Pamela Colloff

Pamela Colloff is an executive editor at Texas Monthly and has written for the magazine since 1997. Her work has also appeared in the New Yorker and has been anthologized in Best American Magazine Writing, Best American Crime Reporting, Best American Non-Required Reading, and Next Wave: America’s New Generation of Great Literary Journalists.

Colloff is a four-time National Magazine Award finalist. She was nominated in 2001 for her article on school prayer, and then again in 2011 for her two-part series, “Innocence Lost” and “Innocence Found,” about wrongly-convicted death row inmate Anthony Graves. One month after the publication of “Innocence Lost,” the Burleson County district attorney’s office dropped all charges against Graves and released him from jail, where he had been awaiting retrial. Colloff’s article—an exhaustive examination of Graves’s case—was credited with helping Graves win his freedom after eighteen years behind bars.

In 2013 she was nominated twice more, for “Hannah and Andrew” and “The Innocent Man,” a two-part series about Michael Morton, a man who spent 25 years wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of his wife, Christine. The latter earned a National Magazine Award for Feature Writing. 

In 2014, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University awarded her the Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism.

Colloff holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Brown University and was raised in New York City. She lives in Austin with her husband and their two children.

Stories

Flipping Out

The letter-sweater-wearing, pom-pom-shaking, pep-rally-leading girl next door has been a beloved Texas icon for generations. So why do so many people today— lawmakers and lawyers, preachers and feminists—think cheerleading is the root, root, root of all evil?

Unholy Act

No one in McAllen saw Irene Garza leave Sacred Heart that night in 1960. The next morning, her car was still parked down the street from the church. She never came home.

Sunk

How the Texans who organized the Swift Boat Vets capsized John Kerry’s presidential campaign.

Cutting Deep

A year after state legislators kicked tens of thousands of children off the taxpayer-funded health insurance rolls, our biggest public-policy problem has reached crisis proportions. And the bleeding shows no signs of letting up.

Reversal of Fortune

Eight years ago, 42 people in the West Texas town of Roby—7 percent of the population—pooled their money, bought lottery tickets, and won $46 million. And that's when their luck ran out.

Letters Home

Seventy-five Texans—sons and daughters, brothers and sisters—have died in Iraq since last March. Here are some of their final words.

Life and Meth

Around the Piney Woods, most people will tell you that they know someone who’s addicted to homemade speed. Drug recovery centers are overwhelmed; court dockets are backed up; jails are filled. There’s no end in sight.

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Before they had even cut a record, the five kids from Tyler who call themselves Eisley were the talk of the music business. Why? Let me draw you a picture.

Life During Wartime

Most of the 42,000 soldiers stationed at Fort Hood, one of the largest military installations in the world, are in Iraq or preparing to go. Meanwhile, the loved ones who are left behind wait—and hope they don't hear an unexpected knock at the door.

Jasper

The town's name will forever be synonymous with one of the worst hate crimes in American history. But the story doesn't end there.

Lip Shtick

There are countless theories about why Dallas women are so crazy about makeup, but there's something approaching a consensus about the place to buy it. Which is why, against all odds, I found myself at the NorthPark Center Neiman's.

Crosses to Bear

Every day the new politics of abortion play out at clinics like the one in Bryan-College Station, where emotions run high and Roe v. Wade is almost beside the point.

The Whistle-Blower

What has Sherron Watkins' life been like since she exposed the financial shenanigans of her colleagues at Enron? Well, she may be one of Time's "Persons of the Year," but she's not necessarily one of Houston's.

Queen for a Day

At this year's Miss Texas Teen USA pageant, girls from big cities and small towns stuffed their bras, slicked Vaseline across their teeth, and prayed that their thighs were toned enough. Anything for the crown.

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

Once upon a time, the Central Texas town of Crawford was like Mayberry: Everyone knew everyone, no one talked politics, and the air was ripe with the aroma of hogs. Then the leader of the free world bought a little place west of the Middle Bosque River, and nothing was ever the same again.

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