Today: Starker’s, Barrio Owner Found Dead, Victim of Apparent Suicide

In a sad twist of fate, Starker’s owner John McClure was found dead today at his home…

Sources say Starker’s staffers discovered McClure at his home today after he failed to show up at the Plaza eatery and could not be reached. The unofficial word being that it was an apparent suicide.

Kansas City Police say there appears to be no foul play but are investigating.

McClure, 36, was from Tescott, Kansas and studied culinary arts at the Culinary Institute of America. He was also a chef and described himself as "Head Taco Maker" at Barrio, a new Latin eatery poised to open in Westport at 4141 Pennsylvania.

McClure’s friends flooded his Facebook page with heartfelt comments ranging from "Rest in peace Pony. You will be missed my friend" and "There must have been a job opening in Heaven for an amazing chef and man…that could be the only explanation" to "I will miss you so much!! You taught me so much in the kitchen and in life. You were like a brother to me through the good and the bad. Goodbye my friend."

The flip side of that grieving:

Star reporter Joyce Smith used her Facebook page to troll for details, posting, "Hearing some bad news on Starker’s chef/owner John McClure. Hoping not. Anyone have updates?"

"I think it’s wrong how she’s trolling for sources here," says one of McClure’s friends.  "If people want to grieve and leave comments, it should be on their own or on John’s page."

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46 Responses to Today: Starker’s, Barrio Owner Found Dead, Victim of Apparent Suicide

  1. tiad says:

    This article dings Joyce Smith, yet we have this statement in the article:

    “The unofficial word being that it was an apparent suicide.”

    Speechless, just speechless.

    6 + 1 = 7

  2. Orphan of the Road says:

    Sad day
    My friends knew him better than I.

    Mentioning there is a buzz on suicide is objectionable at this point, trolling a web page is what the media does.

    Hearne is damned for doing it but he would be damned if he didn’t.

  3. LJ says:

    Was that necessary to post right now when people are just learning of his passing??? Perhaps some sensitivity to his family or friends who have not yet heard. This is deplorable

  4. harley says:

    hernia is known for being
    deplorable. Just his style.

  5. Wanna know??? says:

    Glazer working on a death story as we speak. Maybe telling us how he was friends with John and he was a good “cook”. Wanna know?

  6. Jenn Tosatto says:

    how dare you
    How dare you Hearne! Have you no tact, no soul?? Is it not enough for those who knew and loved John to find that he has passed without you slinging around the words “apparent suicide”? while the first amendment gives you the right to say it, that does not mean it is the right thing to do. I find you to be a despicable human being for trading a beautiful man’s passing for readership. Enough tears are being shed in Kansas City today without you adding fuel to the fire. If you had any sympathy in your soul for your fellow man, you would remove

  7. LJ says:

    Hearne, please remove the post. It is incredilbly hurtful. If not for caring about John’s friends and family, the reaction this webpage will receive from many in this community

  8. Truly tasteless says:

    Just awful journalsim
    Like everyone else has already stated. Hope you feel like a piece of shit but what do we expect from a blog where the very next story was by your main writer about how much he spent on a dinner and trying to score a threesome? I won’t be back here again.

  9. Robertoe says:

    I got to know John some after his backyard cajunfest where he’d cookup a huge feast open the spigots and open invite everyone. This reflects what a giving person he was.

    I’ve had lots of communications with friends of his. What is the deal with everyone asking ‘what happened’ in private yet if Hearne posts it its some social faux pas. When someone dies- especially someone who’s larger than life like John McClure- I want to know how and why he died. Everyone does. Quit acting like it shouldn’t be mentioned and its the furthest thing from your mind. This coverage, and even Joyce Smith’s inquiry, is aok by me.

    Yeah cause of death isn’t mentioned in obits either because of social etiquette. I think that’s stupid as well.

    I still want to know what happened. You end it all when nothing is going right and you’re suffering socially. John seemed just the opposite on both counts. He had lots of friends that cherished him. He was doing a great job of promoting Barrio- one of the best I’ve seen on a reataurant that wasn’t even open yet. Those tacos were scrumptious!!!! so he had a nice feeding frenzy going on anticipating his Barrio cuisine. It just makes it that much more of a shocker!

  10. LJ says:

    Hearne, please remove the post. It is incredilbly hurtful. If not for caring about John’s friends and family, the reaction this webpage will receive from many in this community..

