Update: In comparison with the broad-daylight slayings of Justin O'Donnell and Deon Rudd this past Friday, Richard Nack's murder a few hours later received comparatively modest media attention. Now, the case is edging closer to the spotlight because of a revelation by the Denver Police Department that Nack was a medical marijuana provider. But this turn of events is double-edged.
The DPD has offered a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case. In addition, the department is sharing a photo of Nack, as well as this shot of his Alaska Place home, where the killing appears to have taken place early this past Saturday morning:
By sharing Nack's status as a "licensed medical marijuana provider," police reps certainly got the attention of web, print and electronic news purveyors. But they also imply that medical marijuana got Nack killed.
Could that be the case? Certainly. But at this point, there's no indication it was. Meanwhile, the incident promotes the notion that MMJ is a magnet for crime -- a theory regularly floated by law enforcement types despite a dearth of evidence that it's actually true. As a result, Nack's death is being turned into something of a political football rather than being seen as a tragic occurrence in its own right.
If you have any information about the Nack killing, phone 720-913-STOP (7867). Here's a larger look at the photo released by the DPD, followed by our previous coverage.
Original item, 6:40 a.m. May 29, followed by update: In stark contrast to the murders of Justin O'Donnell and Deon Rudd in a daylight gundown that led to a very public crime scene, the death the next morning of Richard Nack, 59, has received only glancing notice from the media. But this death by bullet in less than 24 hours after O'Donnell and Rudd died is yet another indication that violence in the area is heating up as the temperatures climb.
Thus far, the amount of information the Denver Police Department has shared in regard to the incident qualifies as sparse. Police arrived at a home at 5015 West Alaska Place at approximately 7:15 a.m. on Saturday morning, to find Nack dead.
The Denver coroner's office confirms that he was killed by gunshot, possibly fired as early as 2 a.m., according to information provided by neighbors to Fox31.
Thus far, the DPD isn't saying anything about a possible suspect or suspects.
Update, 1:16 p.m. May 29: A short time ago, we spoke with Detective John White, spokesman for the Denver Police Department, about a number of issues, including the Nack case. He mentions no new developments in terms of suspects. At this point, he adds, there's no evidence to suggest that the killings of Justin O'Donnell and Deon Rudd the day before are in any way connected to the death of Richard Nack.
Look below to see an interactive graphic of the area near the crime scene. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
View Larger Map
Editor's note, 8:59 a.m. May 29: The Denver coroner's spokesperson has just revealed that the victim's name in this case is Richard Nack, not Richard Mack, as the office originally claimed. We've corrected the references in this post.
Follow and like the Michael Roberts/Westword Facebook page.
More from our Mile High Murder archive: "Ten unsolved Denver murders: Read personal stories of the victims."