Friends and family knew Deborah Murphey as a mild-mannered nurse and a loving wife and mother. Then a U.S. marshal knocked on her door. [December 2008]

Did Kari Baker, despondent over her daughter’s passing, commit suicide? Or was she killed her husband, Matt, a Baptist preacher in Waco and an alleged sexual predator? He says he didn’t do it, but her family insists otherwise—and they say they’ll keep after him until justice is done. [March 2008]

What was it, exactly, that caused Vickie Dawn Jackson, a sweet, soft-spoken nurse at Nocona General Hospital, to become one of the most prolific serial killers in Texas history? [July 2007]

The young, tattooed men who are members of the Southwest Cholos, La Primera, La Tercera Crips, Somos Pocos Pero Locos, Mara Salvatrucha, and other Houston gangs are vicious career criminals who regularly rob innocent people in some of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods. They steal cars and break into businesses. They deal drugs on street corners. And they constantly wage war with one another. [December 2006]

If he was asked what he did for a living, Roddy Dean Pippin would smile and say something about the cattle business. But he didn’t exactly buy and sell cows. He stole them. And right up until he was caught, he was as good as any such thief had ever been. [May 2006]

The feds knew him as a prolific bank robber. But the bearded man who eluded them for so long was not who they imagined him to be. And absolutely no one expected the story to end the way it did. [November 2005]

The Panhandle DA known statewide for his zeal in busting drug dealers and abusers turns out to have been an addict. Prosecutor, heal thyself. [April 2005]

To his suburban Dallas neighbors, Todd Becker was a doting husband and devoted father. They had no clue that he led a secret, lucrative life as a safecracker. [February 2004]

Darlie Routier has been on death row for five years now, always insisting that she didn’t kill her sons Devon and Damon. And as her lawyers prepare to head into court yet again, new information about her case raises the possibility that she may have been telling the truth all along. (July 2002)

Andrea Yates was a quiet, attentive mother with a generous smile who made her kids costumes from grocery sacks and gave them Valentine’s promising “free hugs.” We all know what happened next, but we may never know why. (August 2001)

It was a modern-day horror story: a little girl hidden away in rat-infested squalor for most of her life. When the authorities took her away from her family, the nine-year-old had never been to school or played outside and could only make squeaking noises. Now dedicated social workers, academics, and foster parents are trying to undo years of unimaginable neglect. (December 2000)

For years Dallas’ most prolific jewel thief robbed the mansions of socialites like Nancy Brinker and Annette Simmons. If not for his girlfriend’s crack use, he might have gotten away with it forever. (February 2000)

Investigators in the coastal plain think so, and they’re doing what they can to tie the retired NASA engineer to the deaths of at least four young women there. But thus far the tangible evidence has eluded them. And, consequently, so has he. (October 1999)

In suburban Fort Worth the frail psyche of a football prodigy collided with the crazed ambition of his dad, who himself had been a high school football star way back when. The consequences were deadly. (June 1998)

In sleepy Carthage a rich, haughty widow disappears, and nobody seems to notice. When she turns up dead, everybody seems to feel sympathy for the nice young man who killed her. (January 1998)

She had a secret life, and so did her husband. For a while they seemed to have a pleasant existence in the affluent Houston neighborhood of River Oaks. But then she turned up dead. (November 1997)

David Graham and Diane Zamora were intelligent, young, and in love. And they shared a secret: They had brutally murdered Adreianne Jones. (December 1996)

No one ever suspected a thing until she asked her best friend if she could keep a terrible secret: the bizarre story of teenager Marie Robards, the devoted daughter who murdered her father. (July 1996)

A young black man with a spotless record is facing a controversial death sentence for the murder of four whites. An East Texas town remains divided. (February 1996)

Dallas police say Charles Albright is the coldest, most depraved killer of women in the city’s history. To me, he seems like a perfect gentleman. Maybe too perfect. (May 1993)

It seemed like the perfect inside job: A respected cop conspires with his teller girlfriend to pull the biggest bank heist in San Antonio history. If they hadn’t been so careless, they might have gotten away with it. (November 1992)

Steve Benifiel was an old-fashioned outlaw who practically owned the town of Ranger—until he was busted for running on of West Texas’ biggest drug rings. (February 1992)

That’s how many times Susan Wright, a shy suburban mother of two, stabbed her husband in their bed before burying him in the backyard. In a wild trial that had all of Houston buzzing, she was convicted of murder and sent to prison. But what the jury didn’t know six years ago may soon set her free. [February 2010]

As the most powerful jurist in Galveston, Judge Samuel Kent intimidated everyone: the lawyers who argued cases before him, the defendants and plaintiffs who appeared in his courtroom—and the female courthouse employees he groped, kissed, and forced himself on when no one was looking. Imperious, charismatic, and seemingly above the law, he almost got away with it. Until one woman decided to fight back. [December 2009]

How a pair of undercover cops infiltrated the secret world of Houston dogfighting. [August 2009]