Michael Hall

Michael Hall graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1979. Before joining Texas Monthly in 1997, he was an associate editor of Third Coast magazine and the managing editor of the Austin Chronicle. Hall won two 2001 Katy Awards: one for Best Reporter Writing Portfolio and one for Personality Profile/Interview for his July 2001 story “Lance Armstrong Has Something to Get Off His Chest.” He won a Texas Gavel Award in 2003 for his story about capital punishment, “Death Isn’t Fair,” which was also nominated for a National Magazine Award. Hall’s stories have appeared in the Best American Magazine Writing, the Best American Sportswriting, the Best American Nonrequired Reading, and Da Capo Best Music Writing. He has also written for Trouser Press, the New York Times, Men’s Journal, and the Austin American-Statesman.


The Murders at the Lake

In 1982 three teenagers were killed near the shores of Lake Waco in a seemingly inexplicable crime. More than three decades later, the tragic and disturbing case still casts a long, dark shadow.

The Greatest Music Producer You’ve Never Heard of Is . . .

Tom Wilson, a Harvard-educated Republican from Waco who helped launch the careers of Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, Lou Reed, and a few other musicians you might have heard of.

Wrongfully Convicted Grandma Freed

After Fran Keller spent 21 years in prison based on allegations by children who said they were sexually abused in a satanic ritual at her and her husband’s day care, she was finally released.

The San Antonio 4 Are Finally Free

Four women spent more than thirteen years in prison because of bad science and scurrilous tales told by children who had been coached by an adult. They’re free now, but who else is sitting behind bars based on these types of false accusations?

Foster Mother Whose Children Testified in the “Mineola Swingers Club” Case Now Accused of Abuse

Eight years ago Margie Cantrell pushed law enforcement to investigate allegations of abuse by a group of adults in Mineola. Seven people were convicted of child sexual abuse, and the scandal rocked East Texas. Now, two of those same children are alleging Cantrell physically abused them.

Pardon Me, Mr. President

Dear Mr. President: Richard LaFuente just filed a petition for executive clemency. I urge you to read it—and to commute his life sentence.

The Man Who Fell to Earth

After decades as one of the most admired athletes on the planet and one of the toughest competitors ever to ride a bike, Lance Armstrong is facing a new challenge: how to come back from a very public disgrace.

An Ode to Mount Bonnell

Taking Austin in from the city’s most iconic summit.

Saving the Broken Spoke

The legendary honky-tonk is getting some help from an unlikely source: Transwestern, a giant real estate developer.

The Mystery of Lightning Medicine Cloud

When a rare white buffalo was born in North Texas, thousands came to celebrate the new age he heralded. A year later the animal was dead.

The Red Hooded Stranger

Is Willie Nelson Santa Claus? We asked him that, and a few other things—like what it’s like to get busted and get along with Pat Robertson and Snoop Dogg.


The life of Willie Nelson’s guitar.

Eight Great Trigger Performances

From “I’m a Memory” to “Here We Go Again,” listen to eight performances that highlight the capabilities of Willie Nelson’s treasured guitar.

Another Tale of Wrongful Conviction?

Richard LaFuente, who was convicted of murder in 1986, has steadfastly proclaimed his innocence for more than twenty years. Now he has some unlikely support in one person—the victim’s own sister.

Richard LaFuente Documentary in the Works

Todd Trotter is trying to make a film about Richard LaFuente, who has served 26 years in prison for a crime he says he did not commit.