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

Governor Perry, Have Mercy on This Man

Max Soffar is dying on death row, where he sits for a crime I'm certain he didn't commit. Maybe this letter will convince you to let him spend his last days at home with his family.

“I Believe It’s a Heroic Calling”

A conversation with the criminal defense lawyers of the year.

The Strings of the Father

How Johnny Gimble became one of the greatest fiddlers of all time—and showed me and my son a thing or two about playing music.

Richard LaFuente Is Finally Free!

For 28 years, parole officials tried to get him to confess to a crime he didn’t commit. He refused—and never wavered. This is why he is the bravest man I know.

Master Nelson Receives His Black Belt

Willie, who turns 81 today, proves that age is just a number.

A Summer Weekend in Houston

A tour of the city’s rich musical legacy (and some two-stepping).

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.

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