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Crime

648 articles
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The Single-Mom Murder

She moved to Cape Cod to escape the glitzy Manhattan world she born into. The only witness to her murder was her 2-year-old daughter. Everyone she knew, it seemed, was a suspect.

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Trouble in Paradise

Pitcairn Island is impossibly remote, populated by descendants of a ship of British mutineers. Revelations that child molestation and rape had been a way of life for generations exposed them to the outside world.

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The Talented Mr. Young

Alan Young has been running the same scam for years: posing as a member of The Temptations and smooth-talking his way into luxury hotel rooms and prostitutes. Despite his clear charm, he admits he has “no skills other than being a con man.”

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Garden at the Edge of the Other Side of the World

A young boy anticipates his own kidnapping.

"One day in school, they passed out flyers for parents at the end of the day and Mom told him that a boy from another school had been taken. A poor school, where even when you were young you walked home alone because your parents had to work all the time. A man came up to the boy and promised him treats, candy and a Happy Meal from McDonald’s but instead he brought him to an empty parking garage in Stuyvesant Town and there security cameras had lost sight of them, the boy’s hand still pressed into the man’s, his book bag carelessly unzipped halfway."

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Murder Most Yale

No one knew how Suzanne Jovin ended up in a wealthy neighborhood away from Yale’s campus in New Haven, or why she was brutally stabbed on the sidewalk, apparently by someone she knew. The only suspect that police named was her thesis advisor.

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Opium Made Easy

It’s legal to buy poppy seeds in America and it’s legal to plant them—unless you’re familiar with the simple process of turning them into opium, that is. Then having poppies in your garden is a felony.

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Covering the Cops

A profile of Edna Buchanan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning crime reporter for the Miami Herald during its heyday.

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The Torture Colony

A utopian German settlement in Chile had already turned darkly cultish by the time it became a secret torture site for enemies of the Pinochet regime.

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The Chameleon

Frédéric Bourdin was an imposter. His "trail of cons," for which he used five languages and dozens of identities, extended for years across Europe and America.

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Letters From an Arsonist

Thomas Sweatt torched D.C. for decades and was finally jailed for killing one person. During a year-long correspondence from prison with a reporter, he confessed there were more.

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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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Rainey Royal [Excerpt]

Two teenage girls and a complicated, involved robbery; an excerpt from Landis' forthcoming novel.

"Tina stops. Rainey stops behind her. She imagines Tina stepping closer to the stoop and the man twisting her wrist so that the gun falls to the sidewalk and explodes, shooting someone in the ankle. But she wants that softly gliding cape, which she will wear to school, inciting fabulous waves of jealousy."

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Secrets of the Tax-Prep Business

How pop-up tax preparers make billions off the poor.

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The Mark

On then-agent, now-congressman Michael Grimm and what happens when an F.B.I. informant turns out to be a con man.

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Ornament and Crime

A young woman seeks an appropriate way to dispose of the ashes of her father, a fervid design critic.

"He always wished to be a geometric form (so often did he rail against 'the tyranny of the organic') so I could tell myself he’d be happy, but he also hated bric-a-brac and I think right now he’d qualify, being a small object with no function."

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The Revolution Room: Station One

A horror/mystery story about heart removal, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Chinese food bags.

"It is not easy to remove a heart with a spoon from the chest of a man, nor is it clean. The spoon was purchased 48 hours earlier from the Bed, Bath & Beyond on 9th Street. The Nicole Miller Moments 5 pc Flatware Set was $24.99. The salad fork, dinner knife, dinner fork, and soup spoon were disposed of. Only the teaspoon remained.

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A V of Geese

Interlocking narratives of relationships and a potential murder.

"Metal ran in an extensive and intricate network in streams across the countryside and densely through the city. Metal channeled the blood, and metal screws held Sarah’s glasses together as she left the parking lot and exited Le Roy onto the freeway. She felt sad to have missed a chance to get involved with a crazed dangerous person like Mike. Had he really committed a murder before she picked him up? She thought about the geese and drove home."

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The Pink Panthers

From a Tokyo smash-and-grab to driving a car through the window of a Dubai jewelry shop, how a ragtag band of Balkan thieves set a new bar for audacious heists.

A member of the Pink Panthers, Milan Poparic, escaped from prison yesterday.

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Sing a Little

Confusion and nervousness ensue when items slowly go missing at a nursing home.

"After that conversation, more glasses went missing. Sometimes we found them on the wrong peoples’ faces. Sometimes a pair showed up, perched in the middle of a bowl of oatmeal. Everyone was confused; Miss Marilyn panicked. Even my grandma had her theories—a rat had carried things off and dropped them in sly places. But I knew who was responsible and I kept quiet. I couldn’t break a man’s spirit.

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The Suspects Wore Louboutins

The motley gang of L.A. teens that cat-burgled celebrities, sometimes repeatedly, in search of designer clothes, jewelry, and something to do. The story that became The Bling Ring.

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Mexican Manifesto

A series of mysterious, dangerous interactions in a Mexican bathhouse.

"In every public bath, there tends to be a fight from time to time. We never saw or heard any there. The clients, conditioned by some unknown mechanism, respected and obeyed every word of the orphan’s instructions. Also, to be fair, there weren’t very many people, and that’s something I’ll never be able to explain, since it was a clean place, relatively modern, with individual saunas for taking steam baths, bar service in the saunas, and, above all, cheap. There, in Sauna 10, I saw Laura naked for the first time, and all I could do was smile and touch her shoulder and say I didn’t know which valve to turn to make the steam come out."

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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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The People's Champion

In a fictionalized Haiti, a man explains the inner workings of the political landscape and his own shady rise to the role of Prime Minister.

"Yet…deciding to recount the entire tale, the whole historical record, as in order for events to work out as Richard wanted them to, then yes, he’d have to make good on his promise that everything would be made clear, revealed in one fashion or another—it’s probably best if I explain: Jean was once a senator in the Haitian senate, the second-youngest senator in Haiti’s history in fact, and as a senator, he was wildly inept. You can’t really find him totally at fault however, because Jean’s parents bought him his seat when he was fresh from school. I can’t fathom why, but my guess is that they knew he had no head for business and that there was nothing else he’d really be good for, so they had hoped that a career in politics would both keep him busy and allow them to control a portion of the country without too much effort. But well, Jean, Jean bloody fucked all that, what with his reckless politicking and all."

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Greenland

A man encounters the boundaries of knowledge while investigating his father's murder.

"This is maybe still too big for him to know right now, the image too hard for him to see, but eight days ago his father Gerald was found dead in Greenland. He hasn’t talked to his father in three weeks even though his apartment is a mile away, and Rob has no idea what he’d possibly be doing in Greenland. He has no idea why anybody would go to Greenland. Ever."

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The Murders In The Rue Morgue

A Parisan eccentric and his friend analytically consider a horrific crime in this classic detective story.

"At the first dawn of the morning we closed all the massy shutters of our old building; lighted a couple of tapers which, strongly perfumed, threw out only the ghastliest and feeblest of rays. By the aid of these we then busied our souls in dreams—reading, writing, or conversing, until warned by the clock of the advent of the true Darkness. Then we sallied forth into the streets, arm and arm, continuing the topics of the day, or roaming far and wide until a late hour, seeking, amid the wild lights and shadows of the populous city, that infinity of mental excitement which quiet observation can afford."

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Five Stories

A series of mysterious, interconnected explorations of misdeeds and criminal activities.

"Did we remember anything about the van? White. We knew the color of their van. We thought more about it. Paint. The little girl’s dress. Was the dress white? Check. Now we began to see something. And what else was white? The sneakers. Check. The men were wearing white sneakers. Nothing dark on their feet. The sneakers didn’t have a speck of dark, neither did the van, check, neither did the girl’s dress, check, no dark, these men opposed anything dark and the men were—but we stopped. Dead end. The sack was black. They had put a dark sack over the girl’s head. The sack. How did the dark sack fit together with the white sneakers, white van, white dress? So why wouldn’t they just use a white sack? Black tangled into so much white."

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Farewell Tour

For New Year's Eve, a Times Square encounter chronicled by the author of Open City.

"Low and I stood under the cold blazing lights of Times Square, smoking, and I asked him what he had eaten. Oysters, he said, the pleasure coming back into his voice, in a row on a ridge of ice, eager to be eaten. Fluke, caviar, octopus, some champagne but not a lot."

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Lament In The Night [Excerpt]

Down in out in an unnamed Californian city: newly-translated Japanese noir from the 1920s.

"First, he was obliged to pretend to search through his pockets. Of course he knew he wouldn't find anything. All he had was the penny he'd found earlier. But if that penny were to show up now, it would only ruin his act. At times like this, Sakuzō could become quite the performer."

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Roots

A Hanukkah story revolving around anarchists, crooks, and vandals. [Free registration required.]

"'Anyway, what's this talk about roots?' he said and immediately regretted it. He could see the magazine covers already. The Return to Religion: The New Tribalism. He liked it better when Wendy was insolent and yelled 'Death to the pigs!' at a couple of off-duty cops having a cup of coffee at a local diner before Frieda pulled her away."

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Rheumatic Fever

A young couple, laying low in Maine, is menaced by the reappearance of a suspicious father.

"Jesse is small, but solid in the way some short men can be. He has thick hair, dyed black, parted distinctly in the middle of his head, and he is wearing slacks and a clean, white tee-shirt. In his small hand, he has my journal."

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Escape to Alcatraz

On prison tourism.

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Horrific Fire Revealed a Gap in Safety for Global Brands

The human lives lost in exchange for cheaper goods.

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The Hells Angels' Devilish Business

How the biker gang makes money.

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The Smartest Girls in the Room

How an obscure Australian judge and a hard-charging lawyer put the S&P on trial for the global financial collapse.

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4:52 on Christmas Morning

A father’s life, one year after the death of his three daughters in a fire.

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The Zombie Hunters

Tracking cyberextortionists and their roving swarms of bots.

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Playboy Interview: Snoop Dogg

“If I had been a straight-A student my whole life and had rapped about Jesus coming back to save us all, I wouldn’t get no media. The motherfuckers wouldn’t give a fuck about me. But since I’m telling the truth, and been through what I’m stressing and know what I’m talking about, I’m a threat.”

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Panic in Jerusalem

A community says its children are being targeted by a group of pedophiles. But did widespread sexual abuse actually take place?

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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 Truce on Drugs

In Colorado and beyond, a negotiated surrender in the war on drugs.

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The Man Who Charged Himself With Murder

Trevell Coleman wasn’t sure whether he’d killed a man. But after 17 years, he needed to find out.

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Kafka in Beijing

An alleged rape and one woman’s futile quest for justice in modern China.

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Rio: The Fight for the Favelas

On the experimental favela police force UPP (aka “The Big Skull”) and their efforts to clean Rio’s largest slum in advance of the World Cup and Olympics.

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What Happened to Michelle in Forest Hills?

Behind the tabloid story of the “murder orphan” in Queens.

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Spellbinder

At various points, Thomas Mitchell was a novelist, an attorney, a scientist, a Hollywood dealmaker and a CIA higher-up. He was also a con man.

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Light Entertainment

An essay on Jimmy Savile, British television and child sexual abuse.

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Thomas Quick: the Swedish serial killer who never was

He confessed to more than 30 murders. But Thomas Quick (also known as Sture Bergwall) may not have committed any of them.

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Life on Matinicus Island

How modernity – and an eruption of violence – changed “the most remote inhabited island on the Atlantic seaboard.”

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The Truck Stop Killer

As a 15-year runaway hitchhiker, a trucker nearly killed the writer. Twenty seven years later, she investigates whether her attacker was truck stop serial killer Robert Ben Rhoades, who often kept his victims chained in the back of his truck for weeks before killing and dumping them.

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The Flight

A woman's communications and interactions with a potential criminal.

"The beaten man lurches to his feet and pulls out a shape, a gun, from his pocket–somehow it must have escaped the notice of the other men before. He staggers backward into the porticos and I can no longer see him. But a minute later I can hear him yelling in English as he storms up the stairs of my building, calling, 'Help! Help!' and hammering on doors. There are several banging sounds as though he’s fallen."

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The House Where They Live

Life inside Long Island’s largest cluster of sex offenders.

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Inside the Mansion -- and Mind -- of Kim Dotcom, the Most Wanted Man on the Net

The strange existence of the accused Internet pirate as he battles the U.S. government.

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How an Accused Guatemalan War Criminal Won U.S., Canadian Citizenship

A California martial arts instructor’s secret past.

Previously: Finding Oscar
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Millionaires Clash Over Shadyside Mansion

A strange, ongoing property battle among the richest of Texans.

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The Greatest Fake-Art Scam in History?

How a couple made millions on uncanny forgeries.

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Behind Enemy Lines With a Suburban Counterterrorist

How one woman is monitoring the jihadi network from a home office in Montana.

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The Rise and Fall of the Cincinnati Boner King

A jailhouse interview with Steve Washak, who made millions selling “natural male enhancement” pills.

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From Porky's to Hell

How Tony Galeota went from mobbed-up teen on Long Island to legendary strip club manager in Miami to distraught prisoner in a Panamanian jail.

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The Last Ride of the Polo Shirt Bandit

The most prolific bank robber in Texas history.

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"I Was a Monster"

Ten years after D.C. area sniper shootings, an interview with Lee Boyd Malvo.

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Rita Crundwell and the Dixon Embezzlement

How a small-town comptroller became the biggest municipal embezzler in U.S. history.

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Imaginary Monsters Chased Jonny Holden All His Life, Then a Real One Caught Him

A family’s struggle with mental illness and the criminal justice system.

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Eyes Wide Shut

What the wife of a ponzi schemer knew.

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Joe Arridy Was The Happiest Man On Death Row

Joe Arridy had an IQ of 46. In 1939, he was executed for a crime he neither understood nor committed.

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The Boy They Couldn't Kill

Thirteen years ago, NFL wide receiver Rae Carruth conspired to kill the woman carrying his child. The woman, Cherica Adams, died. The child, Chancellor Lee Adams, did not.

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Predator in the Ranks

Is a Marine responsible for a series of violent attacks against women?

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The Devil on Paradise Road

It started as a bluebird New Year’s Day in Mount Rainier National Park. But when a gunman murdered a ranger and then fled back into the park’s frozen backcountry, every climber, skier, and camper became a suspect—and a potential victim.

