Texas Monthly

71 articles
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Man on Fire

The life of Reverend Charles Moore, who died by self-immolation in the parking lot of a Texas strip mall.

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A Shooting on Spring Grove Avenue

The mystery of a death in Dallas.

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Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives

Inside the political battle over reproductive rights in Texas.

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The Witness

A profile of Michelle Lyons, who viewed 278 executions as both a local reporter and a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

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Candy

A profile of Candy Barr—porn star pioneer, burlesque legend, Texas folk hero.

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The Endless Odyssey of Patrick Henry Polk

Navigating the bureaucratic welfare maze while raising a family.

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They Came. They Sawed.

In Austin in 1973, politicos and hippies could get together and create violent, visionary horror films for $60,000. So they did. The story of how The Texas Chainsaw Massacre got made.

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“I Would Only Rob Banks for My Family”

Scott Catt was a single dad trying to make ends meet, so he started robbing banks. Then he needed accomplices, so he asked his kids.

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Midnight in the Garden of East Texas

A charming assistant funeral home director named Bernie Tiede murders a wealthy widow, keeps her in a freezer for months, finally gets caught, and still has the town's sympathy as his case goes to trial. The story that became Richard Linklater's Bernie.

Update: Tiede was convicted and spent 15 years behind bars before being released this week on the condition that he live in Linklater's garage.

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Man About Town

A profile of rapper Bun B, “the unofficial mayor of Houston.”

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Who Will Watch the Watchers?

An investigation into violence against Mexican citizens by the U.S. Border Patrol.

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The Murders at the Lake

In the summer of 1982, three Waco teenagers were savagely murdered for no apparent reason. Four men were ultimately charged with the crime. One was executed, two others were given life sentences, and a fourth was sent to death row only to be released after six years. They all may have been innocent.

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Sinners in the Hands

A small Texas town suddenly finds it’s the home of a possible cult.

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The Innocent and the Damned

Allegations of child sexual and Satanic ritual abuse overtake an Austin suburb.

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The Other Side of the Story

“When I was fourteen, I had a relationship with my eighth grade history teacher. People called me a victim. They called him a villain. But it’s more complicated than that.”

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Failure Is Not an Option

A decorated college track coach, forced to resign because of an affair she had with a athlete 10 years before, fights back.

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The Invisible Man

A profile of Cormac McCarthy–on the verge of fame.

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The Line of Fire

How volunteer firefighters responded to a lethal West, Texas explosion.

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Great Guns

The author, who died last week, tells the story of his guns.

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The Call of Battle

After two tours in Iraq, the writer returns to a volatile region of Afghanistan as an embedded journalist.

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The Guilty Man

Twenty-six years after he was wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of his wife, Michael Morton sees the real killer brought to justice in a Texas courthouse.

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Lip Shtick

Adventures in the cosmetics department of a Neiman Marcus in Dallas.

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The Devil in George Jones

A profile of the country music legend.

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The Mistress and the Narcotraficante

A look at the Mexican drug wars from the point of view of a narco’s mistress in Juárez.

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96 Minutes

An oral history of the University of Texas Tower massacre.

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The Mystery of Lightning Medicine Cloud

An investigation into the death of a sacred white buffalo and the man who raised it.

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Friday Night Tykes

A season with the best 12-year-old football team in Texas.

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Trigger

The life and times of Willie Nelson’s guitar.

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Larry Hagman's Curtain Call

A profile of the late actor.

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The Last Ride of the Polo Shirt Bandit

The most prolific bank robber in Texas history.

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Portrait of the Artist as a Postman

A profile of Kermit Oliver, a reclusive, critically acclaimed artist who designs scarves for Hermès and works nights at the Waco post office.

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Of Meat and Men

The story behind “the best brisket you’ll ever eat.”

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Truth or Consequences

The story behind the story that ended Dan Rather’s career.

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That 70’s Show

How group of misfits in Texas including Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings snubbed Nashville and brought the hippies and rednecks together. An oral history of outlaw country.

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Honor Thy Father

Lance Butterfield was the captain of the football team, had a 4.0 GPA and a girl he loved. It wasn’t enough for his dad. And then his dad became too much for him.
Part of our guide to Skip Hollandsworth's true crime writing at Slate.

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Luv and War at 30,000 Feet

The story of Southwest Airlines.

