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Kafka in Vegas

Fred Steese served more than 20 years in prison for the murder of a Vegas circus performer even though evidence proved he didn’t do it. When the truth came to light, he was offered a confounding deal: he could go free, but only if he agreed to remain a convicted killer.

The Zankou Chicken Murders

The creator of the California-based food chain kills his mother, sister and, finally, himself.

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From Hollywood to Anaheim, he had opened a chain of fast-food rotisserie chicken restaurants that dazzled the food critics and turned customers into a cult. Poets wrote about his Zankou chicken. Musicians sang about his Zankou chicken. Now that he was dying, his dream of building an empire, 100 Zankous across the land, a Zankou in every major city, would be his four sons’ to pursue. In the days before, he had pulled them aside one by one -- Dikran, Steve, Ara, Vartkes -- and told them he had no regrets. He was 56 years old, that was true, but life had not cheated him. He did not tell them he had just one more piece of business left to do.

Excerpts from 'Bones in the Desert'

From the Translator’s Note:

Just over two weeks ago, on April 3, the renowned Mexican writer and investigative journalist Sergio González Rodríguez unexpectedly passed away from a heart attack at age 67. [His book] Bones in the Desert is a far-reaching investigation into the still-unsolved murders of hundreds of women and girls in the communities surrounding Mexico’s Ciudad Júarez, on the US border with El Paso, Texas. In the years since its publication in 2002, Bones in the Desert has left an indelible imprint on the modern literature of the Americas, both through its own merits and its foundational influence on Roberto Bolaño’s 2666. In crafting a fictionalized version of Ciudad Júarez, Bolaño collaborated directly with González Rodríguez, relying on him for substantial “technical help” in answering questions about the nature of the murders, and eventually including him as a character in the novel.
  1. The Twilight Zone

    An excess of people and an excess of desert.

  2. No Longer a Girl

    The hallmarks that would come to characterize the official narrative surrounding the serial murders were already being established.