Texas Monthly

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

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Navigating the bureaucratic welfare maze while raising a family.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Inside the political battle over reproductive rights in Texas.

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

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A profile of the country music legend.

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

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An oral history of the University of Texas Tower massacre.

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

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

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The life and times of Willie Nelson’s guitar.

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A profile of the late actor.

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The most prolific bank robber in Texas history.

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

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

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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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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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The story of Southwest Airlines.

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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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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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A profile of legendary Houston socialite Becca Cason Thrash.

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

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

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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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On a 1955 ferris wheel accident.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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.