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The Devil and Jeffrey MacDonald

Did a handsome young Green Beret doctor kill his pregnant wife and two daughters? Or, as he claims, did a group of candle-carrying hippies carry out a vicious home invasion while chanting “Acid is groovy, kill the pigs”? A mystery that spanned three decades.

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Wild Justice

Putting killer animals on trial.

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Searching For the Godmother of Crime

A profile of Griselda Blanco, aka the “Black Widow,” who pioneered the cocaine trade in New York and Miami.

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Marathon Man

The strange case of Kip Litton, road race fraud.

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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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The Thin Blue Lie

An exposé of the New York Police Department’s Civilian Complaint Review Board.

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The Throwaways

The perilous existence of confidential informants.

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Killing for God

Ervil LeBaron, the Mormon Manson, terrorized Mexico’s Mormon compounds, ordering the killing of enemies and relatives alike. Even after he was captured, followers continued treat the “Hit List” he left behind as the word of God.

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Guns 'R Us

A report from Sprague’s Sports, a firearms emporium in Yuma, Arizona.

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The Night-Life Lawyer

A profile of Salvatore Strazzullo, who represents celebrities, whether major or minor, who get themselves in trouble in Manhattan after dark.

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A Dot-Com Bust

How the self-proclaimed “inventor of all things streaming” went from dot-com millionaire to crime ring accomplice.

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Capturing the Last Don

How Bernardo Provenzano, “boss of all bosses of the Sicilian Mafia” and fugitive for more than 40 years, got caught.

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Prosecutorial Indiscretion

The story of Donald Smaltz, an independent prosecutor run amok.

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Mad Money

The rise and fall of Bernard von NotHaus, the creator of the most successful (and some say illegal) alternative currency in the U.S.

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The Loved One

In the late 90s, an American man adopted a 5-year-old from the Ukraine. A decade later, one of the two would be accused of molesting young boys. The other would be charged with murder.

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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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The Narco Tunnels of Nogales

The underground routes by which drugs enter the U.S. from Mexico, and the officials who’ve found it almost impossible to curb their construction.

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The Debtor

Darren Lumar lived in mansions he didn’t own, ran companies that didn’t make a dime, went to colleges that didn’t exist and slept with “any number of women” despite being married to James Brown’s daughter. When he was murdered, the cops had a problem: too many possible suspects.

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Adam Wheeler Went to Harvard

Adam Wheeler lied on his college application. Lawrence Summers facilitated the destruction of the global economy.

Only one of these Harvard men was given jail time.

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Southern Horrors: Lynch Law In All Its Phases

An exposé of extralegal killing.

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The Killing Bones

The rise and fall of an antiquities collector turned grave robber.

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Entrainment

The hungry, woozy thoughts of a young hitchhiker.

"The time since our last bath has made us smell completely wanton, like we’re bad apples. That is why I am not allowed to faint, no matter how hungry I get. If I swoon, there won’t be help. My body will not be held in arms until it can be laid gently among the reeds. Rather, my skull will split against, and brains will spill great fountains on the sidewalk. The crowd will continue, too busy to observe the tableau by their feet. If anyone hears my splash, they’ll see the dark sky and be convinced that it’s somehow got to do with rain."

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Letter From Munich

On the scene of the darkest games in Olympics history.

Part of our Olympics primer, on the Longform blog.
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The Politics of Killing

Two men named Nathan committed murders. Only one received a death sentence.

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"Is he coming? Is he? Oh God, I think he is."

The story of the Norway massacre, as told by the survivors.

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A Plea to Be Free

Greg Ousley killed his parents and has been locked up for nineteen years.

Is that enough?

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Wikipedia: Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan

On the evening of November 7th 1974, the 7th Earl of Lucan, an inveterate gambler and Backgammon champion with a taste for power boats, snuck into his estranged wife’s basement. He then bludgeoned their nanny with a lead pipe and placed her in a canvas sack, before attempting to murder his wife. Recognizing his voice, she convinced him that she could him escape, then slipped out a bathroom window. Lord Lucan was never seen again.

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Capers

An elderly couple attempts a series of adventurous forays into crime.

"She grinned back, but her heart was wilting. This crumbling of old values must be a sign of dementia, mustn't it. Perhaps his was an encapsulated dementia, confined to mild misbehavior. Maybe petty crimes would stave off worse senility. She knew some poor old fellows who tried to fondle waitresses."

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Memento Mori

An alternate take on Memento's amnesiac-detective concept, written by Christopher Nolan's brother.

"He is caught at the door to his room, one hand on the knob. Two pictures are taped to the wall by the door. Earl's attention is caught first by the MRI, a shiny black frame for four windows into someone's skull. In marker, the picture is labeled YOUR BRAIN. Earl stares at it. Concentric circles in different colors. He can make out the big orbs of his eyes and, behind these, the twin lobes of his brain. Smooth wrinkles, circles, semicircles. But right there in the middle of his head, circled in marker, tunneled in from the back of his neck like a maggot into an apricot, is something different. Deformed, broken, but unmistakable. A dark smudge, the shape of a flower, right there in the middle of his brain."

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Rewrite

A man tries to rebuild his life after killing four people in a car crash.

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Catch Me If You Can

When an autistic child goes missing.

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The Chickens and the Bulls

The rise and fall of the “most far-flung, most organized, and most brazen example of homosexual extortion in the nation’s history.”

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The Inside Man

The triple life of G-Rock: upscale house painter, lifelong Crip, FBI informant.

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Confessions of a Non–Serial Killer

What happens when a complete stranger becomes convinced you’re the Zodiac killer.

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Tiny Little Laws

An investigation into sexual violence on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

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The Worst Marriage in Georgetown

The murderous tale of Washington D.C. fabulist Albrecht Muth and his late wife Viola Drath.

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The Talented M. Despallières

How the author became tangled up with an international con man who may or may not have murdered several people.

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Injustice for All

John MacNeil was convicted by the state of Massachusetts of second-degree murder. He was given a life sentence. He escaped. He was caught. Through an incredible feat of jailhouse lawyering, he somehow got himself paroled and exiled to Canada. Then he came home.

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The Passion of John Wojnowski

What would drive a man to stand outside the Vatican embassy nearly every day for 14 years?

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Sponge-Fraud!

The curious case of SpongeBob SquarePants illustrator Todd White, three ninjas, and an art caper.

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Lost Limbs

An aimless man forms a connection with a one-armed woman.

"Our date ended on that uncomfortable accusatory note and I didn’t see Lenore again for quite some time. Occasionally I would have these little fantasies, daydreams involving Lenore and her metal pincher hand. She’d stare at me with those light eyes while we made love and that other rubber hand would lie on a table next to us, feeling left out of the action."

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Inside Peoples Temple

An early investigation into Jim Jones’ cult.

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The Monster of Florence

An American mystery writer and an Italian journalist join forces to identify a serial killer that targeted couples having sex in cars in the rolling hills above Florence.

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My Father and Me: A Spy Story

The highest-ranking CIA officer to be convicted of spying passes the tricks of the trade along to his son.

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Cocaine, Inc.

How a Mexican drug cartel makes its billions.

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The Vanishing

In the remote wilderness along northern British Columbia’s Highway 16, at least 18 women have gone missing over the past four decades. Is it the work of a serial killer or multiple offenders?

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A Drug Family in the Winner’s Circle

On the Mexican drug cartel accused of laundering money with race horses.

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The Phantom King of Buffalo

A 21-year-old’s audacious real estate scam and subsequent escape.

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A Vintage Crime

The man who made millions selling counterfeit wines.

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American Pain: The Largest U.S. Pill Mill's Rise and Fall

The story of Christopher and Jeffrey George, the twin proprietors of a pain clinic empire.

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Things To See In Toughlahoma

New, eerie definitions and potential crimes surround a water park..

"Some say that when the Jesus of the Dakotas fed his blue ox Babe to the five thousand there were thirteen baskets of Babe-flesh left over, and the Babe-flesh was discarded beside a pond where it ossified or petrified or what have you, into a whale. A whale with a slide head and a diving board tail. But that's stupid. The oldsters want you to believe that it's the very whale that spit out Ishmael when President Action Jackson ordered him to go preach to the savages, which is theologically unsound and also why I wish we had not abandoned the practice of sacrificing our oldsters to the Great Teen Spirit."

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Prep-School Predators

The Horace Mann School’s secret history of sexual abuse.

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The Baleful Influence of Gambling

“Strong-arm methods, including murder, are common in the illicit narcotics traffic. After a major international narcotics ring was broken up last year, two of the- twenty-four defendants were murdered before completion of the trial. One was shot down in the Bronx; the burned body of the other was found near Rochester, New York. The business executive, factory worker, and housewife never encounter the seamy side, but this is what their bets are financing. Again I ask, Is this really the way the American people want it to be?”

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The Ruins of Joe Pa's Kingdom

The Penn State sex abuse scandal as told through a father, a son and “Victim 1.”

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Untangling a Rape Case in Crown Heights

She was a thirteen-year-old from the Chabad Lubavitch community who would dip into a barbershop bathroom to swap her orthodox clothes for those of a streetwalker. Her pimping and rape allegations against a group of black men in their twenties, repeatedly recanted and then reaffirmed, would send the D.A.’s office into disarray.

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Family of former soccer pro can’t accept shame of suicide ruling

The controversy surrounding the death of Uche Okafor.

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The Devil They Know

A profile of former Liberian president Charles Taylor, who was sentenced to 50 years today after being convicted of committing crimes against humanity.

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A Delicate Toxicity

Personal histories and mysteries emerge when a woman stakes out the woman who may have cannibalized her boyfriend.

"Now she is hungry. I can tell by the way she moves. And her laughter isn´t real nor is that hair. It is a wig woven from the hair of all the men she has eaten. This has gone on for so long. I can tell. Her hair reaches her waist. Turning, she looks right at me, does not see me. Does not recognize the picture that must have been inside my lover's heart that she split open before boiling."

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The Great Taliban Jailbreak

On the escape of hundreds of insurgents from Kandahar’s Sarposa Prison through a tunnel dug from the outside, and an unlikely suspect: the jail’s former warden.

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Grace in Broken Arrow

The anatomy of a sex abuse scandal at a Christian school in Oklahoma.

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Finding Oscar

A man living in the Boston suburbs learns he could be one of the only survivors of a 1982 massacre in Guatemala.

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Cell Buddy

Haunted by the abuse of her former cellmate, a prison inmate seeks companionship with an inflatable Cell Buddy.

"Keeping one eye on the cell door, Amanda opened the box and pulled out the folded plastic figure, gently removing the sealed packaging, complete with a two-part pump system she assembled after a few minutes of difficulty. (Amanda was pretty handy but sometimes struggled with instructions.) Now with her back to the tier, hiding the plastic figure from view, Amanda slowly pumped up her Cell Buddy until it was fully inflated. She then stood back, admiring her new friend."

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When Lois Pearson Started Fighting Back

For 12 days she was tortured and raped by a former neighbor, who strung her up on a deer-skinning device. On the fourth day, she forgave him.

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Death of a Hostess

Twenty-one-year-old Briton Lucie Blackman came to Tokyo and found work in the Roppongi district hostess bars, where businessmen come to flirt with paid companions, and Western women draw a premium fee. Two months later, she disappeared. She would be found underneath a bathtub in a beachside cave.

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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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The Ultimate Counterfeiter Isn't a Crook—He's an Artist

A painter’s dogged, doomed pursuit of the perfect $100 bill.

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The Madness of General Mladic

A profile of former Bosnia Serb military commander Ratko Mladic, whose war crimes trial began, and was abruptly suspended, this week.

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All the World is Staged

Catching “the world’s most prolific criminal fixer of soccer matches.”

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Lawrence Williams: No Romeo

How a convicted sexual predator emptied the bank accounts and ruined the lives of several women from behind bars.

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Château Sucker

The world of high-end wine gets conned.

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Murder in the Meth Lab?

A cop kills a fellow officer during a drug bust and claims it was an accident. Others suspect that it wasn’t.

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Throwaway People

The story of Trina Garnett, “one of approximately 470 prisoners in Pennsylvania serving life without parole for crimes they committed as teenagers.”

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Till Murder Do Us Part

A nasty divorce ends in murder and national notoriety.

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The Killing Trail

In short order, eight gay men in Texas were murdered by teenage boys.

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Death of a Broker

The case of the murdered real-estate legend and her enraged assistant.

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Psychology of Fraud: Why Good People Do Bad Things

The story of one man’s descent into lies and illegal activity – and why it could so easily happen to any of us.

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The Kid Who Wasn't There

An investigation into the true identity of a high school basketball player.

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Direct Fail

On trying and sentencing juvenile offenders as adults.

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Drive-By Truckers

The rise of the long-haul trucker/serial killer, as excerpted from Ginger Strand’s book Killer on the Road.

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Uncatchable

George Wright spent more time on the lam, 41 years, than any fugitive in American history. Last fall, after being caught in a rural Portuguese village, he told his story.

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Firestarter

From prison, a member of the Earth Liberation Front tells her story.

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Alone, 'Riodoce' Covers the Drug Cartel Beat

A profile of the Mexican newsweekly, a “lone voice” in reporting on the narcos.

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The Accidental Sex Offender

On having sex with your high school girlfriend – and paying the price for years to come.

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George Zimmerman: Prelude To a Shooting

A portrait of Trayvon Martin’s killer.

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The Criminalization of Bad Mothers

Alabama’s chemical-endangerment law was passed to protect kids from meth labs. But is the prosecution of about 60 mothers – and the definition of “child” extended to “unborn child” – pushing its boundaries too far?

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The Bedford Quarry

Residents of a small New Hampshire town deal with various problems and hardships.

"I unchained my bike and rode out through the center of Carlisle towards Jack’s house. A couple of times, I had told Wesley that I was done being a thief. It was like when Jack decided to stop drinking. Quitting’s easy, Jack told me, I’ve done it hundreds of times. I was scared at night, when I would hear cars pull up, and wonder if someone I had ripped off was after me."

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The Man Who Hacked Hollywood

How a lonely, self-taught hacker found his way into the private emails of movie stars – and into the underworld of the celebrity-skin business.

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The House of Second Chances

On L.A.’s Homeboy Industries, which offers former felons—including at least one disgraced CEO—the chance to work.

