Rolling Stone

124 articles
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The Making of a Narco State

Following the money and the opium in Afghanistan.

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Afghanistan: The Making of a Narco State

After 13 years of war, the United States has helped create a nation ruled by drug lords.

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A Rape on Campus

A brutal assault and the struggle for justice at the University of Virginia.

Note 12/5/14: Rolling Stone has stated that they now doubt details of the facts reported in "A Rape on Campus."

More information is available in T. Rees Shapiro's "U-Va. Fraternity to Rebut Claims of Gang Rape in Rolling Stone" from The Washington Post.

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The $9 Billion Witness

The central witness in “one of the biggest cases of white-collar crime in American history” speaks out.

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Stephen King: The Rolling Stone Interview

The author on why he belives in God (“It makes things better”), the perils of writing high (“Annie Wilkes is cocaine, she was my number-one fan”) and what he thinks of other writers (“Hemingway sucks, basically”).

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Selling the Bro Dream

Is Vemma an energy drink, the new Amway or a pyramid scheme taking advantage of college kids? Maybe all three.

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Where the Tea Party Rules

A dispatch from Lima, Ohio.

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China, the Climate and the Fate of the Planet

On the world’s biggest polluter.

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The Forsaken

On the rise in gay teens who are cast out by their families.

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Last Tango in Kabul

While war raged across Afghanistan, expats lived in a bubble of good times and easy money. But as the U.S. withdraws, life has taken a deadly turn.

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Kid Cannabis

The rise and fall of a chubby Idaho pizza delivery boy turned weed kingpin.

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The Transgender Crucible

CeCe McDonald, a homeless trans teen in Minneapolis, was charged with murder for defending herself. Then she became a folk hero.

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Tempest in a Test Tube

Inside a high-profile Hollywood child custody battle.

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The World Cup of Dirty Dreams

Behind the doors of Centaurus, Rio’s most infamous brothel.

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Heil Hipster

Young neo-Nazis attempt to rebrand hate.

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The Killer Elite

Published across three consecutive issues and later adapted into the book (and mini-series) Generation Kill, the story of bullets, bombs and a Marine platoon at war in Iraq.

Previously: Evan Wright on the Longform Podcast.

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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

“We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.”

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The New Face of Heroin

A dispatch from Vermont, which is in the midst of what the governor calls a “full-blown heroin crisis.”

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In the Jungle

How legends of the American music industry made millions off the work of Solomon Linda, a Zulu tribesman who wrote “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and died a pauper.

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Animal Instinct

How a group of vigilante cat-lovers seeking the hooded figure who suffocated a kitten in an internet video found a sadistic killer.

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The Entrapment of Jesse Snodgrass

An undercover cop targets an autistic teen as a drug dealer.

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The Allman Brothers Story

A 16-year-old journalist goes on tour with a band on top. The article that inspired Almost Famous.

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Sex and Death on the Road to Nirvana

A convert dies in the Arizona desert and the secrets of a controversial guru start spilling out.

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Tyler Hadley's Killer Party

He murdered his parents. Then he threw a party.

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The Belly of the Beast

The price we pay for cheap meat.

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Apocalypse, New Jersey

A dispatch from Camden, “America’s most desperate town.”

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The Men Who Leaked the Secrets

The twisting paths that brought together Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald.

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Charles Manson Today

Manson at 79: in poor health and walking with a cane, obsessed with Vincent Bugliosi, willing to talk at length with a reporter for the first time in years, and visited every weekend by a 25-year-old woman he calls Star.

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The A-Team Killings

Last fall, a team of American Special Forces arrived in Nerkh, a district just west of Kabul. Six months later, amid allegations of torturing and murdering locals, the team was gone. Shortly after they left, the remains of 10 missing villagers were found outside their vacated base. An investigation into a possible war crime.

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Confessions of Pop's Wildest Child

A few days in the life of Miley Cyrus.

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Sexting, Shame and Suicide

The story of 15-year-old Audrie Pott, who took her own life after nude photos of her were circulated at school.

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The Geeks on the Front Lines

The battle between government and industry for America’s best hackers.

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Barrett Brown Faces 105 Years in Jail

Why a former Anonymous spokesperson was arrested for, among other things, copying and pasting a link.

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The Gangster in the Huddle

On the fall of Aaron Hernandez, who friends say had been “twisted on dust for more than a year” before the murder of Odin Lloyd.

