McVicker, 62, worked for the Press from 1993 to 2001, coming to it after a career in radio that included a stint with National Public Radio, KUHF radio and magazines. He later worked for the Houston Chronicle.
While at the Chronicle, he was diagnosed with leukemia and underwent a series of treatments through the years that were ultimately unsuccessful. He spent the last week of his life at Houston Hospice on Holcombe.
During his time at the Houston Press, McVicker won several awards for his writing, often delving into the criminal justice system for his subject matter. He won Print Journalist of the Year from the Press Club of Houston (and was a runner-up three years in a row), and several Texas Gavel Awards. In 1978 he received the highly prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for Outstanding Coverage of the Disadvantaged for a 75-minute radio documentary revealing the workings of the Houston police department.
In the Press newsroom he was well-respected, energetic and helpful to co-workers, although it could be said that he did not suffer fools gladly. He was also the author of a true crime book, I Love You Phillip Morris, a story of con artist Steven Russell. The book was later made into a movie starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor.
Friend and executor Janet Meyer said McVicker spent his last six days at the Houston Hospice, where a number of friends came by to visit him. "It was good to get him out of the hospital,” Meyer said Monday. McVicker wanted to be cremated and did not want a funeral service, she said, but friends hope to hold a memorial service in another month.
“He wanted his ashes spread in Marfa so we’re going to take a road trip,” Meyer said.