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

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.

“The Trick Is Not to Act Like a Lawyer.”

So says Rusty Hardin, Houston’s defense attorney of the moment—the latest in a long line of courtroom heroes guilty of premeditated flamboyance and charisma in the first degree.

Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke on his second career, as a novelist.

A Bend in the River

In 1996 the body of a cheerleader from a small town in Oklahoma was found on the Texas side of the Red River. She had been raped and shot. The brutal crime destroyed several families and the illusions of an isolated slice of the world.

Napoleon's Last Stand

Pamela Colloff counts down Napoleon Beazley's final hours.

Relativity

Climbing a new branch of the family tree.

Does Napoleon Beazley Deserve to Die?

In 1994 the president of Grapeland High's senior class committed a brutal, senseless murder. Now he's on death row, waiting for the courts to decide his fate.

Grand Royal

Director Wes Anderson's new movie, The Royal Tenenbaums, deals with death, despair, and other dark subjects. And—what do you know—it's hysterically funny.

Remember the Christian Alamo

Evangelist Lester Roloff drew a line in the dirt to keep the State of Texas from regulating his Rebekah Home for Girls. Years later, then-govenor George W. Bush handed Roloff's disciples a long-sought victory. But this Alamo had no heroes—only victims.

True Believers

Senior editor Pamela Colloff talks about "faith-based" terminology, the Rebekah Home for Girls, and corporal punishment.

Looking for Bill

Pamela Colloff gets on the road in search of the Beat Generation's Texas connections.

Randall Dale Adams

Only a man who came within three days of being executed for a crime he didn’t commit could be as passionate an advocate for a death-penalty moratorium as former death row inmate Randall Dale Adams.

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