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Ripping Off Young America: The College-Loan Scandal

“The dirty secret of American higher education is that student-loan interest rates are almost irrelevant. It’s not the cost of the loan that’s the problem, it’s the principal – the appallingly high tuition costs that have been soaring at two to three times the rate of inflation, an irrational upward trajectory eerily reminiscent of skyrocketing housing prices in the years before 2008.”

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The Poorest Rich Kids in the World

Georgia and Patterson Inman, 15-year-old twins, are the only living heirs to the $1 billion Duke tobacco fortune. They are also emotional wrecks, tortured by a hellacious childhood in which they were raised by drug addicts and left to fend for themselves in mansions across the country.

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Call Him Money: Eddie Murphy Opens Up

An interview with Murphy at the apex of his power, just before the release of Harlem Nights.

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Jahar's World

The multiple lives of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

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Goodbye, Miami

How the city will drown.

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Serena Williams: The Great One

The best women’s tennis player of all-time opens up.

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The First Church of Rednecks, White Socks, and Blue Ribbon Beer

In the ’50s and ’60s, the Reverend Will Campbell marched with MLK Jr. and worked to desegregate the University of Mississippi. Later, broke, he took a job as Waylon Jennings’ roadie and occasional spiritual guru. Afterward, his ministry grew even stranger and more itinerant.

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Beat Godfather Meets Glitter Mainman

William S. Burroughs interviews David Bowie on the Ziggy Stardust mythology.

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The Adventures of Super Boy

An early profile of Justin Beiber.

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Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever

Libor, ISDAfix, and how the big banks do business.

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Cruel and Unusual Punishment

On California’s three strikes laws.

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The Neverending Nightmare of Amanda Knox

Inside the most sensational murder in the history of study abroad.

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Here's Jimmy Kimmel

A profile of the late-night host.

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The Rape of Petty Officer Blumer

“It seemed like everyone gets raped and assaulted and no one does anything about it; it’s like a big rape cult.”

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Up From Downey

A profile of Richard and Karen Carpenter.

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The NRA vs. America

The dark money and political power behind the nation’s largest gun group.

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The Sharp, Sudden Decline of America's Middle Class

Profiles of people who live in their car after losing almost everything during the Great Recession.

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The Strange And Mysterious Death of Mrs. Jerry Lee Lewis

How Jerry Lee Lewis got away with murdering 25-year-old Shawn Michelle Stevens, his fifth wife.

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David Pinchbeck and the New Psychedelic Elite

How the pop psychedelic author helped jumpstart the modern apocalypse movement after an alleged visit from “Quetzal-coatl, a mystical bird-serpent in Mayan myths.”

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The Rise and Fall of Jeremy Hammond: Enemy of the State

On the U.S. government’s pursuit of a legendary hacker.

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The Devil and John Holmes

He was a nobody who became a porn star, a porn star who became a destitute freebaser, an addict who set up his dealer to be robbed, and finally witness to a retaliatory massacre at the house they called Wonderland.

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The Tragedy of Britney Spears

A profile of Spears at her nadir.

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Kurt Cobain: The Rolling Stone Interview

An interview with Cobain a few months after the release of In Utero.

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Kiss: The Pagan Beasties of Teenage Rock

On the road with the makeup-clad band.

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The Gangster Princess of Beverly Hills

The rise and fall of Lisette Lee, the self-proclaimed “Korean Paris Hilton,” who was busted for drug trafficking.

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Punk Rock Fight Club

Inside FSU, the hardcore brotherhood where the wrong t-shirt can get you killed.
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The High Life and Strange Times of the Pope of Pot

The rise and fall of Mickey the Pope, the founder of a New York City marijuana delivery business.

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The Long, Lawless Ride of Sheriff Joe Arpaio

A profile of “not just the toughest but the most corrupt and abusive sheriff in America.”

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Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail in '72

“One afternoon about three days ago the Editorial Enforcement Detail from the Rolling Stone office showed up at my door, with no warning, and loaded about 40 pounds of supplies into the room: two cases of Mexican beer, four quarts of gin, a dozen grapefruits, and enough speed to alter the outcome of six Super Bowls. There was also a big Selectric typewriter, two reams of paper, a face-cord of oak firewood and three tape recorders – in case the situation got so desperate that I might finally have to resort to verbal composition.”

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Rachel Maddow's Quiet War

An ode to the MSNBC anchor.