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Undercover Anarchist

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

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Do Fingerprints Lie?

Controversy over the alleged gold standard of forensic evidence.

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Uncle Skillet Rides Again

A grifter uncle visits his fundamentalist family.

"Uncle Skillet had stayed the same as he was in the stories my dad told. He had become a nomad, somebody my parents argued about in loud hisses, thinking they were whispering while they thought I was asleep. The idea of Uncle Skillet thrilled me. He was one of the bad guys from the Bible, a nomad on a permanent adventure, no agenda. Wild, dangerous, sinning all over the world, a life like the underside of the lawnmower."

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The Bravest Woman in Seattle

She survived an evil, gruesome attack. Her partner did not. An account of a victim, a widow, telling her story on the witness stand.

Update, 4/16/12: This piece was just awarded the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.
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A Struggle with the Police & the Law

A Supreme Court Justice revisits a rape trial from the 1950s.

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Miami-Dade TNT Unit Loses the War on Drugs and Liberty City's Trust

An investigation of the county’s Tactical Narcotics Team and, in particular, a Christmas-themed sting dubbed “Santa’s Helper”:

A two-month investigation by New Times has found that Santa's Helper was a colossal waste of police resources. Of the 112 suspects arrested, 73 people were charged only with misdemeanor pot possession. The vast majority of the busted pot smokers were either released within 24 hours or avoided jail by promising to show up in court. Of the 73 alleged tokers, 68 of them — including Dante Level and his siblings — had no violent criminal record. If they were guilty of anything, it was smoking a joint on their own front porch.

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How My Aunt Marge Ended Up in the Deep Freeze...

The real-life events that inspired the new Richard Linklater dark comedy Bernie:

It’s a story about people believing what they want to believe, even when there’s evidence to the contrary. It’s a story about people not being what they seem. And it’s a story, as the movie poster says, “so unbelievable it must be true.” Which it is. I know this because the widow in the freezer was, in real life, my Aunt Marge, Mrs. Marjorie Nugent, my mother’s sister and, depending on whom you ask, the meanest woman in East Texas. She was 81 when she was murdered, and Bernie Tiede, her constant companion and rumored paramour, was 38. He’ll be eligible for parole in 2027, when he’ll be 69.

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Eric Rudolph Slept Here

How did the most wanted man in America, the serial bomber behind the Atlanta Olympics explosion, survive for five years in the North Carolina woods? And was he helped?

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The Camorra Never Sleeps

The enduring system of organized crime in Naples.

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The Invaders

A writer’s trip home to Hot Springs, Arkansas, and the racetrack inextricably linked with the histories of his family and his hometown.

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What’s Eating the NYPD?

The toll of being a cop on the most successful force in the country.

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Crimetown, U.S.A.

The mob and Youngstown, Ohio: a love story.

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A Daughter's Revenge

The complicated case of Brigitte Harris, who, after years of abuse, accidentally killed her father by cutting off his penis.

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Concentration Camp

An anonymous essay on time spent in “protective custody” at a Nazi camp.

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Fight on State

The inside story of Pennsylvania’s governor and the fall of Joe Paterno.

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Hobby Store

A single father and his children examine and hypothesize the actions of his felonious, unstable ex-wife.

"They wanted possession of facts. And they each wanted in their own distinct ways that fit their own distinct lives, now forming and shaping in this new old-house, a clear and logical understanding of why she was the way she was, why she did those things, what sinister motives propelled her through those jagged movements that in turn transported her into legend."

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The Big Business of Breast Cancer

Every year, more than $6 billion is raised by breast cancer charities. A look at how much of that money ends up in the hands of scammers.

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A Death in Yellowstone

After two people are found dead in Yellowstone National Park, a team of investigators tracks down the unlikely culprit: a grizzly bear.

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Dallas DA Craig Watkins on Witnessing His First Execution

An interview:
Watkins: And then, all of a sudden, you notice that it appears that he is falling asleep and gasping for air—like he is snoring, basically. You could classify it as snoring or as gasping for air. You see his chest moving, and then I guess very quickly—maybe two minutes in—his chest stops moving. And we stand there, I guess, for another 10 minutes, and everybody is just kind of standing there. D Magazine: In total silence? Watkins: No one’s talking. No one’s saying anything. And then you notice that the condemned, he starts to turn this bluish color. So I guess that’s when all his functions have stopped. And then a doctor walks in and takes his vital signs and announces that the person is—he looks at the clock and announces, “The person died at 6:22.” And then they open the door and we all walk out.
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A Hole in the Ground

Is a serial killer on the loose in Wellfleet? An investigation.

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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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The Retreat

How life has changed in the neighborhood where Trayvon Martin was killed.

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Operation Midnight Climax

How the CIA, under a program called MK-ULTRA, used a San Francisco apartment to dose johns with LSD.

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No Earthly Trace

Eighteen-year-old Justin Gaines disappears after a night at a bar.

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The Killer and Mrs. Johnson

Mary Ellen Johnson, a 48-year-old author, befriends a teenager convicted of murdering his parents.

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Legacy of a Lonesome Death

In 1963, William Zantzinger was convicted of manslaughter in the death of Hattie Carroll and then immortalized – and somewhat defamed – by Bob Dylan. What’s he been up to since then?

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Ivan the Recumbent, or Demjanjuk in Munich

A report from the trial of Ivan Demjanjuk—a.k.a. “The Last Nazi”—who died on March 17.

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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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The Exoneration of Bennett Barbour

Virginia authorities possess DNA evidence that may exonerate dozens of  convicted men. Why won’t the state say who they are?

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Mugging as a Way of Life

The life and times of two professional muggers in 1970’s lower Manhattan:

Hector and Louise usually work whatever neighborhood they’re living in. They knock over every old man on the block, every young man who follows Louise’s swinging hips and pocketbook, and every young girl attracted by Hector’s olive eyes. They rough up all of them, take whatever money is there, and then move on.

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Report on Texas Tower Shooting

The noon chimes in the bell-clock tower rising above him to the building's 307-foot pinnacle sounded: pom-pom-pom-pom . . . 16 notes, high and sweet. Some say the chimes say a poem: "Lord, through this hour "Be Thou my guide, "For in Thy power "I do confide." After the chimes, there is a long pause -- 23 seconds if you hold a wristwatch on it -- time enough for a practiced man to reload three rifles and a shotgun.

“Doc” Quigg’s wire report on the 1966 Texas Tower shooting on the campus of UT-Austin.

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Disarming Viktor Bout

A profile of the world’s most notorious weapons trafficker.

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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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'Knockout game' case shocked St. Louis, then fell apart

A group of teens allegedly create a violent game with a simple premise: “to knock out a stranger with a single punch.”

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Kill-Crazed Animal?

A profile of William Heirens, the convicted “Lipstick Killer” of Chicago, who died this week.

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The Gray Box

On solitary confinement:

"Two or three hundred years from now people will look back on this lockdown mania like we look back on the burning of witches."

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Encounters with the Calabrian Mafia: Inside the World of the 'Ndrangheta

The profile of a crime syndicate which dominates the European cocaine trade.

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Jail Break

In an odd way, crime has fallen off the political landscape. To an extent it's been replaced on the agenda by concern about the dire consequences of mass incarceration. But violent crime itself remains a major area in which the United States lags behind other developed countries. To suggest that smarter management of the criminal justice system could make it less brutal while simultaneously creating large reductions in the quantity of crime sounds utopian. And yet the proposals for parole system reform found in this article are utterly convincing.

-M. Yglesias

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The Warlord and the Basketball Star: A Story of Congo's Corrupt Gold Trade

Dikembe Mutombo, humanitarian and former NBA center, and oil executive Kase Lawal arrange a ill-fated deal to buy $30 million in gold in Kenya.

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Broken Windows

The landmark article that changed the way communities were policed:

This wish to "decriminalize" disreputable behavior that "harms no one"- and thus remove the ultimate sanction the police can employ to maintain neighborhood order—is, we think, a mistake. Arresting a single drunk or a single vagrant who has harmed no identifiable person seems unjust, and in a sense it is. But failing to do anything about a score of drunks or a hundred vagrants may destroy an entire community. A particular rule that seems to make sense in the individual case makes no sense when it is made a universal rule and applied to all cases. It makes no sense because it fails to take into account the connection between one broken window left untended and a thousand broken windows.

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The Wrath of Putin

Putin v. Khodorkovsky:

Almost a decade ago, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, then the owner of the Yukos Oil Company and Russia’s richest man, completely miscalculated the consequences of standing up to Vladimir Putin, then Russia’s president. Putin had Khodorkovsky arrested, completely miscalculating the consequences of putting him in prison. During his eight years in confinement, Khodorkovsky has become Russia’s most trusted public figure and Putin’s biggest political liability. As long as Putin rules Russia and Khodorkovsky continues to act like Khodorkovsky, Khodorkovsky will remain in prison—and Putin will remain terrified of him.

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The Deadliest Place In Mexico

Murder in the Juarez Valley:

A few weeks after Saul Reyes and his family fled Mexico, I drove to an immigrant shelter in downtown El Paso to see him. As the former city secretary of Guadalupe, Saul had once been in charge of recording the births and deaths of everyone in his hometown. He’d taken it upon himself now to collect every single name of those who had died or disappeared in Guadalupe since the killing began in 2008. Through media reports and meetings with the many valley exiles now living in Texas, Saul had compiled a list of the town’s dead and disappeared. Showing me the book, he turned page after page of names. So far he had counted 180 dead, 26 disappeared, and eight unknown bodies dumped in his small town of 3,000 people. “There are a lot more, but these are the ones I’ve been able to collect,” he said. In his careful, spidery script, he had written on one page the names of his six family members.

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Nubia: the Life, Death of an Abused Child

REXML could not parse this XML/HTML: 
<blockquote>Jorge and Carmen Barahona are awaiting trial. Both are charged with murder. The Department of Children & Families, which received numerous calls about Nubia to its child abuse hot line but did not protect her, has been flagellated for failure to do its job.

That is the story of Nubia Barahona’s death.

This — from voluminous court records, audio recordings, hundreds of family photos released by prosecutors, interviews and DCF documents — is the story of her life.</blockquote>
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The Mysterious Mr. Zedzed: The Wickedest Man in the World

Few men have acquired so scandalous a reputation as did Basil Zaharoff, alias Count Zacharoff, alias Prince Zacharias Basileus Zacharoff, known to his intimates as “Zedzed.” Born in Anatolia, then part of the Ottoman Empire, perhaps in 1849, Zaharoff was a brothel tout, bigamist and arsonist, a benefactor of great universities and an intimate of royalty who reached his peak of infamy as an international arms dealer -- a “merchant of death,” as his many enemies preferred it.
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The Journey of Judge Joan Lefkow

What happened after Joan Lefkow’s husband and mother were murdered in her home.

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Scott Ritter's Other War

How the former U.N. weapon’s inspector and “loudest and most credible skeptic of the Bush administration’s contention that Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction” ended up embroiled in an Internet sex scandal involving underage girls.

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Sixteen-year-old Tara Perry followed her man into crime and madness

Three months before it all started, she'd been a shy sophomore at Aurora Central High School, a member of the soccer and speech teams. Then Randy Miller had come out of prison and back into her world. A 22-year-old former child prostitute and drug dealer, Miller had promised to take her away from a tumultuous and painful home life. But the journey he had in mind led downward, into a terrifying series of home invasions and armed robberies and, finally, a few hours after the King Soopers stickup, to a standoff with state troopers in a small Kansas town.
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Mother’s Boys

In court and visiting prison with the parents of young Russian Nationalists who’ve killed.

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The Living Nightmare

The story of Olympic boxing hopeful Quanitta Underwood, who was sexually abused by her father as a child.

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Trashed

An investigation into how a 19-year-old college freshman ended up buried in a landfill.

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Kim Dotcom, Pirate King

Dotcom didn’t look like a criminal genius. With his ginger hair, chubby cheeks, and odd fashion sense—he often wore black suits and white-on-black wingtip shoes—he looked like he should be setting up a magic table.

How Kim Schmitz, the proprietor of Megaupload, made his fortune and landed in a New Zealand prison.

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The Montauk Grifter: How One Con Man Used OkCupid for Fun, Fraud, and Profit

He has worked for Apple, Google, AOL, the Rainbow Room. He hangs out with Steve Case, Gordon Ramsey, Tim Armstrong. He's a world-class surfer, a AAA baseball legend, the founder of a seminal punk band. He's one of the more persistent and obsessive grifters to ply the streets of New York City—not to mention online dating sites—in recent decades.
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“I See Everything Through This Tragedy”

An essay on “how we ignore the long-term effects of violence on children, adults and our communities.”

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Animals

The night when Terry Thompson let his zoo-worthy collection of big animals, including lions and a bear, into the wilds of Zanesville, Ohio before shooting himself in the head.

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Three Trials for Murder

An unexplainable murder, double jeopardy, and military courts: the strange case of Tim Hennis.

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The Doctor Will Sue You Now

Why “Father of Botox” Arnold Klein, whose famous clients once included Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor, thinks everyone’s out to get him.

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Death of a Deceiver

The story of Brandon Teena, a 21-year-old transgender man who was beaten, raped and murdered by two friends after they discovered he was anatomically female.

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Ballad of the Whiskey Robber

The story of Attila Ambrus, who was released from jail this morning in Hungary. Nicknamed the Whiskey Robber because witnesses always spotted him having a double across the street prior to his heists, Ambrus only stole from state-owned banks and post offices, becoming a Hungarian folk hero during his seven years on the lam. While on his spree he was also the goaltender for Budapest's best-known hockey team and was arguably the worst pro goalie ever to play the sport, once giving up 23 goals in a single game. Excerpted from Ballad of the Whiskey Robber: A True Story of Bank Heists, Ice Hockey, Transylvanian Pelt Smuggling, Moonlighting Detectives, and Broken Hearts.
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Con Artist Starred in Sting That Cost Google Millions

How the U.S. government used a serial con who was caught running a mail-order steroid pharmacy in Mexico to prove that Google was knowingly placing ads for illegal drugs.

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Bad, Bad Lori Arnold

How Tom Arnold’s little sister started the meth epidemic.

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L.A. Pedophile Bust Dismantles International Child Porn Ring

How investigators nabbed a key member of a group called “Lost Boy.”

