At the risk of turning this site into a Suicide Zone I’m going to wade into the mystery of Don Harman‘s death…
If you followed my early reporting on the Fox 4 weatherman’s passing yesterday, you undoubtedly noticed that fellow meteorologist Gary Lezak – the guy Harman replaced in 1999 when Lezak left Fox4 for greener pastures – noted that Harman had serious issues with depression. A detail which seemed to be driven home by the fact that prior to addressing Harman’s death, Fox 4 posted its intention to do a story on holiday stress and sadness on its Web site.
Which seemed as if a reaction to what the station knew but hadn’t disclosed, that Harman had taken his life.
Having loaded up on suicide reading and feedback lately, the combination of severe depression and the holidays well could have played a role Harman’s sad, lonely final act. Then again, sources say Harman was handsomely paid – six-figures – and given Fox 4’s generally strong ratings and Harman’s popularity with viewers, it would not appear – on the surface anyway – that finances were an issue.
Harman with his wife and daughter lived in Woodbridge, a south Kansas City neighborhood where average home values in 2009 were $245,048 and the median household income $58,429. So from appearances anyway, he wasn’t living wildly over his head.
What then might have caused Harman to hang himself from the rafters of his house for his family to find?
I’m not going to go into it here, but the talk in law enforcement is that Harman was spoken to by police very recently about the possible reopening a cold case crime in another city. If true, count on the news breaking fairly fast.
I’ll be looking into it later today and try and report back as to whether there’s any truth to that rumor.
In the meantime a memorial fund has been set up for Harman’s family at the Tightwad Bank in Tightwad, Missouri (near Clinton). The phone number to call is 660-477-3500.