) out’". Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Seattle, Washington, USA: Roger Oglesby). ISSN 0745-970X. OCLC 3734418. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  9. ^ Jenniges, Amy (October 4, 2001). "KING OF THE DIPSH*TS". The Stranger (Seattle, Washington, USA: Tim Keck). ISSN 1935-9004. OCLC 27341179. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  10. ^ Staff (August 3, 2005). "Candidates Line Up For City Elections". West Seattle Herald (Seattle, Washington, USA: Jerry Robinson). p. 2. ISSN 2160-3642. OCLC 304627581. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  11. ^ Sorbo, Cathy (August 5, 2005). "Curious voters need more info". Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Seattle, Washington, USA: Roger Oglesby). ISSN 0745-970X. OCLC 3734418. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  12. ^ Brunner, Jim (September 8, 2005). "Mayoral hopeful accused of kicking Nickels' guard". The Seattle Times (Seattle, Washington, USA: Frank A. Blethen). ISSN 0745-9696. OCLC 9198928. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  13. ^ Staff (October 24, 2005). "Mayoral restraint". The Seattle Times (Seattle, Washington, USA: Frank A. Blethen). ISSN 0745-9696. OCLC 9198928. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  14. ^ Anderson, Rick (August 25, 1999). "Dreamers, schemers, and kooks. The annual rite of running and losing.". Seattle Weekly (Seattle, Washington, USA: Ken Stocker). ISSN 0898-0845. OCLC 17527271. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  15. ^ Staff (July 28, 2001). "King County election filings". The Seattle Times (Seattle, Washington, USA: Frank A. Blethen). ISSN 0745-9696. OCLC 9198928. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  16. ^ Forgrave, Reid (September 8, 2001). "Enthusiasm meets obscurity: Colorful supporting cast fills out ballot in mayor's race". The Seattle Times (Seattle, Washington, USA: Frank A. Blethen). ISSN 0745-9696. OCLC 9198928. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  17. ^ Brunner, Jim (August 28, 2001). "Candidates forum mixes comedy, pinch of politics". The Seattle Times (Seattle, Washington, USA: Frank A. Blethen). ISSN 0745-9696. OCLC 9198928. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Love 'stalker' arrested". United Press International. UPI. January 12, 2005. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 
  19. ^ Staff (September 8, 2005). "Mayoral candidate arrested". Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Seattle, Washington, USA: Roger Oglesby). ISSN 0745-970X. OCLC 3734418. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 

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