  11. % says:

    I don’t get all the outrage. No one has come on and said definitively that it was not a suicide, and some of the commenters appear to be familiar with him.

    It’s journalism. It may not be what people want to read, particularly if they knew the deceased, but it’s still journalism. Unless Hearne’s wrong and then you can rain your outrage and indignation upon him. If I was a journalist who screwed up on reporting someone’s suicide when it wasn’t, there’d be no need to call for an advertiser boycott

  12. TruthSpeaks says:

    What “%” Said
    So wait… I missed the part where Hearne killed the chef… as far as I can tell, McClure killed himself. That sucks, and I feel bad for the terrible sorrow his friends and family must be feeling, but come on, a lot of these comments are a shining example of misdirected anger.

  13. Duh says:

    Irresponsible reporting
    No facts point to it being a suicide. Even Joyce’s article in the Star was responsible enough not to speculate without facts. He could have fell and hit his head for all we know. The point is, this isnt the first issue with irresponsible “reporting” from KCC. So you trolls keep your noses up Hearne’s backside. His consistently negative blog needs to go away and their advertisers need to know people are sick of it.

  14. Pappy says:

    Came across this on google. Very, very poor taste. Will never be back to KCC. I hope his family doesn’t see this. John would never treat someone else this way. Even if he didn’t know them.

  15. Hearne Christopher says:

    7 minus 7 + Zero

    I confirmed it was a suicide but can’t release the specifics because it was off the record. From an indisputable source btw

  16. Hearne Christopher says:

    Trust me, the facts are there and I confirmed them

  17. Craig Glazer says:

    Hearne Is Just Doing His Job
    There was nothing here that was really in bad taste. Hearne was just reporting the news. Knowing Hearne if he said his sources said it was a suicide, 99% likely it was. He is top notch about those things. No I didn’t know him, I knew of him. From what I heard about him, sounded like a good guy. The world is full of pressures for all of us, economy, relationships, lost dreams….all there. It is odd how many restaurant owners do take their lives at some point. Less so club owners, at least “they don’t do it for themselves.” I can’t think of any major club owners who have done that in KC. God knows enough of them or should I say us close or go broke. My guess is this may have been business related. Have no clue. Either way its very sad when a fairly young man dies. My half brother in Arizona took his life at age 44, very sad. I hope for the best for his family and close friends. Trust me Hearne doe have feelings, the guy has a dog.

  18. mark smith says:

    Selective outrage
    Funny how people latch on to a particular thing and get all beside themselves. This isnt the first , wont be the last time Hearne writes something on a death. What gets me is that people find this particular post offensive. Id say hearne actually used some tact on this one. The guy was apparently a someone in this city, and if a someone offs himself, it’s news. If Hearnes the first to mention suicide, and if he is correct, and it seems he is by some of the reactions, then it’s breaking news.

  19. harley says:

    glaze a judge of good taste?
    he screws a hooker for a lobster then lets her son watch as glaze does her?
    Good taste. Thje only good taste here was the lobster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

  20. Jim says:

    Grow Up, people
    Most of mankind is SO freaked out about death. They talk about it in hushed tones and with irrational reverence. Would it make a difference if they guy was shot to death by an intruder? Could Hearne report that? Would there be outrage if Hearne reported that the guy died in a car accident if that is was actually happened? The posters here act like there is so much shame in suicide that it should never be reported. Why? What’s the difference? Is there some unwritten rule in journalism that states you can never mention suicide when reporting someone’s death? Ridiculous. Get over yourselves, people. Apparently, you didn’t know him as well as you thought. In the end, nobody knows anyone except themself.

  21. chuck says:

    Robertoe and Jim are right in my opinion.

  22. Bridget says:

    Sad, but…..
    Hearne is a reporter. He was reporting. It’s what he does, and as it turns out he was correct. This situation is very sad, but don’t shoot the messenger.

    However, Craig Glazer IS offensive. Who brags about dropping $300 on a hooker and then invites her skanky friend into the mix? Who sleeps with this gross old man? Blechh.

  23. Kip says:

    Be Honest
    Suicide and depression need to be talked about and addressed openly and without shame or taboo. And really, we all know what “died in his home” means. I’m glad Hearne said what it really was. This isn’t about tact or protecting others, it’s about others feeling guilty that they didn’t know John was suicidal and were unable to help.

    Awareness about John’s death might lead to the prevention of another suicide. Don’t just look away from a friend because their depression makes you uncomfortable or sad. Help others through open dialog and discussion.