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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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Hello, I’m Attorney Gloria Allred

As mainstream news loses its relevance, Allred becomes only more relevant to mainstream news. She’s provided thousands of hours of titillating material that has helped keep cable networks from grinding to a halt. The players come and go. Past clients like Amber Frey and Tiger Woods Mistress No. 1 Rachel Uchitel slip back into obscurity. Scott Peterson rots disregarded on death row in San Quentin, and Woods’s sexual escapades no longer mesmerize. But Allred retains her significance. There are always new victims to premiere and promote, new serial sexual harassers or psychopaths to square off against. In this spectacle of scandal, grisly murder, and celebrity wrongdoing, Allred has made herself the stage manager, the content provider, the indispensable performer.
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The Rankings

Financial workers engage in a gambling scheme that mirrors the contemporary banking crisis.

"Word spread. Other people approached us about joining the pool. At first we were angry that he told on us, but in the end it really was because of him that we got as rich as we did. Harrison and I decided to back the bids ourselves and open up to outsiders. We gave Steve partial ownership in the venture—not a whole third, of course. Our favorite sniffling over-sharer picked up the slack from our actual jobs, which let us dedicate more time to the rankings without getting fired ourselves."

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The Accused

A survivor’s frightening account.

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The Caging of America

On the scandal of our teeming prisons.

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Killing Jared

A group of misfit boys from the fringes of Las Vegas form a clique. Then, with murky motives, they decide to murder one of their own and bury him in a desert pit.

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Why Cockfighting Persists

The state of the American cockfight.

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After the death of Jack Kevorkian, Lawrence Egbert is the new public face of American assisted suicide

A profile of the Final Exit Network's former medical director:
In those final seconds before his patients lose consciousness and die, the words they utter sound like Donald Duck, he says, imitating the high-pitched, nasally squeak familiar to any child who has sucked a gulp from a helium balloon. So, this is how a human being can leave this Earth? Sounding like Donald Duck?
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Counter-Terrorism Is Getting Complicated

A profile of the Waffle House terrorists, a group of senior citizens arrested by the Department of Homeland security for plotting a civil war, and the government-hired confidential informant who allegedly led the group astray.

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The Hacker Is Watching

In a dark echo of Rear Window, a wheelchair-bound hacker seizes control of hundreds of webcams, most of them aimed at young women’s beds.

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Aches on a Plane

On the attempted hijacking of a FedEx flight by a FedEx employee.

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The Destructors

A group of children transfix themselves with the mania of creative destruction.

"'All this hate and love,' he said, 'it's soft, it's hooey. There's only things, Blackie,' and he looked round the room crowded with the unfamiliar shadows of half things, broken things, former things."

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Hello

A couple shakes off an argument with a conversation about dreams, nightmares, free association games, and a haunting childhood memory.

"Probably this happened. This is likely how the day had been going. But Audrey cannot fully retrieve the events of that day, cannot quite remember what the day was like until the frantic knocking on the window, the crunching of the snow, the three of them running down the hall into the big family room to see their father opening the front door, their mother reaching for the phone. The big room no longer warm, despite the fire. Audrey no longer cozy, but shivering."

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What Happened to Baby Annie?

After a Chinese immigrant couple were charged in their daughter’s death, supporters say they’re vulnerable targets of the American justice system.

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Judith Clark's Radical Transformation

How prison changed the mother and militant who was sentenced to 75 years for her role in a deadly 1981 Brinks truck heist.

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Mengele’s Skull

Tracking the Nazi doctor’s bones through South America.

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Who Pinched My Ride?

On stolen bicycles, “a solvent in America’s underground economy, a currency in the world of drug addicts and petty thieves.”

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What the Bagel Man Saw

Lessons learned about white-collar crime from an economist turned bagel salesman whose business relied entirely on the honor system.

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The Strange Case of the Dentist and the Pimps

How a family man dentist got involved in an underage prostitution ring.

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The Whole True Story of the Dougherty Gang

Inside carpenter brothers Ryan and Dylan, and their stripper sister Lee-Grace Dougherty’s eight-day, fifteen-state, AK-47-wielding crime spree.

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The Daughter of the Disappeared

The man 27-year-old Victoria Donda believed to be her father shot himself after  being revealed as a former member of an Argentinean death squad. Immediately after, a human rights group came to her with information on her birth parents: murdered political prisoners.

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The Ballad of Johnny France

A Montana sheriff and a manhunt in the mountains.

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The Mystery Woman Behind the Murdoch Mess

A profile of Rebekah Brooks, who started as a secretary at News of the World and became CEO of News International by 41, developing an incredibly close relationship with Rupert Murdoch along the way.

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Barry Minkow: All-American Con Man

Con man turned pastor turned con man; a profile of a serial scammer and the movie he tried to make about himself.

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Pvt. Danny Chen, 1992–2011

A glimpse into the life and death of a soldier who committed suicide while on duty in Afghanistan:

The Army recently announced that it was charging eight soldiers — an officer and seven enlisted men — in connection with Danny Chen’s death. Five of the eight have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide, and the coming court-martial promises a fuller picture of the harrowing abuse Chen endured. But even the basic details are enough to terrify: What could be worse than being stuck at a remote outpost, in the middle of a combat zone, tormented by your superiors, the very same people who are supposed to be looking out for you? And why did a nice, smart kid from Chinatown, who’d always shied from conflict and confrontation, seek out an environment ruled by the laws of aggression?

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Stalking Her Killer

The author tracks down a former Peace Corps volunteer who murdered a fellow worker in 1976.

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On the Trail of an Intercontinental Killer

A little after 9 a.m. on Sept. 15, 1990, the owner of a steel-products company pulled up to her office in Vinegar Hill, near the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and spotted a black garbage bag sitting on the sidewalk out front. She parked her car and went to move the bag when she noticed it leaking blood. The woman called 911. Within the hour, Ken Whelan, a homicide detective from the 84th Precinct, peered into the bag. It was full of human body parts.
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What Went Wrong?

How an up-and-coming Boston surgeon became best known for leaving a patient on the operating table while he skipped out to cash a check.

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Presumed Guilty

Tim Masters becomes the main suspect in a gruesome Colorado murder; he’s eventually convicted thanks the work of a revered detective. Then the case unravels: DNA proves another man committed the crime.

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The New Dealers

The unlikely people who’ve turned to selling weed in the recession.

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South For The Winter

A man "borrows" the car of a blind friend and enjoys a very short roadtrip.

"I suppose Eric knew exactly what was up when I started up the engine on his big red Ford. He probably recognized the sound right away. It also made a lot of noise as I pulled out onto the road--clattering and clunking about--but it was too late for Eric to stop me then. I was headed south."

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The Xinjiang Procedure

A doctor reveals widespread organ harvesting of prisoners in China.

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No Country for Innocent Men

Why it took more than a decade for the posthumous pardon of Tim Cole, even after another inmate confessed to the brutal crime that put Cole away.

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A Family Obsessed

On February 10, 1982, Lucy Dixon’s daughter was raped. Against all odds, she and her family brought the man to justice.

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Gangs and Politicians in Chicago: An Unholy Alliance

Inside the shadowy meetings between Chicago’s violent gang members and its elected officials.

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No Ordinary Counterfeit

Alarmingly sophisticated imitations of American currency have turned up all over the world and the false-paper trail leads to North Korea.

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The Collector

He was the world’s foremost collector of presidential memorabilia, an outsider with a pathological need to fit in. He was also a thief.

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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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Peter Braunstein, WWD Writer Turned Tabloid Monster, Still Has Issues

A former colleague visits the ‘Fire Fiend’ in prison.

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A Massacre in Jamaica

After the United States demanded the extradition of a drug lord, a bloodletting ensued.

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The Notched Gun

A bank robber, an unexpected act of goodwill: an entertaining slice of American Western pulp.

"Sam Graybull liked whisky. He liked whisky like most men like women. Liked the color of it in a glass. Liked the gurgle of the stuff as it spilled out of a jug into a tin cup. Talk about music. The burn of it when a man tilted a jug and drank it thataway. God, fer a drink right now."

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Final Exit

On the Final Exit Network, a controversial right-to-die organization, and the death of their client John Celmer.

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The King of All Vegas Real Estate Scams

Before the market crashed and home prices tumbled, before federal investigators showed up and hauled away the community records, before her property managers pled guilty for conspiring to rig neighborhood elections, and before her real estate lawyer allegedly tried to commit suicide by overdosing on drugs and setting fire to her home, Wanda Murray thought that buying a condominium in Las Vegas was a pretty good idea.
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Three at Last!

The West Memphis Three, teenagers who were convicted in 1993 of brutal killings that they certainly did not commit on the basis of local gossip that they were satanists (as evidenced by Metallica fandom), suddenly found themselves released this summer after over 17 years in prison. But what life awaited them?

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Hollywood Ending

How a high-powered lawyer and a rough-edged private detective ended up at the center of the biggest, dirtiest scandal in Hollywood history.

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A Monster Among the 'Frum'

On the murder of a young Hasidic boy in Brooklyn.

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Straight Time

Things go terribly (and illegally) wrong at a rehab center for well-off L.A. teens.

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Stalking Hinckley

The psych hospital life of John Hinckley Jr., Ronald Reagan’s would-be assassin.

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The Master of the Murder Castle

On H.H. Holmes “an old hand at corpse manipulation and insurance fraud,” who built a house of death in 1890s Chicago.

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The Suicide Files

The story of a sheriff's deputy in Minnesota who took his own life.
"If anything happens to me," Ruettimann said, "give this to the reporter." After Ruettimann's death, Hereaux took the file down off his desk. Inside was a thick stack of loose-leaf documents, a manila folder stuffed with letters, and a catalog-size clasp envelope labeled "Reports." Written in black permanent marker in the margin of the envelope was the reporter's name: mine.
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The Prosecution’s Case Against DNA

Prosecutors have spun creative theories to explain away scientific evidence when DNA tests haven’t fit their version of events.

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Customs

A young Jewish man makes a comical attempt to smuggle items into Canada.

"When I sit back in my seat I feel dampness on my ass. My jeans came in contact with some mystery liquid on the lavatory floor. I finish filling out the declaration card. I'd stopped in the middle after reading that I'd have to declare any meat products I'm bringing into Canada."

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Dave Sanders: Fiber-Optics Exec by Day, Defender of Justice by Night

It had seemed simple in the beginning. Now everything was so complicated, he wasn’t sure what the truth was. He had to admit that he might have gotten involved with the wrong people—that he might have become part of a scam within a scam.
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From Silver Lake to Suicide: One Family's Secret History of the Jonestown Massacre

How the People's Temple tore one family apart, told in part via letters:
We have at long last opened our hearts to you, expressing the sorrow and agony which we have restrained over six long years. Any time you express the wish to resume normal relations and exchange with us, the past will be forgotten. For after all we do love you and the children more than any other persons. We shall continue to cherish you to our last day on earth. The peerless joy of raising you from childhood to youth is a unique life experience, indeed. Your father and mother
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The Gloucester Fish War

Law enforcement vs. local fishermen in Massachusetts.

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How the Plummeting Price of Cocaine Fueled the Nationwide Drop in Violent Crime

A statistics-based argument that drug pricing, not drug use or law enformencement, is the only way to predict swings in violent crime rates.

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The Sicario: A Juárez Hit Man Speaks

The author travels to Mexico to meet a retired assassin and kidnapper, now himself a target of the faceless cartels that once employed him

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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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Rendezvous in the Ramble

Central Park wasn’t always so bucolic.

Gangs of toughs—teenagers and the macho middle-aged, usually drunk, occasionally including a couple of off-duty cops—roam the Ramble at night, engaging in an old American pastime: fag bashing. You don't have to be gay. You don't have to be exposing yourself. You don't have to be doing anything except walking through the tangled darkness to be abused, shoved, threatened at knifepoint, kicked, and beaten.
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Thank You Ma'am

A potential pickpocket is set straight by an old woman's kindness.

"Sweat popped out on the boy’s face and he began to struggle. Mrs. Jones stopped, jerked him around in front of her, put a half-nelson about his neck, and continued to drag him up the street."

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The Murder of Tayshana "Chicken" Murphy

On the death of a high school basketball star in New York City.

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What Would Gabby Do?

On the post-shooting life of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

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Mercenary

The story of a professional assassin.

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The Heart Is The Least Like Soap

A moving piece of flash fiction that explores the depths of creativity.

"The figurines are lined up on a shelf in Gary’s office. Gary sells them for the man, who cannot sell them himself because he is serving two consecutive life sentences. The hearts, Gary tells us, are the man’s best sellers."

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What Happened to Etan Patz

The father of the first kid featured on a milk carton thinks he knows who kidnapped the him 30 years ago:

For years now, Stan has had a face to concentrate on; twice a year, in fact, on Etan’s birthday and on the anniversary of his disappearance, Stan sends one of the old lost child posters to a man who’s already in prison. He won’t be there much longer, however, unless the successor to Manhattan district attorney Robert Morgenthau can keep him in jail. In the meantime, Stan’s packages serve notice that someone is still paying close attention. On the back of the poster, he always writes the same thing: “What did you do to my little boy?”

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Missing White Female

The disappearance of Natalee Holloway and the clash of cultures that followed.

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The Shadow Superpower

The world’s fastest growing economy isn’t China; it’s the “unheralded alternative economic universe of System D” aka the $10 trillion global black market.

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His Own Private Idaho

Ten years ago, a man moved to Marsing, Idaho. He had a strange accent and didn't know much about cattle. The folks in Marsing were a little skeptical at first, but when he built a house and started a family, he earned his neighbors' acceptance. Last February, while buying hay, he was cornered by federal agents and arrested for violent crimes tied to the Boston Mob. And the town wondered: Who the hell is Jay Shaw?
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Lament For Car

A tricked-out Toyota Supra accelerates a family's unraveling. From the author of 2011's Busy Monsters.

"I know the ins and outs of what he did to that car, the numbers and brands and details, perhaps better than I know anything else on earth: I spent my most formative years steeped in this information, flipping through the automotive magazines with him, attending weekend car shows, listening to his ecstatic dinner-time talk of his next modification, of how that Supra would be the slickest in all of New Jersey."

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Murder by Text

On the brutal killing of a high school girl in British Columbia.

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In the New Gangland of El Salvador

How LA-style gang life migrated to the slums of San Salvador.

