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.

Stories

In Our Backyard

The faces—and voices—of eighteen Texans who are living the debate over illegal immigration.

About a Boy

The short life and tragic death of Johnny Romano, the youngest professional skateboarder ever.

Weird Science

As the peculiar case of a Fort Bend sheriff’s deputy and his bloodhounds makes clear, the techniques of crime-scene investigation are not as infallible as the TV shows would have us believe. How a misplaced faith in some forensic experts is putting innocent people behind bars.

Three Chords and A Station Wagon

In the years before anyone had heard of Woodstock or Altamont, teenagers across Texas started bands in their parents’ garages, banging out earnest rock songs on cheap equipment and hoping to hit it big at the local skating rink or VFW post. For some, those dreams won’t fade away.

The Judgment of Sharon Keller

Her decision to close the door on a death row inmate’s final plea has earned the state’s top criminal judge lasting infamy and a misconduct investigation that goes to trial this month. But was she wrong?

Across The Line

Was the quaint East Texas town of Mineola home to a horrific child sex ring? Were the three people sent to prison last year for running it guilty? Was justice served? Depends on which district attorney you ask.

The Night the Music Died

Fifty years ago, a plane carrying Buddy Holly crashed in a remote Iowa cornfield. This month, hundreds of fans will gather at the ballroom where he played his final show to sing, dance, and mourn the greatest rock star ever to come out of Texas.

The Exonerated

Thirty-seven men, 525 years behind bars for crimes they didn’t commit. Thanks to DNA testing, their claims of innocence have finally been proved—but what happens to them now?

“Willie’s God! Willie’s God! We Love Willie!”

In this extraordinary oral history, Willie Nelson’s friends, kin, and collaborators (Jimmy Carter, Emmylou Harris, Robert Redford, Merle Haggard, and many more big names) tell their favorite stories about the Red Headed Stranger.

Child’s Play

Summer vacation is right around the corner, but that doesn’t mean you should panic. We’ve rounded up 68 of our favorite things to do with your toddlers, teens, and every kid in between. Dance the hokey pokey. Rope a horse. Eat way too many hot dogs. Zip down a waterslide. And yes, feed the animals.

The Fabric of Our Lives

I know her as my mother, whose womb I emerged from more than fifty years ago. They—the million or so quilting fanatics, mostly women, who spend hours a day with needle, thread, fabric, and sewing machine—know her as a celebrity. She can’t believe it either.

The Unbankables

All over Dallas are working-class dreamers with more will than wallet, would-be entrepreneurs who’d start their own businesses if only they had savings, good credit, home equity. That’s what brings them to the PLAN Fund.

Craig’s List

Of the many things the first black district attorney of Dallas County is doing, none is more important than rethinking the concept of guilt and innocence.

Let There Be Lightnin’

Twenty-five years after his death, Sam Hopkins is still one of the most influential bluesmen in history—that much we know. But we don’t know nearly enough about who he was.

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