  24. Hearne Christopher says:

    Learn how to read, it wasn’t a hooker and because the son came by he totally passed and sent them home.

  25. harley says:

    so hernia….let me get this straight…
    shes not a hooker but she runs up a $300 tab at capital grille then says she’ll reciprocate with sex with glaze and another
    woman….is that not a hooker?…someone who repays someone with sex for $300?
    The only thing is time of exchange of goods and who sstarted the transaction.
    Then…being the classy guy he is…he passes on the threeway because the girls son is watching? Wow…what dignity
    and class and style the guy has? What if the kid wasn’t there….she’s still a hooker and he gets a threesome.
    and what about you hernia…you allow this to be published? On a site. Would the star wever allow this?
    Would any real “journalist” as people including glaze are calling you alow this to be made public? Would greg hall
    allow that on his site. Or even tony would never publish this tale.
    No class…no integrity…now go to and see what a reall blog website can achieve while your
    falls into the gutter.

  26. Hearne Christopher says:

    First and foremost I think it’s disrespectful of McClure to continue this conversation on this story’s comments section. If you would like me to clarify the obvious for you, I’ll do so in Craig’s story’s comments section.

  27. harley says:

    you pretned this is some high class site…its trash by trash! disrepsectful of the man who you obviously tried to demean…
    you obvioulsy tried to further hurt his family and friends.
    See what his family and friends posted here…that you stooped to the bottom of the bottom…
    I never knew this man…but as all his friends and family I express sympathy for the tragedy …whatever the cause.
    You have ignited his friands and family by this dispicable story that many of his family and friends felt was
    horrible on your part.
    Disrespectful? when you and your writers continue to demean and disrespect everyone and other human beings.
    Do you read these comments? did you see the disdain his friends and family have for your
    “journalism” skills of putting out what they consider trash….
    have you no decency mr. christopher?. Have you no decency to let the family and friends of this man
    suffer without your decadent writings?
    You are pitiful!

  28. Can't say says:

    where or where
    is Maureen??? Maureen what can you tell us about $300???

  29. Hearne Christopher says:

    Disrespectful, huh? Like three or four people didn’t like the suicide mention and the vast majority defended the reporting – including police confirmation – as legit journalism.

    You are the one, my friend, who degenerated the conversation into an unrelated rant about Craig taking out a hooker, by making as ass out of yourself calling someone who he was on a second date with and had no sex a prostitute. Do yourself a favor and buy a dictionary so you can look words up before you misuse them.

  30. kcfred says:

    what a trainwreck
    I love this bar.

  31. Jim says:

    Harley Helper
    Since Hearne was using some big words, Harley, I wanted to let you know that a dictionary is a great big book with all these different words in it. Since you butcher the English language like Lizzy Borden, it might be a good tool for you to use for future posts.

  32. HARLEY says:

    the friends and family…not some regular posters like roberto the date rapper….glaze the human garbage can….
    or the others who frequent this site….the friends and family (yes those closest to this man) cam e on here
    and admonished (check that definition) you for your dispicab le reporting. Facts or not…this is just par for
    the course for you and your slimy site. The friends and family came on here for the first time and pointed
    out that your reporting was unkind…vile…and asked that you stop it!
    Not my comments…the comments of the friends and family of the man who died tragically….came on here
    to say what you did was wrong….can you define wrong in human terms……wrong…wrong morally…wrong ethically,…
    wrong in the face of the wished of the mans freinds and family.
    Forget my comments…i don’t write nor own this site….the freinds and family said it so plainly that maybe you should
    read their comments (forget mine)….read the friends and family comments who essentially said “they hate you and what
    you put on this site”…if this was a “news” site i could undertstand…but as a family and friend of the deceased
    said so eloquently “in the name of decency…remove this”…i didnt make that comment….friends and family made that
    comment….the ones suffering….aned you didn’t have the decency to grant thier wish and desire….the friens and family
    said it….not me….did you read those comments…did you have the decency to understand what they said…
    as “truly tasteless” said “hope you (hearne) feel like a piece of shit”…a comment not from me or the human garbage can..
    or chuck or rick or smartman….but from friends and family of the man.
    Now go back to your hole in the ground. You are neither decent nor human. You are dispicable (need a definition of that
    mr. christopher?)