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The Cask Of Amontillado

An insult leads to an unsettling form of revenge.

"As I said these words I busied myself among the pile of bones of which I have before spoken. Throwing them aside, I soon uncovered a quantity of building stone and mortar."

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The Turnaround Men

A charismatic entrepreneur, an ex-con turned devout Christian, and the politicians who championed them.

The story of a $36 billion Ponzi scheme in Minnesota.

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Some Zombie Contingency Plans

A guy just out of prison drops in at a party, with zombies on his mind.

"It turned out that everyone in the prison had a zombie contingency plan, once you asked them, just like everyone in prison had a prison escape plan, only nobody talked about those. Soap tried not to dwell on escape plans, although sometimes he dreamed that he was escaping. Then the zombies would show up. They always showed up in his escape dreams. You could escape prison, but you couldn’t escape zombies."

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Navahoax

How Timothy Patrick Barrus, a white writer of gay erotica, reinvented himself a (wildly successful) Native American memoirist.

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Kidnapped at Birth

One day Nejdra Nance realized the woman she had called Mom for 23 years may have been at the center of one of the most harrowing kidnappings in decades—hers.
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Spectacle

On the 1934 lynching of Claude Neal, and the Florida town that kept the identity of those responsible a secret.

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Who Killed Mary Eula Sears?

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

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Not Forgotten

On the LAPD’s decade-old cold case division: its detectives, its tactics, and its successes.

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The Mysterious Death of Sammy Wanjiru

He rose from poverty to fame as a marathon champion at only 23. But was his fall from a balcony outside of Nairobi murder, accident, or suicide?

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The Prison-Industrial Complex

The prison-industrial complex is not only a set of interest groups and institutions. It is also a state of mind. The lure of big money is corrupting the nation's criminal-justice system, replacing notions of public service with a drive for higher profits. The eagerness of elected officials to pass "tough-on-crime" legislation — combined with their unwillingness to disclose the true costs of these laws — has encouraged all sorts of financial improprieties. The inner workings of the prison-industrial complex can be observed in the state of New York, where the prison boom started, transforming the economy of an entire region; in Texas and Tennessee, where private prison companies have thrived; and in California, where the correctional trends of the past two decades have converged and reached extremes.
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Mysterious Circumstances

The world’s foremost Sherlock Holmes expert found dead in a locked room, leaving no note.

There was something else, he said, something critical. On the eve of his death, he reminded me, Green had spoken to his friend Keen about an "American" who was trying to ruin him. The following day, Gibson said, he had called Green's house and heard a strange greeting on the answering machine. "Instead of getting Richard's voice in this sort of Oxford accent, which had been on the machine for a decade," Gibson recalled, "I got an American voice that said, 'Sorry, not available.

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The Last Ride of Jesse James Hollywood

A tony bedroom community in Los Angeles, a kidnapping gone horribly wrong, and the birth of a teenage fugitive.

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Whitey Bulger in Exile

On the lifestyle of a fugitive retiree, and how it came to an end.

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The Ballad of Richard Jewell

How the media and law enforcement fingered the wrong man for the 1996 Olympic Park bombing.

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Taken by Pirates

Once the pirates were in control of the Lynn Rival, they ransacked it, flinging open cupboards, eating all of the Chandlers’ cookies and stealing their money, watches, rings, electronics, their satellite phone and clothes. There were now 10 men; two more pirates had scampered onboard to join the others. After showering and draining the Chandlers’ entire supply of fresh water, they started trying on outfits. A broad-shouldered buccaneer named Buggas, who appeared to be the boss, was especially fond of their waterproof trousers, parading up and down the deck wearing them, while some of the other pirates strutted around in Rachel’s brightly colored pants and blouses.
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The ESD Sex Scandal

When an exclusive private school discovered a teacher was sleeping with his 17-year old student, administrators did their best to make the problem vanish.

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Free John Hinckley

Reagan’s would-be assassin, 30 years later.

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A History Of Violence

On the “Pacification Process,” or how we ended up in the least violent moment in our species’ existence.

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Wikipedia: Theodore Robert "Ted" Bundy

Using his good looks and charm to lure over young women into his VW, Bundy terrorized the Pacific Northwest and then Utah, leaving over 30 corpses in desolate forest gravesite clusters. After being caught in Colorado, he escaped twice, the second time fleeing to Florida by train and going on a murderous rampage.

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The Survivor

When your family is murdered, and the home you had made together is destroyed, and you yourself are beaten and left for dead — as happened to Bill Petit on the morning of July 23, 2007 — it may as well be the end of the world. It is hard to see how a man survives the end of the world. The basics of life — waking up, walking, talking — become alien tasks, and almost impossibly heavy, as you are more dead than alive. Just how does a man go about surviving such a thing? How does a man go on?
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The Amazing Story of California's Greatest Cat Burglar

In 16 months, he has broken into more than a thousand homes up and down the San Fernando Valley. According to the police, his haul is worth anywhere from $16 million to $40 million. And yet because he has cultivated so many aliases, law-enforcement officials have been hard-pressed to learn his real name—Ignacio Peña Del Río—much less comprehend his unlikely background.
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The Informants

On the FBI’s program to infiltrate Muslim communities in America.

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The War on Insider Trading: Market-Beaters Beware

On the constantly evolving definition of insider trading and the lingering question of how inside traders should be punished.

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Welcome to Newburgh, Murder Capital of New York

How a town of 29,000 on the Hudson River came to be “one of the most dangerous four-mile stretches in the northeastern United States.”

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The Predator

How an Italian thug looted MGM, brought Credit Lyonnais to its knees, and made the Pope cry.
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The Mitigator

How mitigation specialists are changing the application of the death penalty:

In Texas, the most prominent mitigation strategist is a lawyer named Danalynn Recer, the executive director of the Gulf Region Advocacy Center. Based in Houston, GRACE has represented defendants in death-penalty cases since 2002. “The idea was to improve the way capital trials were done in Texas, to start an office that would bring the best practices from other places and put them to work here,” Recer said recently. “This is not some unknowable thing. This is not curing cancer. We know how to do this. It is possible to persuade a jury to value someone’s life.”

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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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Could You Forgive the Man Who Shot You in the Face?

In the days after 9/11, Mark Stroman went on a revenge killing spree in Texas. Rais Bhuiyan survived and, a decade later, tried to stop Stroman’s execution.

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"He Never Had Nothing, and He Always Wanted Something."

A profile of lifelong thief and 13-time escapee Chris Gay, aka “Little Houdini.”

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What Happened To Mitrice Richardson?

After acting erratically and trying to skip out on a dinner bill, she was detained briefly in Malibu before being released in the middle of the night. Twenty-four years old and in an unfamiliar area, she had no car, no phone, and no wallet. A year later, her body was found in a nearby canyon. On the search for answers.

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The Knock at the Door

The last thing child-welfare supervisor Chereece Bell wanted to see was what happened to 4-year-old Marchella Pierce. The last thing she expected was to go to jail for it.

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A Soldier's Tale: Lynndie England

The author interviews England in prison:

By now, people all over the world have heard of Lynndie England. She's the "Small-Town Girl Who Became an All-American Monster," as one Australian newspaper headline described her, or "the girl with a leash," as Mick Jagger calls her in the song "Dangerous Beauty." Yet England remains a mystery. Is she a torturer? A pawn? Another victim of the Iraq war? While the world weighed in, England said very little.

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The Girl from Trails End

In Cleveland, TX, nineteen men and boys gang raped an eleven-year-old girl in an abandoned trailer. This is the story of the victim and her community.

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The Rarely Noticed Casualties of Sept. 11

On the people who were working at Logan Airport when the hijacked flights departed:

They are the rarely noticed casualties of the terrorist attacks: the security guard, the ticket agent, the baggage handler on the ramp. They made it home that night, but with images they couldn’t shake, a pain uncomfortable to voice. They can’t believe it has been 10 years. They can’t believe it has only been 10 years.

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L.A. Confidential

Rogue cops in the LAPD Rampart division’s anti-gang CRASH unit (Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums) were involved in everything from drug smuggling and bank robberies to, allegedly, the murder of Christopher “Notorious BIG” Wallace.

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The Devil in Long Island

The author expounds on culture and crime in the early 90s:

Yes, I know there are sensational tabloid crimes everywhere and the closeness to the Manhattan media nexus tends to magnify everything. But even so, that was always true. There's just no denying that something has changed in the past decade, that, as our bard Billy Joel sings on his new album, there's "lots more to read about, Lolita and suburban lust." But why? Why is this Island different from all other islands? And why are so many Long Islanders suddenly running amok?

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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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Among the Hostage-Takers

In 1979, a group of Iranian students stormed the U.S. embassy and held the entire American diplomatic mission hostage for fifteen months. Twenty-five years later, the students reflected on their actions, many with regret.

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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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The Rapist Says He's Sorry

A profile of a serial sex offender:

This is a story about how hard it is to be good—or, rather, how hard it is to be good once you’ve been bad; how hard it is to be fixed once you’ve been broken; how hard it is to be straight once you’ve been bent. It is about a scary man who is trying very hard not to be scary anymore and yet who still manages to scare not only the people who have good reason to be afraid of him but even occasionally himself. It is about sex, and how little we know about its mysteries; about the human heart, and how futilely we have responded—with silence, with therapy, with the law and even with the sacred Constitution—to its dark challenge. It is about what happens when we, as a society, no longer trust our futile responses and admit that we have no idea what to do with a guy like Mitchell Gaff.

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The Case of Sacco And Vanzetti

Analysis of the trial from future Supreme Court justice.

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Murder, Suicide And Mayhem In Brooklyn Heights (Yes, Brooklyn Heights!)

An abridged history of violence in "America's first suburb."

Note: Elon Green is a contributing editor to Longform.

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Army vet with PTSD sought the treatment he needed by taking hostages – but got jail instead

The story of Robert Quinones:

Fifteen months of carnage in Iraq had left the 29-year-old debilitated by post-traumatic stress disorder. But despite his doctor’s urgent recommendation, the Army failed to send him to a Warrior Transition Unit for help. The best the Department of Veterans Affairs could offer was 10-minute therapy sessions — via videoconference. So, early on Labor Day morning last year, after topping off a night of drinking with a handful of sleeping pills, Quinones barged into Fort Stewart’s hospital, forced his way to the third-floor psychiatric ward and held three soldiers hostage, demanding better mental health treatment.

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The Death-Wish Kids

Two 16-year-olds form a suicide pact, driving a Pontiac off a cliff. One of the boys survives:

To many of the people in Fillmore who considered the incident a cause for civic mourning and self-scrutiny, the idea of trying Joe for murdering his best friend seemed outlandish. To a prosecutor, however, the indictment had its own logic. The Ventura County district attorney, Michael Bradbury, was an aggressive law-and-order man, and he had a potentially strong case. With Joe's repeated announcements of his plan to drive off the cliff, the crucial element of premeditation was undeniably present.

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Cult of Death: The Jonestown Nightmare

As divided families argued over whether to stay or go, Jones saw part of his congregation slipping away. Al Simon, father of three, wanted to take his children back to America. "No! No! No!" screamed his wife. Someone whispered to her: "Don't worry, we're going to take care of everything." Indeed, as reporters learned later from survivors, Jones had a plan to plant one or more fake defectors among the departing group, in order to attack them. He told some of his people that the Congressman's plane "will fall out of the sky."
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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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Renegade Miami Football Booster Spells Out Illicit Benefits to Players

An 11-month investigation ends with a booster, now in prison for a Ponzi scheme, going public with details of how he spent millions on college athletes from 2002 to 2010.

[Shapiro] said his benefits to athletes included but were not limited to cash, prostitutes, entertainment in his multimillion-dollar homes and yacht, paid trips to high-end restaurants and nightclubs, jewelry, bounties for on-field play including bounties for injuring opposing players, travel and, on one occasion, an abortion.

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East Bronx Story—Return of the Street Gangs

Chains, knives, fists, and, of course, those crude and unreliable homemade affairs called zip guns were the staples in the more vicious gang wars in the 1940s and 1950s. Today there is scarcely a gang in the Bronx that cannot muster a factory-made piece for every member—at the very least, a .22-caliber pistol, but quite often heavier stuff: .32s, .38s, and .45s, shotguns, rifles, and—I have seen them myself—even machine guns, grenades, and gelignite, an explosive. One gang, the Royal Javelins, has acquired some walkie-talkie radios.
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The Counterfeit

An American ESL teacher faces a potential crime investigation, mirrored by a crumbling relationship.

" The absurdity strikes him again – Jude the Midwestern philosophy major, worrying about a Thai jail sentence for counterfeiting – and he bites back a smile. He lives too much in his head, he knows, blowing up hypotheses and imaginings. The bills read ‘legal tender’; surely they are."

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The Killing Fields

Skyrocketing prices for yarchagumba, a rare fungus prized as an aphrodisiac, has led to Nepali villagers to turf wars—and possibly murder.

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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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The Robin Hood of the East Bay

She was the biggest tipper the waiters at some of the country’s most gourmet restaurants had ever seen. She treated casual acquaintances to elaborate vacations. Few saw the tiny bungalow where she lived amongst hundreds of boxes of unopened jewelry, and none knew the source of her wealth. When her multi-decade embezzlement scheme was revealed, the artisans and waitstaff whose lives had been changed by her generosity were left to sort out the pieces and consider their own relationship to her scam.

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The Man Who Time (Almost) Forgot

On William H. McMasters, who ten days after being hired as Charles Ponzi’s publicist wrote a scathing exposé in The Boston Post that revealed the biggest fraud, at the time, in American history.

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It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's...Some Dude?!

A profile of Phoenix Jones, real-life superhero.

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Why I Stole a Televangelist's Safe

As a teenager, Trey Smith snuck into the cash- and porn-filled home vault of his friend’s father. Fifteen years later, he told the story from prison.

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The Motorcycle Gangs

A profile of the Hell’s Angels following “front-page reports of a heinous gang rape in the moonlit sand dunes near the town of Seaside on the Monterey Peninsula.”

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The Gentle People

How incest and rape go unpunished in the Amish community.

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The Womanizer's Wife

How Anne Sinclair stuck by Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

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The Madoff of the Midwest

How Tim Durham funded a libertine lifestyle—dozens of luxury cars, Playboy-themed parties, a plethora of failed businesses—on the backs of unwitting Ohioans, many of them Amish.

