Alan Prendergast

6 articles
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In July 2008, the director of a Denver non-profit received a package containing house keys, a will, a $100,000 check and what appeared to be a suicide note. She didn’t go to the bank–or to the cops.

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

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

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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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His wife murdered his mother, tried to do the same to him, and was prepared to orphan their 8-month-old child. The attempt left him blind. Then he defended her in court.

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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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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.