We just got word that Joe Hamill died today.
Joe was, foremost, a kind and warm man, a great wit and finer writer than he ever knew, a dedicated father and possessor of a life-saving sense of humour. He was also the brother of Pete, Dennis and Brian Hamill.
Joe was also an influential journalist and television producer, responsible for many breaks in the Michael Jackson case and other stories. I first worked with Joe on the assignment desk at the Channel 5 Ten O'Clock News back in the early 80s. He was a wild young radical from a wild family of hardknock journo brothers. For a time, he was teamed up with young police reporter John Miller, and within weeks, Miller was reporting on NYPD raids of leftist radical crash pads and safe houses in their search for the Brinks robbers, putting focus on civil liberties and giving a sympathetic ear to the longhairs. Joe had the connections and the influence. Later, Joe came out west to work with us at Hard Copy. He's featured in Tabloid Baby and on the Tabloid Baby website.
In 1993, Joe and I traveled back east to the Bob Dylan 30th anniversary tribute concert at Madison Square Garden and helped instigate the Sinead O'Connor booing incident. Later, we ran into her in the East Village.
One of my most fruitful collaborations was working with Joe, producing and writing episodes of Mugshots, the landmark crime series that the legendary John Parsons Peditto created and supplied to Court TV. Joe went on to work at Court TV, as Diane Dimond's main investigative producer. He always had a chuckle about Saint Mychal and we kept in touch by email.
Joe did not have an easy life. But he had a full life. We all will miss him.
(Joe was 51. Read his New York Daily News obituary.)