Author's Profile Photo

Mike Hall writes about criminals, musicians, the law, and barbecue. Mike graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1979 with a degree in government. He wrote for various publications, including Trouser Press, Third Coast Magazine, the Austin American-Statesman, and the Austin Chronicle. In 1997 he joined Texas Monthly, where he has won two Texas Gavel Awards from the State Bar of Texas and four Stephen Philbin Awards from the Dallas Bar Association. He was named Writer of the Year at the City and Regional Magazine Awards in 2015. His stories have appeared in The Best American Magazine Writing, The Best American Sports Writing, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Da Capo Best Music Writing, the New York Times, and Men’s Journal. Mike is also a musician and has played in Austin bands the Wild Seeds, the Setters, the Lollygaggers, and the Savage Trip. He pitches for the Burkas, the Texas Monthly softball team.

Articles by Michael Hall

barry corbin
The Seven Ages of Barry Corbin

Dec 16, 2020 By Michael Hall

Barry Corbin got a funny look in his eye. “All the world’s a stage,” he intoned, leaning forward and peering at me, “and all the men and women merely players.” His deep, familiar drawl followed the cadence of Shakespeare’s words. “They have their exits and their entrances, / And each man…

Ed Ates at his Cedar Hill home on June 1, 2019.
Crowdsourcing Justice

Jul 23, 2019 By Michael Hall

How does a man wrongly convicted of murder get released twenty years later? It helps to have a wife who loves you, a podcaster who believes in you, and an army of amateur sleuths who won’t stop digging for the truth.

When Does an Accident Become a Crime?

Feb 20, 2019 By Michael Hall

Driving through a dangerous curve in Tyler, James Fulton crossed into oncoming traffic and killed a young woman. He wasn’t drunk, and the cops said the crash was an accident. But the Smith County DA saw it differently.

Ed Ates, in a film still taken at Coffield Unit in Tennessee Colony, Texas, on August 15, 2018.
Ed Ates Wants His Name Back

Sep 4, 2018 By Michael Hall

How a motley crew of young Texas lawyers, a burly Michigan podcaster, and his army of amateur sleuths—including actor Jon Cryer—helped free a man convicted of a murder he swears he didn’t commit.

DACA
The Young Americans of DACA

Dec 1, 2017 By Michael Hall

Pedro Villalobos is a star prosecutor. Gerardo De Loera is a musician. Joseph Ramirez is a tech entrepreneur. They’re young, they’re smart, they make America great. They’re also undocumented. And now, they face being sent back to a place they’ve never called home.

DACA
The Searcher

Sep 5, 2017 By Michael Hall

Alonso Guillen died an American hero—even if many didn’t think of him as an American.