PC World Editor Murdered in California Home
Rex Farrance, a senior editor for PC World magazine, was shot and killed in his Pittsburg, Calif., home on Tuesday evening when four masked gunmen broke into his house in what police called a drug-related crime. Farrance, 59, was PC World’s senior technical editor and a 19-year veteran of the magazine.
Farrance’s wife, Lenore Vantosh-Farrance, 56, was pistol-whipped before dialing 911, but the attackers were gone before police arrived, Pittsburg authorities said Wednesday.
“We have substantial reason to believe that the victim and his wife were involved in the possession and, potentially, the distribution of illegal narcotics,” Pittsburg police Inspector John Conaty said in an article by the Associated Press (AP). Conaty would not specify what type of drugs were involved.
While an investigation is underway, PC World staffers are dealing with the loss.
“Rex had exactly the right temperament for the work he loved so much: He was dedicated to accuracy, fairness, and clarity, and it showed in every article he edited for PC World,” said Editor in Chief Harry McCracken in an article on PCWorld.com dedicated to Farrance’s memory. “It also showed in his communications with his colleagues, whom he treated with unstinting thoughtfulness. Over the past 19 years, he was a friend and adviser to dozens of PC World editors. Millions of people who never knew his name have benefited from things he did to make our magazine and site as good as they could possibly be.”
As news of the attack spread on Wednesday, his colleagues shared their grief on PCWorld.com.
“As a public relations person, I found Rex to be one of the best people to work with: easy to reach, returned your phone calls,” said Craig Settles of Successful.com. “Though he was totally a tech guy and always knew his bits and bytes, Rex was low-key and never came off as superior. You felt comfortable talking to him about products or technology in general, and clients enjoyed meeting with him. Rex really personified the image of PC World and its role as a valuable resource.”
“Rex was a stickler for details and fairness,” said Ramon G. McLeod, editor of PCWorld.com. “He could spot inaccuracies in stories better than any editor I’ve ever worked with.”