chicago

31 articles
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No Man’s Land

Fear, racism, and the historically troubling attitude of American pioneers.

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Crime Fiction

The story of Tyrone Hood, who served 21 years for a murder he didn’t commit, and the Chicago criminal justice apparatus that allowed a serial killer to go free.

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Still Life

A Japanese photographer examines the scene of the St. Valentine's Day massacre; a story from the author of The Black Hour.

"Was it the worst I’d seen? I turned to the camera, viewing the scene anew. Four men lay in a row, as though they had been tucked into a large bed. One slept at their feet, face down. The last hunched on his knees at a round-backed wooden chair. Blood ran toward the center of the room. Later that day when I returned to the newsroom, I would release the image from the machine in my hands, like a dragon from a cage. The city would see the blood, black, and no one would remember that someone—call him Togo or call him Fujita, the name will not be printed—had stood in the dust of men’s bones to face the dragon so that they did not have to."

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They Came in Through the Bathroom Mirror

A Chicago housing project resident reports intruders breaking into her apartment through a medicine cabinet. Days later, she’s found dead.

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Trophy Slaughter

Inside the criminal operation illegally buying, selling and killing tigers – and selling their meat at the local butcher.

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An Alternate History of Sexuality in Club Culture

On the “queer roots” of Disco, House, and beyond.

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Michael Ferro Isn't Worried

When an antsy tech entrepreneur takes over a struggling newspaper.

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Why Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel Loves Selling Drugs in Chicago

How Chicago is key to a business moving tons of drugs for billions of dollars.

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Within the Cathedral, An Echo

An unemployed banker drifts along Occupy protests, his crumbling life, and a crime scene.

"Against the bleachers’ far end, beyond the scope of the cameras, Michael was thinking again about Brussels. The bullet had rung out with plunky subtlety he knew to expect but found disappointing, still. He remembered a cathedral there and the sound he had heard inside of it. This was years ago. The sound he recalled was a cane that he’d heard falling onto the cathedral’s marble floor. The way sound survives inside a cathedral. He remembered looking across the aisle to a hairless woman with earrings dangling halfway down her neck. In the darkness of Chicago, the boy’s body called to him for a closer look, he still had his phone after all, a camera. He could hear the sirens approaching."

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The Death and Life of Chicago

How the foreclosure crisis ignited a new form of activism in Chicago’s vacant homes.

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Taken for a Ride: Temp Agencies and Raiteros in Immigrant Chicago

How companies and large temp agencies benefit from—and tacitly collaborate with—an underworld of labor brokers, known as “raiteros,” who charge workers fees, pushing their pay below minimum wage.

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Brickyard Blues

On the brick stackers of Chicago.