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America's Last Prisoner of War

The story of Bowe Bergdahl, a soldier who walked off his base in Afghanistan only to be captured by the Taliban.

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The Secret Life of Transgender Rocker Tom Gabel

A profile of the Against Me! frontman.

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Kids in the Dark

A group of Long Island misfits with aspirations towards Satanic worship disappeared into the woods to take mescaline. One of them never came back.

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Undercover Anarchist

An undercover cop infiltrates a group of British activists, befriending and then betraying them.

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The Rise of the Killer Drones: How America Goes to War in Secret

How killing by remote control has changed the way we fight.

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Guns N' Roses: Outta Control

On the road with the band:

Axl Rose is carrying on like an Apache. He stormed into his home state for a concert and compared the fans there to prisoners at Auschwitz. He showed up two hours late for a New York show and launched into a tirade against his record company and various other institutions, including this magazine. He steamrolled into St. Louis, and before he left town, a riot had broken out. During an encore in Salt Lake City, he got ticked off because the Mormons weren't rocking and said, "I'll get out of here before I put anybody else to sleep." Then he did.

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Bruce Springsteen's SXSW Keynote Address

Delivered at the Austin Convention Center on March 15, 2012.

In the beginning, every musician has their genesis moment. For you, it might have been the Sex Pistols, or Madonna, or Public Enemy. It's whatever initially inspires you to action. Mine was 1956, Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was the evening I realized a white man could make magic, that you did not have to be constrained by your upbringing, by the way you looked, or by the social context that oppressed you. You could call upon your own powers of imagination, and you could create a transformative self.

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Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy: Inside Dartmouth's Hazing Abuses

"I was a member of a fraternity that asked pledges, in order to become a brother, to: swim in a kiddie pool of vomit, urine, fecal matter, semen and rotten food products; eat omelets made of vomit; chug cups of vinegar, which in one case caused a pledge to vomit blood; drink beer poured down fellow pledges' ass cracks... among other abuses."
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He Was a Crook

An obituary for Richard Nixon.

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Being James Brown

A profile.

When we're introduced, I spend a long moment trying to conjugate the reality of James Brown's face, one I've contemplated as an album-cover totem since I was thirteen or fourteen: that impossible slant of jaw and cheekbone, that Pop Art slash of teeth, the unmistakable rage of impatience lurking in the eyes. It's a face drawn by Jack Kirby or Milton Caniff, that's for sure, a visage engineered for maximum impact at great distances, from back rows of auditoriums.

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Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail

Anyone who wants to know what the Occupy Wall Street protests are all about need only look at the way Bank of America does business. It comes down to this: These guys are some of the very biggest assholes on Earth. They lie, cheat and steal as reflexively as addicts, they laugh at people who are suffering and don't have money, they pay themselves huge salaries with money stolen from old people and taxpayers – and on top of it all, they completely suck at banking. And yet the state won't let them go out of business, no matter how much they deserve it, and it won't slap them in jail, no matter what crimes they commit. That makes them not bankers or capitalists, but a class of person that was never supposed to exist in America: royalty.
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Whitney Houston: Down and Dirty

An interview with a young star.

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One Town's War on Gay Teens

In Michele Bachmann’s home district evangelicals have pushed anti-gay policies to the school board. After a rash of suicides, teens are fighting back.

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Keith Haring: An Intimate Conversation

A profile of the artist.

"Unfortunately, death is a fact of life. I don't think it's happened to me any more unfairly than to anyone else. It could always be worse. I've lost a lot of people, but I haven't lost everybody. I didn't lose my parents or my family. But it's been an incredible education, facing death, facing it the way that I've had to face it at this early age."

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Julian Assange: The Rolling Stone Interview

But now, being a celebrity yourself, you feel differently? I've subsequently changed my opinion. Brad Pitt doesn't have a superpower at his back. He just has some crazed fans and paparazzi. But now, having had all three, I must say, I'm not terribly impressed with the experience.
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The Weasel, Twelve Monkeys And The Shrub

Covering a presidential candidate and the people who cover presidential candidates aboard the press buses Bullshit 1 and Bullshit 2 on the 2000 John McCain campaign trail.

From The Longform Guide to the Campaign Trail on Slate.

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The Girl Who Tried to Save the World

The life and death of Marla Ruzicka, a 28-year-old aid worker in Baghdad.

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Climate Change and the End of Australia

How an increase in the earth’s temperature could wipe out a continent.