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The Tree of Strife

Two Houston performance artists faux-marry an oak. Controversy ensues about the live installation’s relationship to the gay marriage debate.

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Sex, Lies, and Hit Men!

A Houston man allegedly tries to hire several hit men to kill his wife. Each fails miserably. It becomes the talk of the town.

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Hi, Society!

A profile of legendary Houston socialite Becca Cason Thrash.

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Hannah and Andrew

In October 2006 a four-year-old from Corpus Christi named Andrew Burd died mysteriously of salt poisoning. His foster mother, Hannah Overton, was charged with capital murder, vilified from all quarters, and sent to prison for life. But was this churchgoing young woman a vicious child killer? Or had the tragedy claimed its second victim?

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“If the Serial Killer Gets Us, He Gets Us”

Houston detectives investigate a series of brutal assaults on prostitutes in the Acres Homes section of the city. They thought they were after one man; it turns out they were wrong.

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The Day Treva Throneberry Disappeared

A high school student disappears, only to turn up more than 10 years later – posing as a high school student.

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Who Killed Mary Eula Sears?

Thirty years after the murder in Abilene, the question remains unanswered.

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Non-Prophet

An account of the trial of Warren Jeffs, the polygamous prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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Wheel in the Sky

On a 1955 ferris wheel accident.

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Unholy Act

A former priest becomes the prime suspect in the 1960 murder of a Texas beauty queen.

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Capital Murder

The coldest of cases: During 1884-85, seven women and one man were brutally murdered in Austin, Texas.

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With God On Their Side

437 children were removed from Yearning for Zion Ranch as part of the largest custody battle in American history. They were eventually returned to the compound polygamist Warren Jeffs made infamous—but questions remained.

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The Real Education of Little Tree

The story of Asa Earl Carter, aka Forrest Carter, the best-selling author of The Education of Little Tree, an autobiographical novel about “communion with nature and love of one’s fellow man.” He was also a Klansman, penning the famous George Wallace line, “Segregation now! Segregation tomorrow! Segregation forever!”

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O Sister, Where Art Thou?

It is a story that seems almost impossible to believe: a group of female convicts, few of whom had ever played a musical instrument or taken voice lessons, forming a country and western band and becoming, at least in Texas, the Dixie Chicks of their day.
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The Last Ride of Cowboy Bob

Peggy Jo Tallas, a soft-spoken bachelorette, spent much of her adult life doing two things: taking care of her ailing mother and robbing bank after bank dressed as a pudgy, bearded cowboy.

A selection from our guide to bank heists for Slate.

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Falling Comet

The rise and fall of “Rock Around the Clock” singer Bill Haley.

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Six Brothers

Kevin is the only surviving Von Erich brother, born into a wrestling family that lived and died by the code of the ring.

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A Kiss Before Dying

Odessa High School students know her as “Betty,” a ghost that haunts the auditorium at night.  But few know much about the real Betty, whose 1961 murder was “the most sensational crime in West Texas in its day.”

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Church Burners

Early last year, 10 churches were torched in East Texas. The culprits? Two Baptist teens having a crisis of faith.

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The Killer Cadets

How two love-struck, type A high schoolers almost got away with murder.

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Weird Science

The story of dog-scent lineup innovator Keith Pikett and the not-so-scientific science behind forensics.

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The Lost Boys

The story of Dean Corll and his accomplices, who killed over 20 teenage boys in the Heights neighborhood of Houston in the early 1970s, and the families searching for their missing sons.

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Flesh and Blood

Why did a small-town girl have her family brutally murdered?

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The Soul of a Man

On the mysterious life story of blues icon Blind Willie Johnson and a half-century of attempts to fill in the blanks.

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Bringing Down the Dogmen

A pair of undercover cops infiltrate a dogfighting ring in Houston.

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Innocence Lost

In 1992, Anthony Graves was arrested for brutally murdering a family in the middle of night. He had no motive. There was no physical evidence. The only witness recanted. And yet Graves remains behind bars.

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About a Boy

The life and death of Johnny Romano, the youngest pro skateboarder ever.

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See No Evil

Three Dallas prostitutes were found dead in as many months. Charles Albright might be the last person you’d suspect–unless you knew about his unique, lifelong obsession.

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Still Life

On October 17, 1973, John McClamrock was paralyzed playing high school football. Doctors doubted he would make it through the night. But he and his mother refused to give up—for more than three decades.