  33. mark Smith says:

    mowreen, you got some splainin to do
    Nothing perplexes me more than the former shims of glazers who continually come in the comment section to give him a talking to. Seems like just a couple of weeks ago Maureen was on her telling glazer to give her a call. Now she’s all up in his cheez whiz lecturing him about how shallow and empty his life is. Then to top off the hypocrisy samich, she chastizes him for airing his personal life on a website. Totally oblivious to being guilty of the very same thing. Do you broads not know his phone number or email address? Its a strange but entertaing phenomenon.
    Now cue the music for the pseudo outrage.
    In 1,2,3………

  34. mark Smith says:

    oops wrong thread
    Feel free to move this to the proper story Hearne. Or delete it and I’ll repost in the right section.

  35. Hot Carl says:

    Hearne, it’s nice to see you got Leawood John to come on here and call you “deplorable.” Maybe it’s time to repost your Leawood John stories?

  36. Jim says:

    Despicable, not dispicable
    Harley, please stop trying to use such big words. You’re kinda stepping all over everyone’s point of you being a moron. Additionally, I’d like to know what a date RAPPER is. Apparently, Roberto is one but I’m not exactly sure what it is. Some new kind of music, possibly?

  37. dianne c. says:

    Harley is right.
    Hearne should be ashamed of himself.

  38. Iknow says:

    Hearne is a washed up alcoholic raisen mommas boy. Period.

  39. mark smith says:

    harley you ignorant twunt
    You were recently berating glazer and mermaid over the loss of family members, now you are all outraged over Hearne posting a story that wasn’t even close to derogatory. You are definitely a borderline retard. I hate to even remotely appear to defend glazer, but you were begging him for tickets a few weeks ago like you were buddies. Now Hearne and glazer are scum? You are as fucked up as a soup sandwich.

  40. Robertoe says:

    excuse me?
    Apparently, I need to remind folks, and the ignorant slanderous twat Harley, that I was absolved of any wrongdoing in a previous tread by the Mermaid herself. Me trying to rapp would definitely qualify as a wrongdoing.

    And since she isnt posting on here anymore, and is herself dealing with parental passing issues, let me also call Harley a dumb twat on her behalf for his suggesting that she’s one of the 2 girls in the Glazer 3-some escapade threat. Not very nice Harley. Stones and glass houses and all that.

    Hearne, when is it going to sink in? Wide open anonymous posting is going to continue to gravitate comments to the lowest denominator. I’d like to see the capacity to ban. I’d like to see it get used around here and not just on poor misunderstood Tracy Thomas. I could even code out a system where those registered could vote on such blackballing. Oh wait…I probably shouldn’t call it that around here. That’s something Glazer does with Barbie.

  41. PB says:

    What th…?
    I’ve taken my share of shots at Hearne before blowing (what for me are anyway) non-stories way out of proportion, but I certainly can’t find fault for his reporting of this tragedy. His OP in fact seemed pretty respectful to the man and what he meant to his friends/followers. Are the dissenters (no surprise that LJ chimed in) really that up in arms about his use of the term “suicide”? And by not even being able to mention that word, don’t we all just further perpetuate the societal stigma that comes with it? His cause of death in no way diminishes the impact he had on others so I’m not sure why all the Hearne naysayers are making such a big deal of it. It’s not like he reported some kind of sordid David Carradine/Michael Hutchence details, just what he trusts is a basic fact. Lay off, you’re doing more of a disservice to your friend then anything Hearne reported in the OP.

  42. T says:

    PB, thank you
    for the part about societal stigma. I have heard people confront a suicide in an obituary like this…”We lost our beloved son/wife/daughter/father today to his/her lifelong battle with depression.” I think this is a a dignified way to address, rather than ignore the subject. Just my two cents.

  43. Hearne Christopher says:

    Raisen, huh? Nice

  44. sd says:

    Truth hurts
    A person has to be in a whole lot of pain to kill themself. Usually its over money, relationship ,drugs or depression. God bless his soul. Its the ultimate selfish act. Now who gets to pick up the pieces to the mess he left behind. He doesnt have to deal with it. Prayers to his family. Hearne is reporting the facts.

  45. Dina says:

    Wow, so sad
    I am so sad and shocked that John is gone. What a talented and nice man.

    It is very troubling to read all of this schoolyard babbling when we should be celebrating John’s life. Suicide is a result of intolerable emotional pain. Worse than the physical pain we would allow our favorite pet to suffer through. It was his life.

    Rest in Peace, John. You will be deeply missed.

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