Marcus Sakey, Not-So-Hidden City

by on January 6th, 2011
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Marcus Sakey got game. No, he’s not a roundball gym rat or playground phenom, although he probably could be. But Marcus does know the streets. He knows the toughest in-your-face streets in America. Ironically he knows some avenues too. He knows avenues that CEO’s, political geniuses, government agents, and rock stars follow to find power, wealth, sex, drugs, and sometimes… their own demise.

He knows these things because he lives them. It’s his job. As the star of the Travel Channel’s Hidden City, Marcus walks those streets, talks with those people, and gives viewers the insight of being there for events that not only shocked a metropolis, but shocked the world as well. No FBI agent or international spy, Sakey is (… are you seated?)… a writer. And a darn good one… not a surprise as his specialty is crime novels. He has written five award-winning books “The Blade Itself,” “At The City’s Edge,” “Good People,” “The Amateurs,” and “The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes.” Don’t worry if you haven’t read them all, a couple are in the middle of movie deals and you might find them on the big screen soon.

I thought the first episode I watched of “Hidden City” was only a half hour program. 60 minutes later I unglued myself from my High Def TV and said “Dang (or something similar), that was awesome!”

So what makes “Hidden City” such a hot ticket? What allows you to burn your macaroni & cheese dinner or ignore a call from your gorgeous girlfriend in Texas? Here’s the ticket: 1) Find a savvy host that looks like a twin to a cool Country Western singer (Billy Currington – see photos), 2) Combine Sakey’s smooth-as-cream-cheese approach with people, 3) horrific mind-blowing events from the past we’ve all heard about, and then 4) listen to the “master of crime disaster” give his spin on why it all got so freaky.

In the Seattle episode Marcus explores whether Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain’s death was a suicide or murder with possible involvement from wife and fellow rocker, Courtney Love. Rock stars and suicide are not strange bedfellows, but oh yeah, Marcus Sakey got game… wants to know the details. He investigates the rock star’s heroine level on the night of his death. He listens to a private investigator’s theory on Kurt’s handwriting, what he wrote that night, and checks a physician’s thoughts on a heavy user’s ability to function while impaired. Then he queries the experts: a) Can he write a rational suicide note? b) Can you roll down your sleeves after injecting yourself? c) Can you pull a shotgun trigger while on heroine? And of course there are Sakey’s thought provoking gems about the wife and person-of-interest, Courtney Love. He makes your mind race with… “She has so many drug habits, her drug habits have drug habits…” and “She is a sackful of crazy…”

Sakey is there, he makes you feel you are there, and in the end we both decide, based on the evidence, and the dead-nuts-on interviews, it was suicide. Any questions? Sakey’s last line about the Nirvana rock legend is worthwhile, “Maybe the point is not how he died, but for a bright while… how he lived.” Kurt Cobain (1967-1994).

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