Richard Carter McComb suicide tickles Star Tribune's funny bone

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Richard Carter McComb: the man whose suicide inspired the Star Tribune's yuk yuks
An early candidate for worst lede of the year award goes to this Star Tribune story about the suicide of Lifelink CEO Richard Carter McComb.

We're not sure which is worse: The cringe-worthy use of the world's oldest cliche, or the fact that the goofy wordplay is the beginning of a story about a man who shot himself in the head.

Behold the lede in all its glory, before wiser heads order a rewrite:

The only thing certain in life is death and taxes, the old saying goes. It appears that the latter led to the former for Richard Carter McComb, the CEO of LifeLink III, a nonprofit medical consortium run by nine Twin Cities health care organizations.

McComb, facing six felony counts in Hennepin County District Court for failure to pay his taxes, apparently killed himself Oct. 20 in Marathon, Fla.

The comedy begins to wear thin once we get to a description of the sad ending to a man's life:

Becky Herrin, spokeswoman for the Monroe County Sheriff in Key West, Fla., said Wednesday that the agency received a call at 6:15 a.m. on Oct. 20 from a man who said he was going to kill himself. He gave a general location of where his body could be found, and deputies were dispatched.

McComb's body was found the end of the road next to some dumpsters, Herrin said. Incident reports say the deputies found a 9-mm Walther handgun on the ground between his body and left arm. She said there was no sign foul play. The reports said nothing about next of kin, she added.

Is this thing on? Tip your waitress.


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