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.
December 1, 2001 | by Pamela Colloff | Feature
On October 3, 2006, a four-year-old boy named Andrew Burd died in a Corpus Christi hospital. The cause of death was determined to be salt poisoning, an extremely unusual occurrence. Even more shocking was what happened next: his foster mother, Hannah Overton, was found guilty of killing him. But could she really have done what the prosecutors say?
January 1, 2012 | by Pamela Colloff | Longreads
On November 18, 1999, at 2:42 a.m., the most passionately observed collegiate tradition in Texas—if not the world—came crashing down. Nearly sixty people were on top of the Texas A&M Bonfire when the million-pound structure collapsed, killing twelve, wounding dozens more, and eventually leading to the suspension of the ninety-year-old ritual. Now, ten years later, on what would have been Bonfire’s centennial, the Aggies celebrate the history, relive the tragedy, and wrestle over what happens next.
November 1, 2009 | by Pamela Colloff | Feature
For the longest time, quinceañeras were simple, down-home celebrations held in parish halls and backyards. Then along came the stretch Humvees, the carriages and thrones, the choreographed dance routines, the smoke machines, the climbing walls, and the dinners for four hundred bedazzled guests. One thing remains the same, though: It’s all about the girl.
March 1, 2009 | by Pamela Colloff | Feature
The short, slight, mentally disabled black man was found on the side of a road in Linden, huddled in a fetal position. He was bloody and unconscious—the victim of a violent crime. But another tragedy was how residents of the East Texas town reacted.
February 1, 2007 | by Pamela Colloff | Feature