Longreads

Wrangler Feedyard at Cactus Feeders
The Quest for Better Beef

Aug 12, 2020 By Eric Benson

Vegans want to end the killing of animals. Scientists say livestock are accelerating climate change. COVID-19 is ravaging meat-packers. Texas beef is under fire—but all across the industry, from the pasture to the butcher case, a vision of more sustainable burgers and briskets is beginning to come into focus.

The Legend of John Holmes Jenkins

Feb 19, 2020 By Chris O'Connell

He was a notorious deal maker known for bringing priceless pieces of Texas history back to the state. He was also a suspected forger and arsonist. Thirty years ago, he was found dead in the Colorado River near Austin, and to this day a question remains: Could John Holmes Jenkins have masterminded his own death?

Michell Girard and Chris Barrington
Miss Girard’s Christmas Gift

Dec 24, 2019 By Skip Hollandsworth

When her former student was found wandering the streets a decade after she’d last seen him, Michell Girard immediately agreed to take him in. Then she decided to do far more, including give him the Christmas he’d never had.

The Doctor, the Dentist, and the Killer

Dec 18, 2019 By Skip Hollandsworth

Brenda thought she and Ricky would be together forever, until he left her. Kendra thought she and Ricky would be together forever. Then Brenda took matters into her own hands. Inside the case of jealousy, spying, and murder that shook Uptown Dallas.

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.

Robert Jeffress
Trump’s Apostle

Jul 23, 2019 By Michael J. Mooney

No matter how incendiary his latest tweet or policy might seem, Donald Trump can count on evangelical preacher and Fox News fixture Robert Jeffress to defend him. What’s behind the Dallas pastor’s unconditional embrace?

Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild

May 13, 2019 By Leif Reigstad

He called himself the Tiger King and plastered his face on highway billboards in Texas and Oklahoma. He bred big cats, bears, baboons, and more. He lived, with a parade of partners, on the grounds of his private zoo. He threatened a rival with murder—repeatedly, on YouTube—and tried to hire a hit man to do the deed.

Life, in Dog Years

Mar 22, 2019 By Mimi Swartz

My father always pampered his pets. So when he fell ill and moved in with us, it was no surprise that his corgi came to rule our home. What I didn’t expect was for Trilby to care for me after Dad was gone.

The Love Story That Upended the Texas Prison System

Oct 11, 2018 By Ethan Watters

In 1967, a 56-year-old lawyer met a young inmate with a brilliant mind and horrifying stories about life inside. Their complicated alliance—and even more complicated romance—would shed light on a nationwide scandal, disrupt a system of abuse and virtual slavery across the state, and change incarceration in Texas forever.  

Schlitterbahn
Schlitterbahn’s Tragic Slide

Jul 20, 2018 By Skip Hollandsworth

Jeff Henry often said that his goal in life was to make customers of his family’s legendary water parks happy—“to put a smile on their faces, to give them a thrill or two.” It was a beautiful vision. Until it went horribly wrong.

The Jackie Robinson of Rodeo

Jun 22, 2018 By Christian Wallace

Five decades ago, Myrtis Dightman broke the color barrier in professional rodeo and became one of the best bull riders who ever lived. But his imprint on the sport was only just beginning.

Armored Car Robbery
The Doting Boyfriend Who Robbed Armored Cars

Apr 18, 2018 By Skip Hollandsworth

Beginning in 2015, Houston was plagued by a series of brutal armored car robberies that bewildered FBI agents for nearly two years. To finally bring down the unassuming mastermind behind it all, the agents had to stage an elaborate trap—and catch him in the act.

Gabby Sones
The Girl Who Told the Truth

Feb 21, 2018 By Michael Hall

A decade ago, Gabby Sones accused her parents and five others of running the most depraved child sex ring in Texas history. Now she’s ready to clear their names.

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.

The Convert

Oct 27, 2017 By Abigail Pesta

Tania Joya had been married to a jihadist from Texas for ten years, but she was tired of living like a nomad and unnerved by his increasingly extreme ideology. When he dragged their family to war-torn Syria, she knew it was time to get out.

The Drug Runners

Jul 25, 2017 By Ryan Goldberg

The Tarahumara of northern Mexico became famous for their ability to run incredibly long distances. Now, they’re running for their lives.