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In the Valley of the Shadow of Death

In Guyana directly after the Jonestown massacre with the survivors and the dead.

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Sex and Scandal at Duke

A report from campus after the rape allegations against members of the lacrosse team.

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Interview: Eddie Murphy

It's a glorious thing, hearing Eddie Murphy say "fuck" again. Few people ever said it better – and down here in the basement of the stone-and-marble mansion he built on a Beverly Hills cliff, it's coming from his lips often enough to make Shrek blush. "Come on, motherfucker," Murphy shouts, over the throb of James Brown's "Hot Pants" on a formidable sound system.
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Inside Scientology

A journey into the controversial religion:
In the next hour or so, Laurie asks me a number of questions: Am I married? Am I happy? What are my goals? Do I feel that I’m living up to my potential? A failure to live up to potential is one of the things known in Scientology as one’s "ruin." In trying to get at mine, Laurie is warm and nonaggressive. And, to my amazement, I begin to open up to her. While we chat, she delivers a soft sell for Scientology’s "introductory package": a four-hour seminar and twelve hours of Dianetics auditing, which is done without the E-meter. The cost: just fifty dollars. "You don’t have to do it," Laurie says. "It’s just something I get the feeling might help you." She pats my arm, squeezes it warmly.
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Inside Obama's War Room

Why the US intervened in Libya.

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The GOP War on Voting

In a campaign supported by the Koch brothers, Republicans are working to prevent millions of Democrats from voting next year.

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On the Row

On a convict too young to vote but old enough to be strapped to a chair.

From our guide to the death penalty at Slate.
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Revenge of the Doughnut Boys

In America's third oldest major city, a new sport has been born. It's called rustling cars. According to auto‑theft statis­tics, Newark has the highest rate of car theft per capita in the nation, more than forty cars each day. Sixty‑five percent of the thefts are perpetrated by teens and preteens, known hereabouts as the Doughnut Boys.
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An American Drug Lord in Acapulco

How a middle-class jock from a Texas border town became La Barbie, one of the most ruthless and feared cartel leaders in Mexico.

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How the World Failed Haiti

But despite all that has been promised, almost nothing has been built back in Haiti, better or otherwise. Within Port-au-Prince, some 3 million people languish in permanent misery, subject to myriad experiments at "fixing" a nation that, to those who are attempting it, stubbornly refuses to be fixed. Mountains of rubble remain in the streets, hundreds of thousands of people continue to live in weather-beaten tents, and cholera, a disease that hadn't been seen in Haiti for 60 years, has swept over the land, infecting more than a quarter million people.
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Is the SEC Covering Up Wall Street Crimes?

According to a whistleblower, the SEC has been systematically destroying records of investigations for the last twenty years:

By whitewashing the files of some of the nation's worst financial criminals, the SEC has kept an entire generation of federal investigators in the dark about past inquiries into insider trading, fraud and market manipulation against companies like Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and AIG. With a few strokes of the keyboard, the evidence gathered during thousands of investigations – "18,000 ... including Madoff," as one high-ranking SEC official put it during a panicked meeting about the destruction – has apparently disappeared forever into the wormhole of history.

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Up All Night With Amy Winehouse

A profile of the late singer.

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The Life and Death of Richard Brautigan

His friends remembered when Richard became famous. It was the year the hippies came to San Francisco. Richard had published one novel, A Confederate General from Big Sur, but it had sold miserably 743 copies and his publisher, Grove Press, had dropped its option on Trout Fishing in America. Donald Allen was the West Coast representative of Grove and the editor of the Evergreen Review, which had introduced the Beat Generation. Allen had a small nonprofit press called the Four Seasons Foundation, and he decided to publish the book himself. Allen sold 29,000 copies of the book before Delacorte bought it. Eventually, 2 million copies were sold. It was the kind of book that captured the spirit and sound of a generation. Soon there was a commune and an underground newspaper and even a school named after Trout Fishing in America. His short stories and poems appeared regularly in Rolling Stone, often beneath a photograph of him in his broad-brimmed hat. His face became a hippie icon. "For three or four years, he was like George Harrison walking down Haight Street," remembered Don Carpenter, a novelist and scriptwriter and a longtime friend of Richard's. His image infuriated what Richard called the East Coast literary mafia.
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Columbine, Five Years Later

Before the viewing ends at 4 p.m., 975 people pass through the evidence rooms, many of them former students, survivors, and friends and relatives of the dead. Absent, as they have consistently been in the five years since the massacre, are Wayne and Kathy Harris, Eric's parents, and Tom and Sue Klebold, who raised Dylan. Although they live in the same Littleton-area homes they occupied on April 20, 1999, they have contributed virtually nothing to the public's understanding of who their sons were and why they killed.
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Inside 'The Order,' One Mormon Cult's Secret Empire

A polygamist clan descended from four original families, the Order are believed to run the largest organized crime operation in Utah. When a chest full of gold disappeared, suspicion immediately fell on a group of boys who had split with the cult.