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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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Slaying of State Senator's Associate Remains a Mystery in Baltimore

Karen Holloman opened the door of her uncle's apartment with his best friend, Larry Young, a step behind. As they edged inside, she looked to her left and saw the end of her uncle's bed and his motionless feet. "He's been in here asleep all along," Holloman muttered, for a moment annoyed at the worry he had caused by not answering his phone. Her anger froze as she entered his room: The Rev. Marvin Moore lay dead in his bed, a bullet hole through the back of his head, a pool of blood gathered beneath his limp arm.
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The Story of a Snitch

On the rise of witness intimidation in Baltimore.

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The Bomb That Didn't Go Off

On a failed attack in Spokane and the fragments of homegrown terrorism in the United States.

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Cyber Weapons: The New Arms Race

Around the world, governments and corporations are in a race for code that can protect, spy, and destroy—hacks some secretive startups are more than happy to sell.

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How One Man Hacked His Way Into the Slot-Machine Industry

The story of a small Latvian counterfeiting business that got far too big for its own good.

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The Perfect Mark

How a Massachusetts psychotherapist fell for a Nigerian e-mail scam.

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Want Your Kid to Disappear?

Inside a transport service for “problem” children:

In his first year of business, [Rick Strawn] escorted eight teens to behavior modification schools. Since then, his company has transported more than 700 kids between the ages of 8 and 17.

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The Shocking Story of Approved Killing in Mississippi

Slowly, Bobo pulled off his shoes, his socks. He stood up, unbuttoned his shirt, dropped his pants, his shorts. He stood there naked. It was Sunday morning, a little before 7.
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Fantasy Island: The Strange Tale of Alleged Fraudster Pearlasia Gamboa

Behind a financial fraud lay a secret plan to create a “mothership for con artists worldwide”:

Gamboa's tale involves secret ore deposits, hidden stocks of Soviet nuclear armaments, the Queen Mary ocean liner, portions of Antarctica, a new version of the Bible, allegations of fake deaths and miraculous resurrections, and a collection of some of the most colorful aliases ever to grace America's criminal and civil case dockets. (According to court documents, Korem also answers to the names Tzemach Ben David Netzer Korem and Branch Vinedresser.)

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'Little Gitmo'

The story of an imam convicted on a suspect terrorism charge and the place he was sent: a jail in the Midwest where nearly all of the prisoners are Muslims.

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Damned Yankee

Was Steinbrenner’s Partner the “Madoff of Memorabilia”? Inside a collector’s hoax.

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The Dark Arts

Inside Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World phone-hacking scandal.

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On the Jury

The jury room was a gray-green, institutional rectangle: coat hooks on the wall, two small bathrooms off to one side, a long, scarred table surrounded by wooden armchairs, wastebaskets, and a floor superficially clean, deeply filthy. We entered this room on a Friday at noon, most of us expecting to be gone from it by four or five that same day. We did not see the last of it until a full twelve hours had elapsed, by which time the grimy oppressiveness of the place had become, for me at least, inextricably bound up with psychological defeat.
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The Biggest Green Scam in America

A Denver businessman’s revolutionary green energy company turned out to be nothing but a Ponzi scheme built to fund a lifestyle of booze-soaked hotel orgies with flown-in prostitutes.

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The Art of the Deal

David Headley helped plot the Mumbai terror attacks. Now his best friend is on trial for conspiring with him. The prosecution’s key witness: David Headley. The story of an informant trying to save his own life from the witness stand.

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Don't Look Back

A profile of California congressman Darrell Issa:

A few days after we met in Las Vegas, Issa called me. He was concerned about all my questions regarding his early life and didn’t see why they were newsworthy. The conversation was awkward.

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The Bully of Toulon

How one man terrorized a small Illinois town.

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The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon I: the Report of our Secret Commission

Part one of W.T. Snead’s Victorian-era investigation into child prostitution.

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The Hardest Cases: When Children Die, Justice Can Be Elusive

An investigation by ProPublica, PBS Frontline and NPR has found that medical examiners and coroners have repeatedly mishandled cases of infant and child deaths, helping to put innocent people behind bars.
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A Touch of Eden

A visit to the French hideaway of Ira Einhorn, co-founder of Earth Day, who had avoided arrest on murder charges for nearly 20 years.

From our guide to fugitives for Slate.
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Mark of a Murderer

Two killers and one cop: The story of the LaMarca family, told over three generations.

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Unmasking D.B. Cooper

What ever happened to the world’s most elusive skyjacker?

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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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A Dirty Business

On the prosecution of former hedge fund star Raj Rajaratnam.

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The Brain on Trial

Eagleman, a neuroscientist, describes how groundbreaking advances in the science of brain have changed our understanding of volition in criminal acts, and may erode the underpinnings of our justice system.

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A Schizophrenic, a Slain Worker, Troubling Questions

A schizophrenic man kills his counselor at a group home in Massachusetts:

Many people wondered aloud whether the system had failed both the suspect and the victim. How had Ms. Moulton ended up alone in a home with a psychotic man who had a history of violence and was off his medication? How had Mr. Chappell been allowed to deteriorate without setting off alarms?

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The End of the Rodeo for the World's Greatest Cowboy

A profile of Florida legend—and pardoned killer—Charlie Driver.

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Mysterious Disappearances

On the rise of the modern city – and the rise of missing persons.

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The Baddest Lawyer in the History of Jersey

On the complete corruption of Paul Bergin, a federal attorney turned high-priced defense lawyer now awaiting trial on a host of charges.

If Paul is guilty of half the things they say, he’d be the craziest, most evil lawyer in the history of the State of New Jersey. That is saying something.

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Watching the Murder of an Innocent Man

In a shantytown near Johannesburg, an angry mob committed a horrifying crime that was caught on video.

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Death on Terminal Island

An investigation into the death of Victoria Arellano at a Los Angeles County immigration detention facility.

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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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A Serial Killer in Common

Five prostitutes disappear. Bodies turn up on a Long Island beach. On the women lost, and the families left behind.

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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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The All-American Bank Heist

Having fallen on hard times, a former football star and the pride of his small town decides to rob the local bank. His weapons of choice: Craigslist, bear mace, and an inner tube.

A selection from our guide to bank heists for Slate.

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Arming the Drug Wars

American demand for drugs gave birth to the cartel war that is paralyzing Mexico, but American guns purchased legally across the Southwest and smuggled over the border have made it staggeringly lethal.

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The Man Who Loves Books to Much

On the motivations and techniques of a prolific book thief who “built a vast collection of rare works, most of which he will never read and no one will ever see.”

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The Laci Peterson Murder Case

An attractive, young, pregnant woman disappears, her husband begins to act strangely, and one of the largest media circuses in history descends on the sleepy community of Modesto, CA.

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The Girls Next Door

An investigation of the American sex trafficking industry.

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Anatomy of a Prison

A glimpse into the overcrowded California State Prison, Los Angeles County.

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The Long Interrogation

In the 1970s, Kelbessa Negewo was a midlevel administrator in Ethiopia’s brutal Red Terror regime. In the 1990s, he was a bellhop in an Atlanta hotel. Then someone he had tortured back home recognized him.

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Who Killed Ellen Andros?

A woman is killed. Her husband is accused. A famous/infamous medical examiner investigates.

What’s going on here isn’t just science. It’s something deeper, something stranger, something at the same time both terrifying and fascinating.

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The Trial of Bobby Seale

An annotated transcript:

MR. SEALE: [The marshals are carrying him through the door to the lockup.] I still want an immediate trial. You can’t call it a mistrial. I’m put in jail for four years for nothing? I want my coat.

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Fantasia for Piano

Joyce Hatto, unknown to even the most ardent classical music collectors until late in her life, released a string of incredible performances of great works, distributed by her husband’s mail-order CD business. But how was it possible for her to record difficult works at such a dizzying rate? And if wasn’t her playing, who was it?

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The Chilling Story of Genius in a Land of Chronic Unemployment

On the ground in Nigeria with the nation’s notorious scam artists, who share a remarkable number of qualities with America’s top entrepreneurs.

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Somali Pirates' Rich Returns

On the economics of the booming Somali pirate business, which is up 177 percent over last year.

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John Demjanjuk: The Last Nazi

John Demjanjuk has had a huge year. Twenty years after being sentenced to die, he finally climbed to the pinnacle of the Wiesenthal Center's list of Nazi war criminals this April, shortly after the Germans filed the arrest warrant that allowed the OSI to put him on the jet to Munich.
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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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Killing Mom and Dad on Staten Island

The story of a high school quarterback’s descent into madness, and its tragic end.

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The Lazarus File

A murder case in Los Angeles, cold since the late ’80s, heats up thanks to breakthroughs in forensic science and leads detectives to “one of the unlikeliest murder suspects in the city’s history.”

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The G-Man and the Hit Man

The questionable close relationship between a mobster/informant and an F.B.I. agent during a bloody Colombo crime family battle.

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A Convict's Odyssey

When he was 16, Mark Clements talked his way into four life sentences. Twenty-eight years later, he talked his way out.

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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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The Long Con

The anatomy of a bungled, massively expensive undercover sting conducted by the Seattle Police Department.

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The Double

A bank robber tells the story of a successful heist.

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Manson: An Oral History

The story of the 1969 murder spree by Charles Manson and “Family” as told by those close to the case.

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Father and Son, Bunking in G Block

Bernard Peters and his son, Scott, robbed and shot a Salvation Army worker in 1996. Since then, they’ve been sharing a cell at Elmira Correctional Facility.

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The Lost Girls of Rocky Mount

An investigation into serial killings in a small North Carolina city.

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The News Merchant

A profile of Larry Garrison, the man who “gets paid to bring tabloid stories to TV news programs.”

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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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The Town That Burned Itself Down

For 18 months, Coatesville, Penn., was besieged with an improbable number of arsons.  But who started the fires – and why?

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The Straight Dope

An interview with David Simon, creator of The Wire.

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American Murder Mystery

An investigation into rising crime rates in small American cities. Is a lauded antipoverty program to blame?

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Russia's Crime of the Century

How crooked officials pulled off a massive scam, spent millions on Dubai real estate, and killed the author’s law partner when he tried to expose them.

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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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Heroin.com: Selling Junk Online

How Craigslist dealers do business in New York City.

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Blocking the Transmission of Violence

A profile of CeaseFire, a group of “violence interrupters” attempting to prevent street shootings by treating them like an infectious disease.

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Anatomy of a Murder

In 1960, beer heir Adolph Coors III was kidnapped and murdered. A look back at the crime and the man who committed it.

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Two Hours in Marinette: Lessons From a School Shooting

A student fires three shots during a sixth period social studies class. “Then nothing happened, and that’s a problem.”

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Free Fallin'

How skateboard legend Mark “Gator” Anthony was born again, first as a street preacher, and then as a rapist and murderer.

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The Hipster Grifter

How a 22-year-old with five warrants for her arrest in Utah conned her way through Brooklyn armed with nothing more than a dirty mouth and a penchant for faking pregnancy and/or cancer.

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The Man Who Shot the Man Who Shot Lincoln

The strange life of Boston Corbett, the soldier who killed John Wilkes Booth in 1865.

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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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"I Did It"

In 1991, Frank Sterling confessed to a crime he didn’t commit. His story highlights a common – and controversial – method of police interrogation.

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An Officer and an Atrocity

The barbaric brutalization of Abner Louima and the tragic fate of a handful of flawed Brooklyn cops.

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The Trials of Nunavut: Lament for an Arctic Nation

On “the Incidents”, three shootings in a single month in a 1,300 person hamlet tucked inside the 12-year-old Nunavut territory. (The complete 4-part series.)

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The Assassin in the Vineyard

Who would poison the vines of La Romanée-Conti, the tiny, centuries-old vineyard that produces what most agree is Burgundy’s finest, rarest, and most expensive wine?

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Trouble at Sheikh Villa

Sheikh Amer Hassan’s parties were notoriously debauched, evidence of a growing permissiveness in Karachi high society. His murder by a pair of young brothers surprised few.

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The Struggle for Mexico

Has Mexico become a failed state?

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The Trial of Mary Bale

Last summer, when she thought nobody was looking, Mary Bale put a cat in the trash. The act was caught on video, and Bale was quickly tried and convicted online. The aftermath of a viral crime.

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My Roommate, The Diamond Thief

A New Yorker finds an unlikely house guest on Craigslist.

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A Murder Foretold

Rodrigo Rosenberg, a highly respected corporate attorney in Guatemala, began, in the spring of 2009, to prophesy his own murder. The unraveling of a political conspiracy.

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Palling Around with Terrorists

Schaeffer Cox, who is accused of plotting to kill State Troopers and a federal judge, shifted rapidly from a Ron Paul campaign worker and Tea Party activist to a hardcore militia leader. His conspiracy revealed, mainstream Alaskan politicians are scrambling to distance themselves from their ties to Cox.

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Anthrax Redux: Did the Feds Nab the Wrong Guy?

Investigating the investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks.

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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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The Saga of the Scientific Swindler!

In the 1880’s, a shabbily dressed man popped up in numerous America cities, calling upon local scientists, showing letters of introduction claiming he was a noted geologist or paleontologist, discussing both fields at a staggeringly accomplished level, and then making off with valuable books or cash loans.

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Body Snatchers

Intended for cremation, 244 bodies are instead harvested for organs and tissue. The story of the families of the dead, the men who profited off the scheme, and the unwitting recipients of black market body parts.

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Gizmondo's Spectacular Crack-Up

One of the most valuable cars in the world crashes going 200 mph on the Pacific Coast Highway. Its owner claims to be an anti-terrorism officer. In fact, he’s a former executive at a failed software company—and a career criminal. The unraveling of an epic con.

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A Fistful of Dollars

On reservations, where policing hardly exists, bruiser-for-hire vigilantes are often the first choice for justice.

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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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Flesh and Blood

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

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Sex Thief

One part rapist, one part con-man; the story of the seemingly unconvictable Hy Doan.

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A Mugging on Lake Street

A veteran reporter investigates his own beating.

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Mayhem and Murder Rule at This Little Strip Club

The decades-long saga of Miami’s Take Once Cocktail Lounge, where you might get shot, your money will definitely be laundered, and everybody will know your name.

