The melancholy comedy of the silent screen star.Excerpted from The Life of Images: Selected Prose.
The Daily Beast
In 1965, a mother was charged with killing her 5-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter in Queens. Fifty years later, it still isn’t clear if she did it.
The selfie may have ended any hope of resurrecting New York’s nightlife.
Untouched by Western journalists except in the presence of American troops, Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley was once the most violent part of the Afghan War.
The Wikipedia origin story.
Excerpted from The Innovators.
The Weirdest Story About a Conservative Obsession, a Convicted Bomber, and Taylor Swift You Have Ever Read
The case of Brett Kimberlin.
Getting clean with a three-day trip.
Previously: The Longform Guide to Addiction.
Jane Neubauer was just out of basic training when a secretive military unit recruited her for an undercover mission. She and the Air Force disagree about what happened next.
A profile of former club kid Michael Alig, who is approaching release after serving 17 years in jail for murder.
On the Boston mobster’s exes.
Less than half a decade after The Hills brought them massive celebrity, Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt are broke and his living in his parent’s vacation house. Their onscreen relationship was mostly fake, but the reality, as their current situation attests, was far worse:
By the end of 2009 (and the show’s fifth season), their lives seemed insane. Instead of riding bikes, Spencer was holding guns. Heidi’s plastic surgeries gave her a distorted quality, but she vowed to have more. Spencer grew a thick beard, became obsessed with crystals, and was eventually told to leave the series. There were daily updates on gossip sites about them “living in squalor,” publicly feuding with their families, and attacking The Hills producers (or claiming The Hills producers attacked them). By the time they announced they were (fake) splitting, followed by Spencer threatening to release various sex tapes, and Heidi (fake) filing for divorce, it seemed like they had ventured into, at best,Joaquin Phoenix-like, life-as-performance-art notoriety and, at worst, truly bleakStar 80 territory that could end with one or both of them dead.
Before the guru, Prakashanand Saraswati, vanished in March—before a jury convicted him of sexual abuse; before he slipped across the border into Mexico overnight—he led the premier Hindu temple in Texas and, perhaps, the whole United States.