Lyric McHenry was found dead hours after celebrating her 26th birthday in Manhattan, and the coverage of her death "reduced [her] to the facts as written in a hurried police report: black woman, pregnant, possible cocaine, deserted street in the Bronx," writes Zoe Greenberg for the New York Times. She asks the question, "What more could there be?" Plenty, per McHenry's family. Her father tells the paper, "I don't want this to be: black girl, drugs, something funky went on, what do you expect?" and Greenberg makes the case that's not what it should be, or not entirely. McHenry was part of the Hollywood elite, close to Magic Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson, with a movie director/producer for a father and a wardrobe stylist mother.
She was a Stanford grad who campaigned for Obama as a high schooler and spoke French. She was wrapping up a movie script and had worked as a video production assistant for Refinery29. She also appeared in E!'s reality show EJNYC, which followed longtime friend EJ Johnson (Magic Johnson's son). "She had a minor role on the show and rarely spoke," notes Greenberg, who adds McHenry's family bristles at "reality star" label, believing she could have become a screenwriter or director. As for what ended her life, the investigation is ongoing. Last month, her father suggested the cocaine found next to his daughter could have been planted, with the scene intentionally staged by someone who left her there. Greenberg tries to sketch a picture of McHenry's alleged drug use through interviews with friends and family. Read her full story, or read more on a mystery man sought in connection with McHenry's death. (Read more New York City stories.)