Storage Wars’ Mark Balelo killed himself after arrest for meth possession

Storage Wars cast member Mark Balelo, who appeared on some episodes of the second and third seasons of the A&E series and was nicknamed “Rico Suave,” killed himself Monday, two days after being arrested for possession of meth.

The Ventura County Star reports he “was found dead Monday at his workplace. … Simi Valley police said Balelo was arrested Saturday in connection with possession of methamphetamine.”

Citing “sources,” TMZ says he committed suicide and “was found dead in his car … which was parked and running in the garage at his auction house in Simi Valley, CA.”

In an A&E bio that he updated one week ago, Mark detailed his life and work, writing, “I been feature in some episodes and will continue to participate in future episodes from time to time.”

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.