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The Life and Death of the Chosen One

Ricky Rodriguez was born in the role of the messiah. His father was David Berg, the leader of the polygamous/incestuous cult The Children of God, which published a book documenting his early life:

In 1982 a shop in Spain printed several thousand copies of a book that was then distributed to group members around the world. Bound in faux leather, illustrated with hundreds of photographs, the 762-page tome meticulously chronicled Ricky's young life and was intended as a child-rearing manual for families. Its title, The Story of Davidito, was stamped in gold. With its combination of earnest prose and unabashed child pornography, it is perhaps the most disturbing book ever published in the name of religion.
Eventually, he left the cult and found work as an electrician. But revenge called him back.

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The True Life Confessions of Fleetwood Mac

Interviews with the band while “struggling to finish their very latefellow LP, a trouble child, called Rumours.”

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I Was a Teenage Freak

Inside Gibsonton, Florida, the carny capital of the nation.

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The People vs. Goldman Sachs

While much of the Levin report describes past history, the Goldman section describes an ongoing? crime — a powerful, well-connected firm, with the ear of the president and the Treasury, that appears to have conquered the entire regulatory structure and stands now on the precipice of officially getting away with one of the biggest financial crimes in history.
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The Fort Carson Murder Spree

All told, the military acknowledged this summer, 14 soldiers from the base have been charged or convicted in at least 11 slayings since 2005 — the largest killing spree involving soldiers at a single U.S. military installation in modern history.
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Kiki Kannibal: The Girl Who Played With Fire

The rise, fall and stubborn survival of a teenage Internet celebrity who discovered that the real world can be a very scary place.

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The Real Housewives of Wall Street

The story of $220M in bailout money.

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The Kill Team

How U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan murdered innocent civilians and mutilated their corpses – and how their officers failed to stop them.

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The King of LSD

On the many lives and careers of Owsley Stanley (1935-2011), chemist, sound design innovator, and outback jeweler, whose name appears in the OED as a synonym for “a particularly pure form of LSD.”

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The Stoner Arms Dealers

Working with nothing but an Internet connection, a couple of cellphones and a steady supply of weed, the two friends — one with a few college credits, the other a high school dropout — had beaten out Fortune 500 giants like General Dynamics to score the huge arms contract.

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The Highly-Charged Erotic Life of the Wellesley Girl

On being the lone male student at a women’s college.

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The Most Paranoid Man in America

A profile of Alex Jones, who draws a bigger online audience than Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh combined.

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Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?

“The entire system set up to monitor and regulate Wall Street is fucked up. Just ask the people who tried to do the right thing.”

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Don Blankenship: The Dark Lord of Coal Country

The profile that led to the Massey Energy CEO’s resignation.

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The Lyman Family’s Holy Siege of America

Spilling to nearly book-length across two issues of Rolling Stone; a Manson-contemporary cult group rises out of a jug band, builds a fortress in the Boston ghetto, bullies control of a community newspaper, swallows a successful actor, fractures, splits for California, and attempts to describe to the reporter the enigma that is Mel Lyman.

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Tea & Crackers

Taibbi on the Tea Party. “After lengthy study of the phenomenon, I’ve concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They’re full of shit.”

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The Boy Who Heard Too Much

Matthew Weigman was blind, overweight, 14 and alone. He could also do anything he wanted with a phone. Sometimes that meant calling Lindsay Lohan. Other times it meant sending a SWAT team to an enemy’s door.

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The CIA and the Media

Throughout the ’50s and ’60s, media outlets including the New York Times and CBS News provided the CIA with information and cover for agents. Then everyone decided to pretend it had never happened.

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Spacewar

A game called Spacewar is developed by early computer engineers in their spare time, improved in University comp-sci labs, and ultimately made available in coffeeshops for ten cents per game.

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The Runaway General

“Stanley McChrystal, Obama’s top commander in Afghanistan, has seized control of the war by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House.”