Pamela Colloff

Pamela Colloff was an executive editor and staff writer at Texas Monthly until 2017. 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 six-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.

In 2015, Colloff was nominated for her fifth National Magazine Award, for “The Witness,” a profile of a former prison employee who, over the course of her career, had watched the execution of 278 death row inmates.

Her story “96 Minutes” served as the basis for the 2016 documentary, Tower, which was short-listed for an Academy Award in Best Documentary Film. Colloff also served as one of the film’s executive producers. She further explored the subject of the 1966 University of Texas Tower shooting in her story “The Reckoning,” which was a finalist for a 2017 National Magazine Award in Feature Writing.

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.

Articles by Pamela Colloff

Go Ask Alice

Jan 20, 2013 By Pamela Colloff

Fifty years ago LBJ won—some say stole—a U.S. Senate runoff. What happened to the South Texas ballot box that saved his career?

Innocence Found

Jan 20, 2013 By Pamela Colloff

Anthony Graves had been behind bars for eighteen years when the prosecutors in his case abruptly dropped all charges and set him free. How did it happen? What happens next?

Feature
Innocence Lost

Jan 20, 2013 By Pamela Colloff

Anthony Graves has spent the past eighteen years behind bars—twelve of them on death row—for a grisly 1992 murder. There was no plausible motive nor any physical evidence to connect him to the crime, and the only witness against him repeatedly recanted his testimony. Yet he remains locked up. Did the system fail?

Free at Last

Jan 20, 2013 By Pamela Colloff

For eighteen years Anthony Graves insisted that he had nothing to do with the gruesome murder of a family in Somerville. That’s exactly how long it took for justice to finally be served.

No Fuss

Jan 20, 2013 By Pamela Colloff

"It's still easy to walk around New York unrecognized. I'm kind of nerdy and not fashionable, so people don't give me a second look."

Reporter
Eternal Flame

Jan 20, 2013 By Pamela Colloff

What do you do if your university's administrators extinguish your Bonfire? If you're Aggies, you take the show on the road.

Selena
Dreaming of Her

Jan 20, 2013 By Pamela Colloff

On March 31, 1995, South Texas came to a standstill as the shocking news spread that the hugely popular Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla Perez had been shot and killed in Corpus Christi. Fifteen years later, the people who knew Selena best recall the life and devastating death of a star who touched us all.