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The Brand

How a tiny inner core made the Aryan Brotherhood the most feared prison gang in America; coded messages, murders on the outside, and the knowledge that those who are already in for life cannot be punished further.

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What Made This University Scientist Snap?

How the culture of academia helped Amy Bishop, a University of Alabama scientist who murdered colleagues during a faculty meeting, fall apart.

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The School

First-person accounts from the 2004 siege of a Russian school in Beslan by Chechen terrorists.

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The Madoff Tapes

“One evening, my home phone rang. ‘You have a collect call from Bernard Madoff, an inmate at a federal prison,’ a recording announced. And there he was.”

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"I Heard the Shots and Ran Toward the Sound"

The Gabrielle Giffords shooting, from the vantage point of three central figures: Daniel Hernandez helped save the congresswoman’s life; Patricia Maisch stopped the shooter from reloading; Bill Badger tackled him.

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Porn Machete Murder

At the very bottom of the porn totem pole is the “mope”, a barely paid assistant who hangs around and occasionally performs. Stephen Hill was mope-ing for Ultima Studios in exchange for pocket money and a place to crash. Learning he was going to be evicted, he sharpened a prop machete.

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My Mother's Killer

She was last seen leaving a pickup bar, her body was found the next morning in the dirt beside a football field. He was ten. Thirty-six years later, the author investigates his mother’s murder.

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"I'm Glad I Went to Prison"

The bizarre tale–and unlikely turnaround–of an NHL player who tried to have his youth coach murdered.

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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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The Search for the Securitas Millions

In 2006, seven men stole £53m. Six were caught, but more than half the money remains at large. On modern money laundering best practices.

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Nightmare on Elm Drive

A comprehensive history of the case against the Menendez brothers, built primarily on secret audio recording made by their self-promoting therapist.

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The Curious Case of Joseph and Nicholas Brooks

The father: an Oscar-winning songwriter. The son, a college dropout and partier around downtown New York. Their alleged crimes; serial casting-couch rape (the senior) and a drowning murder in a Soho House bathtub (the junior).

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The King of Home Equity Fraud

How a Nigerian-American conned upwards of $40 million from banks during the housing boom using publicly available information from the internet, persuasive storytelling, and prepaid cellphones, and then ditched his FBI tail in a casino.

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The Perfect Dealer

Customer feedback on the New York City coke dealing industry.

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The Heart Of Football Beats In Aliquippa

The story of a small town just outside Pittsburgh that has suffered through a half-century of economic decline, racial tension, and endless crime. Despite that trajectory, or perhaps because of it, Aliquippa has also produced an astounding number of NFL players.

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The Lords of Rikers

The juvenile ward on Rikers Island is a world of constant violence fueled by gangs and, allegedly, encouraged and overseen by the guards.

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Something Happened at DC9. Who Did it Happen to?

In the aftermath of a mysterious murder, exploring a part of the story that has received little attention: the young man who lost his life.

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The Rape and Rescue of Kuwait City

Reporting from Kuwait on the week of its liberation, a brutal account of the atrocities committed during seven months of Iraqi occupation.

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A Remote Town in Romania Becomes Cybercrime Central

A trip to Râmnicu Vâlcea, a town of 120,000 where the primary (and lucrative) industry is Internet scams.

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From Russia With LØpht

How a legally dubious FBI sting lured a pair of Russian hackers stateside.

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A Father’s Pain, a Judge’s Duty, and a Justice Beyond Their Reach

Paul Wayment made a profound mistake, left his 2-year-old son alone in his truck as he tracked deer in the wilderness. The boy was gone when he returned. The story of a collective struggle to find a just punishment.

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Hellhole

Is long-term solitary confinement torture?

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The Forger's Story

Searching for (and easily finding) Mark Augustus Landis, the man behind the “longest, strangest forgery spree the American art world has known.”

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The Extraordinary Life and Death of David Burgess

A famed attorney begins a transformation away from being a man; and dies after a companion shoves her under an oncoming train.

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The Idealist

How a young state rep from Missouri, seemingly guaranteed political greatness, ended up behind bars.

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Rio’s New Reality Show

How the relationship between favela-based drug gangs and elite police units tasked with fighting them came to define Rio de Janeiro.

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Welcome to Haiti's Reconstruction Hell

On the utter brutality of life in the tent cities, one year after the earthquake.

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Diary of a Murder

On the last day of their junior year at Harvard, one roommate kills the other, then hangs herself. The press descends. A year later, a reporter searches for the real story.

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Las Terrenas

The writer and his girlfriend move to the Dominican Republic, joining the rapidly expanding community of expats who claim to have found paradise. They promptly get robbed at gunpoint. To cope, he investigates the country.

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Jihadists in Paradise

A ragtag band of pirate-Jihadists grab Americans from a diving resort in the Phillipines and lead them on an odyssey through the jungles of an archipelago with the competing interests of the Phillipines’ Navy and Army, the U.S. Military, and the C.I.A. thwarting their rescue.

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The Hunt for White October

Colombian traffickers have a new smuggling method of choice: specially designed submarines capable of carrying 10 tons of cocaine and covering 2,000 miles without refueling.

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North Korea's Dollar Store

Inside Office 39, a state-run counterfeiting operation designed to keep Kim Jong-il flush.

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The Incredible Story of the Collar Bomb Heist

In 2003, a man robbed a bank with a bomb around his neck. It exploded shortly thereafter, taking his life and leaving authorities to piece together who had put it there.

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Cables Shed Light on Ex-K.G.B. Officer’s Death

The Wikileaks-released documents regarding the polonium-poisoning assassination of Alexander V. Litvinenko speak to the potential involvement of both British and Russian security agencies and hint at the disappearance of a plane that bore evidence of the transport of polonium.

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The Runaway Doctor

He called himself “TheNoseDoctor” and performed sinus surgeries, many of them unnecessary, at a maniacal clip. When the whole thing fell apart, he left behind his yacht and family, and disappeared into the Alps.

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Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

A jury foreman on the messy effectiveness of the American justice system.

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Gone

A young girl is reported missing. The detective assigned to her case quickly discovers she’s been gone for years. The story of his search for justice.

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What I Learned from My Father, The Grifter

“My father didn’t believe in things that were a reminder of the past because he had never had things in the past, and, more important, he had never had a past—not a past that mattered, that should be passed on to me, his son.”

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The Ongoing Mysteries of the Elizabeth Smart Case

He was an itinerant preacher who claimed god have revealed him to be the one true prophet. He kidnapped Elizabeth Smart  and lived with her in a makeshift camp for years. She was hard to find; not because he was sly, but because Utah is full of prophets with multiple young wives.

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Zion on the Prairie

On the visionary architecture and disturbing goals of Yearning for Zion, the utopian experiment undertaken in rural Texas by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

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The Mad Strangler of Boston

The criminologist/lawyer who created Perry Mason unravels the Boston Strangler case, in which eleven women were murdered by an assailant they willingly let into their homes.

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Seagal Under Siege

Steven Seagal spent a few years in Japan and  returned to open a dojo in L.A.. Jules Nasso was the wiseguy producer behind all of Seagal’s hits. When it all fell apart, Seagal reputedly offered money for a contract killing, and Nasso may have been caught on tape arranging to extort Seagal through the Gambino Family.

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The Real-life Swedish Murder That Inspired Stieg Larsson

A Stockholm prostitute is found hacked apart in a dumpster, her head is never found. Two accomplished doctors, confirmed creeps, are arrested. Uncertainty endures.

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The Trafficker

The amiable international arms dealer and the sting.

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The Colombian Coke Sub

A former pilot of miniature cocaine-smuggling submarines tells his story.

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A Crime of Shadows

The cop says she nabbed an online sexual predator. He says he was just willing to chat whatever it took to get laid in real life. Their story, from both perspectives.

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The Dirtiest Cop Alive

A profile of Rafael Pérez, an infamously corrupt LAPD officer and the inspiration behind the Vic Mackey character on The Shield.

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How I Became a Con Artist

A lifetime worth of little scams adds up.

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The Case of the Vanishing Blonde

"From the start, it was a bad case. A battered 21-year-old woman with long blond curls was discovered facedown in the weeds, naked, at the western edge of Miami, where the neat grid of outer suburbia butts up against the high grass and black mud of the Everglades."
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The Mystery of the Tainted Cocaine

How the bulk of the cocaine entering the U.S. ends up cut with a cattle dewormer.

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The Convict and the Congressman

How did a Kentucky entrepreneur, a Louisiana politician, and the vice president of Nigeria end up in one of the biggest scandals to hit America’s black elite in decades?

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La Violencia

Scenes from the new Tijuana: two teenage brothers from the country club set descend into the cartel underworld, bored federales guard the acid pit where hundreds of bodies were erased, families picnic through a chain-link border fence.

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What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?

In Detroit, the aftermath of a reality-TV SWAT raid that killed a sleeping seven-year-old.

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The Hit Man Nobody Knows

Dandenis Muñoz Mosquera, a.k.a. “La Quica,” was one of Pablo Escobar’s top killers. Now he’s in a maximum security prison in Colorado. Here’s the thing: for all his crimes, La Quica may not have committed the one that put him away.

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The Great Cyberheist

The prosecutor in the case of hacker turned F.B.I. informant (but still hacker) Albert Gonzales and his organization Shadowcrew : “The sheer extent of the human victimization caused by Gonzalez and his organization is unparalleled.”

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The Vidocq Society: Murder on the Menu

For the last two decades, the varied personalities behind the Vidocq Society—retired cops, sketch artists, FBI agents—have gathered in Philadelphia to tackled cold-case homicides over lunch. They claim to have solved more than half.

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The Tiger’s Revenge

In the feral communities of Russia’s Far East, tiger poaching is among the few lucrative pursuits. This is the story of a tiger who fought back.

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A Haunted City

Returning to the scenes of three famous deaths in Seattle.

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The Complete BMF Series

A single-page version of Shalhoup’s reporting on the Black Mafia Family, one of the largest cocaine empires in American history.

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The Golden Bough

In 1997, a logger-turned-activist named Grant Hadwin cut down a very special tree. Then he bought a kayak and disappeared.

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Trailers are for Travelers

How an aging trio of Irish ‘travelers’ criss-crossed America in a mobile home conning Home Depot out of over $1 million.

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The Wrong Man

The cops thought they had captured a fugitive. They had not. Elias Fishburne was a hairdresser from Maryland and was going to jail.

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Cases Crumble, Killers Go Free

An 18-month investigation proves reveals how easy it is to get away with murder in Baltimore.

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Mexico convoy threads its way through strange drug war in Sonora state

Far outside of Juarez, villagers in rural areas are trapped without supplies or protection as rival cartels attempt to starve each other out of ranch hideouts. A heavily armed convoy attempts to deliver pensions behind siege lines.

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Are You Sure You Want To Quit The World?

Li Dao, a young Minnesota nurse, appeared in suicide chat rooms, contacted the most desperate, and made pacts to die with them via webcam. After some in the forum caught on, Dao disappeared; or rather, Dao had never existed at all. She was a middle-aged man. And he may have encouraged and witnessed dozens of live suicides.

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The Boomtown, the Gringo, the Girl, and Her Murder

A writer starts a vacation in San Juan del Sur, a seaside village of 20,000 in Nicaragua, just in time to see an expat charged with the murder of a local.

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The (Chinese) Gangs of New York

Nicky Louie and the Ghost Shadows.

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More Dispatches from the R. Kelly Trial

Featuring the debut of the “Ghost Sex Defense.”

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Dispatches from the R. Kelly Trial

The “Shaggy Defense,” the “Little Man Defense,” and more—live from R. Kelly’s 2008 child pornography trial.

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In the Face of Death

There was no doubt: Jeremy Gross had brutally murdered a convenience store clerk. All that was left to decide was his punishment. Death or life without parole? The story of a capital murder trial, as seen from the jury box.

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The Murderers of Mexico

The narcocorrido-immortalized Pacific coast traditionalists, the kidnap-crazed Gulf coast Zetas, and massacres that no longer seem tied to a discernible purpose; inside the ruins of the Mexican-American border.

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Trapping the Lord of War

Full six-part series on the rise and fall of Viktor Bout, the most notorious arms dealer of the modern era.

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The Snatchback

If your ex-spouse takes your child and hightails it abroad, the legal system often isn’t on your side. So what can you do? One option: hire a former Army ranger named Gus Zamora to take back your kid.

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Bringing Down the Dogmen

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

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The Sinister Side of Yusuf Bey's Empire

‘Your Black Muslim Bakery’ commanded vast influence in Oakland, offering jobs and self-empowerment to ex-cons , until this story revealed a history of incest-rapes and kidnappings. Another journalist investigating the story was later murdered.

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Fast Money, Secret Lives

In an elaborate FBI sting to expose corruption, four agents pose as futures traders in Chicago. The plan works–if you don’t count the hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars the agents lost in the process.

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The Gangster Prince of Liberia

How the illegitimate son of Liberian ex-President (and accused cannibal) Charles Taylor went from being a small time Florida hoodlum to one of Africa’s most notorious killers.

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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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In the City of Death

In Torreón, north of Mexico City, cartel gunmen are freed from a prison, commit a massacre at a wedding that includes the band, and then return to custody.

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The Follieri Charade

Raffaello Follieri was young, handsome. He was Italian. He was dating Anne Hathaway, hobnobbing with Bill Clinton, and using contacts at the Vatican to launch a lucrative business in the States. Then he was in jail.

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The Chessboard Killer

Russian serial killer Alexander Pichushkin was so prolific that even he doesn’t know how many he killed.

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The Trials of "Dr. Sam"

A Wikipedia-style dissection of the case that inspired The Fugitive. The accused, Dr. Sam Sheppard, claimed to have struggled with an intruder before being knocked out and dumped on a beach, his wife’s left corpse in their house.

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The $2,000-an-Hour Woman

The rise and fall of a boom-era escort agency in New York City.

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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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The Real Heroes Are Dead

The epic life story of Rick Rescorla: immigrant, war hero, husband, and head of security at Morgan Stanley/Dean Witter, occupant of 22 floors in the South Tower.

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Arms and the Man

A profile of Viktor Bout, believed to be the largest arms trafficker in the world. A Russian who bought his first cargo planes at age 25, Bout has been in the news recently after being arrested in Thailand.

