Robert Kolker

18 articles
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What Happens When the Surveillance State Becomes an Affordable Gadget?

Your local police department probably has a $400,00 device that listens in on cellphones. Soon your neighbor will be able to buy the same thing for $1,500.

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One Day, 625 Delays

The ripple effect of a single MTA mechanical failure.

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Craps and Cryogenics

How an eccentric industrialist bought Atlantic City’s shuttered Revel casino at a firesale price with a goal to turn it into a “life-extension facility.”

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Hot Shmurda

He went from a viral pop hit to an arrest for conspiracy to murder charges in just under six months. Was Bobby Shmurda “too real” for his label?

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Unfreed

After robbing two video stores with a friend, Rene Lima-Marin was sentenced to almost 100 years in prison. Then, due to a clerical error, he was released 88 years too early.

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The Boy Who Ran

On the life and death of Avonte Oquendo, a 14-year-old autistic boy who disappeared in October after walking out of his New York City school.

Previously: Robert Kolker on the Longform Podcast.

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A Dangerous Mind

The case of Gilberto Valle, “The Cannibal Cop,” and the line between criminal thoughts and action.

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First Lost, Then Murdered

The story of Melissa Barthelemy, a prostitute killed in a string of murders on Long Island in December 2010.

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Manhattan Fold ’Em

How a high-stakes poker game that started at Tobey Maguire’s house became part of a $100 million gambling and money-laundering operation orchestrated by the Russian mob.

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Mercenary for Justice

How an informant helped authorities nab a notorious anti-abortion activist.

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Kaboom

Aaron Greene and Morgan Gliedman were young and in love and pregnant and partial to heroin and living in a Village apartment with a lot of heavy weaponry lying about. Then they were arrested, and their stories started to change.

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Cheating Upwards

Why so many smart kids are cheating on tests.