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The Inkjet Counterfeiter

Albert Talton started with some recycled newsprint and a cheap printer from Staples. By the end, he’d put more than $7 million into circulation.

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The Crack in the Shield

The rise and fall of the Seven-Seven - stationed in the war zone of 1980’s Crown Heights, Brooklyn - and how an idealistic young recruit became part of cash-snatching, drug-reselling, renegade clique of cops

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The Interrogation of Detainee 063

A classified Guantánamo Bay interrogation log reveals the techniques used on Mohammed al-Qahtani, the so-called 20th 9/11 hijacker.

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Skin

A Holocaust detective story: could a lampshade pulled from the ruins of Katrina really be Buchenwald artifact made of human remains?

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My Favorite Teacher

Mr. Lindall was the only high school teacher who understood him. Then Mr. Lindall went to jail, and it was his turn to try to understand.

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Tabloid Hack Attack on Royals

Tabloid newspapers were caught hacking into the voicemails of Prince William and Prince Harry. One reporter was arrested - but an investigation shows the eavesdropping was far more elaborate and widespread.

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The Headmistress and the Diet Doctor

The night the doctor behind the Scarsdale Diet was shot by his mistress, the impeccable headmistress of the elite all-girls boarding school Madeira.

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The Trenchcoat Robbers

They robbed 27 banks in 15 years, one of the most prolific streaks in American history. Then they got caught.

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I Fell In Love With a Female Assassin

A young reporter heads to Colombia to report on the conflict between FARC and the paramilitaries. He meets a girl on the bus. After they begin a relationship, she reveals that that she is part of a death squad.

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Through His Webcam...

A 13 year old gets a webcam and starts doing dirty shows online, ending up running a smut business in Mexico with his deadbeat father.

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Russia's Spam King

The unsolved killing of Russia’s most notorious spammer.

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The Pirate Latitudes

A blow by blow account of the seizure of a French cruise ship by Somali pirates.

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Whirl

For sixty years, the weekly Evening Whirl attacked the drug lords, whoring preachers, and hypocritical bourgeoisie of St. Louis’ black community, sometimes in rhyming Iambic couplets.

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Nightmare on Elwood Avenue

A Barclays analyst leaves for a routine laser treatment and is never heard from again. Ten months later, authorities find her body under a concrete slab at the house of her doctor, who was in fact not a doctor at all.

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Guarding Sing Sing

A firsthand account of prison’s dysfunctional relationships. The writer wasn’t able to gain access through official channels, so he completed guard training and took a job as a Sing Sing corrections officer.

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The Silver Thief

After two New Jersey homes were robbed of their silver—only their silver—in the same night, the local police got a call from a detective in Greenwich, Connecticut. “I know the guy who’s doing your burglaries.”

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The Fall of Randolph Hobson Guthrie III

An American, born into privilege, became a bootleg DVD kingpin in Shanghai and then, in an unprecedented development, landed in Chinese prison.

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Seized

For many immigrants coming through Arizona, it’s not enough to pay a coyote to shepherd you across the border. You also need to pay the ransom demanded by your kidnapper after you arrive.

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Poor Little Rich Girls

Two sisters, heirs to the Bronfman fortune, may have blown $100 million supporting the cult-like group NXIVM.

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The War for Drugs

How Juarez became the murder capital of the world.

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Prison Without Walls

Is letting convicts roam free under electronic surveillance better than putting them behind bars?

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Stealing Mona Lisa

Was the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre actually a smokescreen to obscure an even more audacious art crime?

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The Billion-Dollar Shack

A reporter heads to Nauru, a tiny island nation in the Pacific, to track down the hub of a worldwide money-laundering operation—a shack filled with computers, air-conditioners, and little else.

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Dead Man Talking

Brian Hickey, a journalist who was induced into a coma after being left for dead following a hit and run accident, reports the story of his recovery.

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Secrets of the Little Blue Box

How phone phreakers, many of them blind, opened up Ma Bell to unlimited free international calling using a technical manual and a toy organ.

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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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The Genesis of the Gang

Jacob Riis, writing in 1899, on how a childhood spent in New York City’s tenements led a 15-year-old boy to be convicted of murder.

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City of Fear

How PCC, once an inmate soccer team and now Brazil’s most notorious prison gang, coordinated seven days of riots throughout São Paulo using mobile phones.

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Getting Off

Inside the competitive, lucrative, swashbuckling world of DWI attorneys in Houston.

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The Stories of One Brooklyn Block

Vignettes of the residents of South Elliot Place.

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Sledgehammer and Whore

A Hollywood screenwriter finds out his identity’s been stolen when a hooker calls–from his private office–demanding to be paid for the sex they didn’t just have.

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What Really Happened to Phoebe Prince?

Her suicide made headlines around the world after classmates were indicted on felony charges related to bullying. The real story isn’t that simple.

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One Boy, Two Girls, and Homicide

A teenage love triangle turns tragic in Pinellas Park, Florida.

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The Story Behind a Nonfiction Novel

In January 1966–the same month In Cold Blood was first published–Truman Capote sat down with George Plimpton to discuss the new art form he liked to call “creative journalism.”

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The Ballad of Colton Harris-Moore

The 19-year-old “Barefoot Bandit”—on the run since 2008 and famous for stealing Cessnas without flying lessons, among other feats—was captured this week in the Bahamas. Here, the view of Colt from his hometown.

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The Son of Sam’s Social Life

Admiring evangelicals are helping David Berkowitz, the imprisoned serial killer who murdered six people in NYC during the summer of 1977, with an unusual image makeover.

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Designer Drugs

In the early ’80s, underground chemists cooked up synthetic versions of heroin that took over the market in California—and left young users with symptoms typically associated with Parkinson’s.

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Inside the Nitrous Mafia

Nitrous balloon vendors clash in the parking lots of jam band festival across the Northeast.

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Linux Visionary Accused of Murder

After his wife disappears, Hans Reiser’s defense contacts a Wired writer who they believe can help explain the world of groundbreaking code, video games, and sci-fi that defines Reiser’s existence.

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The Supermax Solution

When New York built a prison designed to house two men in a single cell, it launched a new experiment in crime control. A look at life inside this prison and in the tiny town surrounding it.

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Ty Cobb: Death in the Dark

Ty Cobb, who would go on to be the greatest baseball player of his time, was a 17-year-old minor league prospect when his mother shot and killed his father at home in Georgia.

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The Killer’s Trail

The many identities of Andrew Cunanan, Versace’s murderer.

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The Killer of His Daughter's Mother

How an L.A. high school dropout became an enforcer for Mexican cartels and ended up on the F.B.I. Most Wanted List.

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Taman Shud Case

An unidentified body found near the beach in Australia in 1948. An unclaimed suitcase. A coded note.

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A pregnant woman is taken captive [1/2]

A woman posing as a non-profit worker kidnaps a formerly homeless pregnant woman and tries to claim her baby. [PART 1]
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The Man in the Rockefeller Suit

When Clark Rockefeller snatched his daughter during a custody dispute, what the D.A. called “the longest con I’ve seen in my professional career” came unraveled, and the trail led to bones buried in a California backyard.

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A Jazz Age Autopsy

The lonesome death of Arnold Rothstein, notorious gambler, inspiration for a the character Meyer Wolfsheim in The Great Gatsby, alleged fixer of the 1916 World Series, opiate importation pioneer, mobster and Jew.

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Lost in the Jihad

How the case against John Walker Lindh collapsed.

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The Smit Murders Reexamined

It is agreed that the 1977 political murder of a couple in Johannesburg was a political killing that covered up mysterious Swiss Bank deposits. Various reports implicate Cuban Nationalists, Italian Fascists and the CIA.

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Bernie Madoff, Free at Last

What’s Madoff like as a prisoner? According to his fellow inmates, he’s cheap (“You couldn’t get an ice-cream cone off him”), he’s unrepentant (“Fuck my victims”), and he’s eager to dole out financial advice.

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The World’s Biggest Diamond Heist

How $100 million in diamonds, gold and jewelry disappeared from Antwerp Diamond Center’s supersecure vault.

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Justice

Dominick Dunne’s account of the trial of his daughter’s murderer.

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Deadly Retaliation (2/2)

[Part 2 of 2] The story behind this spring’s spate of retributive murders in Southwest D.C.
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Prelude to a Tragedy (1/2)

[Part 1 of 2] The story behind this spring's spate of retributive murders in Southwest D.C.
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The One-Man Drug Company

Lenny makes $5,000 a week selling coke. It was easy to get into the business after finishing prep school. Getting out and going legit after his final score is proving much more difficult.

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The biggest identity theft case ever

A teenage Florida hacker crew, millions of credit cards numbers stolen by driving by big box stores and entering their networks, $1.1 million in cash buried in a backyard, an FBI snitch,  and how it all fell apart.

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The Demon in the Freezer

How smallpox went from eradicated disease to the ideal weapon of bioterrorists.

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Trial By Fire

The arson case that may have led Texas to execute an innocent man.

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Mad About the Boys

Lou Pearlman, the guy responsible for the Backstreet Boys and ‘NSync, bilked his investors of $300 million and fled the country. But the boys say he was interested in more than just money.

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An IM Infatuation Turned to Romance. Then the Truth Came Out.

He was an 18 year old Marine bound for Iraq. She was a high school senior in West Virginia. They grew intimate over IM. His dad also started contacting her.  No one was who they claimed to be and it led to a murder.

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America’s Cocaine King

It took a desperate screenwriter to find Max Mermelstein, Miami’s former coke overlord, after twenty-five years in hiding.

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Sextortion at Eisenhower High

Step 1: awkward high school senior passes himself off as a flirtatious female student online. Step 2: he cons his male classmates into e-mailing him sexually explicit images of themselves. Step 3: extortion.

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The Enemy Within

The Conficker ‘worm’ has replicated itself across tens of millions of computers. Only a few hundred people have the knowledge to recreate how, and no one (except its anonymous maker) fully understands why.

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A Manhunt Ends in Skwentna

How two brothers, born of the same mother but adopted by different families, reunited and used a stolen $50k to fund a ride that started in New Jersey and ended with bullet-ridden cabins in the wilds of Alaska.

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The Caged Life

In 2005, the prisoner who had set the U.S. penal system record for years in solitary confinement was moved to what’s called “the Alcatraz of the Rockies”—a jail in Colorado built just for him.

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The NYPD Tapes: Inside a Bed-Stuy Precinct

In 2008, a Brooklyn cop grew gravely concerned about how the public was being served. So he began carrying a digital sound recorder, secretly recording his colleagues and superiors.

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Tonight on Dateline This Man Will Die

Bill Conradt, a well-known prosecutor, never showed up at the house in Murphy, Texas, where police and a crew from NBC’s To Catch a Predator were waiting. So they, along with a SWAT team, went to Conradt.

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No Angel, No Devil (Part II)

The second installment of the Gaile Owens story. A former churchgoing mother of two from suburban Memphis, Owens is the first woman to be given the death penalty in Tennessee in nearly 200 years.

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High Rollers, Triads, and a Vegas Giant

Las Vegas casinos operating in Macau rely on “junkets” to bring in the gambling elite, but the money and murder for hire trails lead straight to the Triads.

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No Angel, No Devil

Gaile Owens was a churchgoing mother of two boys in suburban Memphis. Now she’s the first woman sentenced to die in Tennessee in nearly 200 years. The jury never heard her whole story; this is it.

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60 Hours of Terror

The defining, minute-by-minute account of the 2008 attacks in Mumbai.

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Too Weird for The Wire

When the Feds sought the death penalty for four African-American drug dealers in Baltimore, the accused found a defense in the unlikeliest of places: the legal theories of white supremacists.

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The Snakehead

Working from a tiny shop in Chinatown, Sister Ping helped thousands of Chinese immigrate illegally by boat. By the time one of her ships ran aground, the F.B.I estimated her total profits at $40 million.

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The World’s Greatest Con Man

Helg Sgarbi had perfected the art of seducing, swindling, and blackmailing ultra-rich women across Europe. Fleecing a billionaire BMW heiress should have been the crowning achievement of his career.

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The Dirtiest Player

In the wake of a brazen but mysterious Philadelphia gunfight, Marvin Harrison, the man who holds the NFL record for receptions in a season, may find himself with a permanent record of a different sort.

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A Troubled Rape Case

A rape case against a Deputy D.A. brought by a co-worker opens a window into a shockingly kinky and dysfunctional District Attorney’s office, brimming with conflict of interest.

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The Cocaine Coast

In nine hours, Guinea-Bissau’s President and military leader were assassinated in separate incidents. Their dealings had turned the country into the runway of choice for drug smugglers and Hezbollah.

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Convincing a Murderer Not to Die

When Christian Longo, who brutally murdered his family, was on the lam in Mexico he posed as a NYT reporter named Michael Finkel. From Death Row, Longo asked the real Finkel to attend his execution.

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The Wrong Man

The story of how federal authorities blew the biggest anti-terror investigation of the past decade—the post-9/11 anthrax attacks—and nearly destroyed an innocent man.

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Fatal Distraction

Forgetting a child in the backseat of a car is a horrifying mistake. But is it a crime? (A newly minted Pulitzer Prize winner.)

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Art of the Steal

Gerald Blanchard, the world’s most ingenious thief, made his first swipe at age six. And he didn’t stop, robbing banks and stealing jewels around the world until a pair of obsessed Winnipeg cops took his case.

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Manson’s Biological Family

Matthew Roberts was a fledgling musician in L.A., DJing at a strip club and prone to nightmares. But when he learned Charles Manson might be his biological father, his whole life suddenly made sense.

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A Thief Dines Out, Hoping Later to Eat In

For Gangaram Mahes, Rikers Island was the only chance for three squares and a “decent life.” So Mahes committed the same crime 31 straight times: refusing to pay the check at New York City restaurants.

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Murderabilia

Jeff Mailhot, convicted serial killer, has joined several infamous criminals in a second career from behind bars: paid artist. His first piece? An outline of his left hand, available for $34.99.

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A Hospital’s Deadly Choice

Katrina’s floodwaters had knocked out the power. Evacuation of the sickest patients seemed impossible. So the doctors at Memorial did what they thought was right, even if they knew it was a crime.

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Bitter Spoils

The secret history of the Wildensteins, the art world’s richest and most powerful family, whose legendary vaults likely include counterfeits and works stolen by the Nazis.