Longreads

2017106_Charlotte_ALL_jj24211
The Woman Behind the ’Boys

Jan 25, 2017 By Dan Solomon

How Charlotte Jones Anderson, the chief brand officer and executive vice president for the Dallas Cowboys, helped build the organization into a $4 billion behemoth.

The Prisoner

Dec 21, 2016 By Skip Hollandsworth

Edwin Debrow committed murder at age 12. Now 37, he remains behind bars. When should a child criminal be given a second chance?

Lost and Found

Nov 23, 2016 By Katy Vine

They have fled war-torn countries, given up livelihoods, and left behind possessions and family for the safety of a foreign world of cowboy hats and Walmarts. But the refugees who land in Amarillo’s Astoria Park have an ally who understands their confusion and loss: a 64-year-old former teacher named Miss Evelyn.

Crossed Stitches

Nov 23, 2016 By Rachel Monroe

Beverly Pennington was a Pinterest-perfect entrepreneur whose patchwork quilts—made from people’s most treasured T-shirts—found thousands of devotees all over the country. But when the quilts stopped coming, leaving the shirts in limbo, her customers pieced together a plan to fight back.

The Televangelism of Ken Paxton

Nov 22, 2016 By R.G. Ratcliffe

It’s been a difficult two years in office for Texas’s attorney general. First came his indictment on multiple felonies, then an embarrassing series of missteps and staff shake-ups. Now, with his trial looming, he’s seeking salvation one live television interview at a time.

Orange Crush

Oct 19, 2016 By John Nova Lomax

Who needs the playoffs? After years (and years and years) of heartache, Houston has fallen for the Astros all over again.

The Iconoclast

Oct 19, 2016 By Eric Benson

Jim Allison has always gone his own way—as a small-town-Texas kid who preferred books to football, and as a young scientist who believed the immune system could treat tumors when few others did. And that irreverence led him to find a potential cure for cancer.

Valle de los Caidos cross
Cross Ways

Sep 23, 2016 By Jonny Auping

A pastor at a Corpus Christi church is on a mission to build “the largest cross in the Western Hemisphere.”

Trash Talk

Sep 21, 2016 By Christopher Hooks

The scion of one of Laredo’s first families wants to build a mammoth landfill on his ranch. But the opposition is fierce and vocal—and backed by none other than his uncle and his cousin.

Snow’s Queen

Sep 21, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

On Saturdays Tootsie Tomanetz cooks barbecue the old-fashioned way for legions of loyal fans. That doesn’t mean she’ll ever give up her day job.

Novelist Paulette Jiles
True Western

Sep 15, 2016 By Jeff Salamon

Paulette Jiles wasn't born in Texas, but she started writing novels set here as fast as she could.

Fame in the Abstract

Sep 14, 2016 By Katy Vine

Dorothy Hood was one of Texas’s greatest artists, yet her work remains largely unknown. Now, sixteen years after her death, can her fans bring her the acclaim she never received in life?

Cops and Robbers

Sep 9, 2016 By Katy Vine

They were some of the toughest narcs on the border, known for busting smugglers, staging raids, seizing cartel cocaine—and being dirty.

The Yes Man

Aug 24, 2016 By Dan Slater

He was just a regular kid in South Texas, until a brush with the law propelled Gabriel Cardona into petty crime—and the service of a drug lord rising to power across the Rio Grande. In this exclusive excerpt from Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers and Mexico’s Most Dangerous Drug Cartel, Dan Slater traces the true story of how one Laredo boy went from high school dropout to hit man.

When the Dust Settles

Aug 24, 2016 By Eva Hershaw

After Texas Tech researchers discovered that windstorms may be spreading antibiotic-resistant bacteria from local feedlots, public health experts stood up and took notice. So did the Texas Cattle Feeders Association.

Ruffled Feathers

Aug 24, 2016 By Sonia Smith

When a teenage boy brazenly shot two endangered whooping cranes outside Beaumont, his act unleashed widespread anger and resulted in a quick arrest—and revealed just how difficult it can be to save a species. 

Remember the Christian Alamo

Aug 11, 2016 By Pamela Colloff

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.

Countdown to Liftoff

Jul 20, 2016 By Domingo Martinez

Sleek, shiny rockets on sleepy, shifty sands: as SpaceX prepares to build in South Texas, I wonder if my old stomping grounds can handle the inevitable collision of cultures. I sure hope so.

Faith and Hope

Jul 20, 2016 By Eric Benson

The country’s largest group of Muslims live in Texas, yet many of them don’t feel welcome here. A few young and progressive leaders—like Irving imam Omar Suleiman—are working to change that.

Waco Murders Collage
The Murders at the Lake

Jul 13, 2016 By Michael Hall

In 1982 three teenagers were killed near the shores of Lake Waco in a seemingly inexplicable crime. More than three decades later, the tragic and disturbing case still casts a long, dark shadow.

Off Course

Jun 16, 2016 By Stephen Harrigan

I never knew my father, a decorated World War II pilot who died before I was born. But a trek at age 67 to the site where his airplane crashed brought me closer to him than I’d ever dared hope.

The Shot Not Heard Round the World

Jun 9, 2016 By John Spong

Elmo Henderson’s entire life story can be summed up in a single moment: when he stepped into the ring in San Antonio one night in 1972 and knocked out Muhammad Ali. At least that’s the way he tells it. And tells it.

Life After Life

Jun 2, 2016 By Amy McCarthy and Jason Hernandez

Jason Hernandez was only 21 when he was sentenced to life without parole. But his brother’s death in prison led the former crack dealer to a life of advocacy—and freedom.

Bernie in Hell

May 27, 2016 By Skip Hollandsworth

Two decades after killing Marjorie Nugent, Bernie Tiede was sentenced this spring for her murder—again. So what do we make of him now?

The Mighty Mudbug

Apr 20, 2016 By J.C. Reid

Is there anything sweeter than crawfish in season? Come along for the best eats in Louisiana and Texas.

The Opera of Emeline

Apr 20, 2016 By Michael Hall

How one woman’s fight for freedom inspired Houston’s lawyers and artists more than a century and a half later.

Katharine Hayhoe, photographed in Lubbock on March 31, 2016.
Unfriendly Climate

Apr 15, 2016 By Sonia Smith

Katharine Hayhoe has made it her life’s mission to proclaim the truth about climate change. Can she get the skeptics to listen?

The Making of The Little Red Book

Apr 10, 2016 By Kevin Robbins

An excerpt from Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf by Kevin Robbins reveals how one of golf's greatest minds came to share his knowledge with the world.

Murders in the Night

Apr 4, 2016 By Skip Hollandsworth

An exclusive excerpt from The Midnight Assassin: Panic, Scandal, and the Hunt for America's First Serial Killer reveals a forgotten time in Austin history, when a series of brutal, unsolved slayings terrified officials and left them wondering if a madman was on the loose.

The City of the Eternal Boom

Feb 24, 2016 By Michael Hall

A hipster paradise, a high-tech nirvana, a festival wonderland. Today Austin barely resembles the sleepy college town I moved to in the seventies. How it changed is the story of a lifetime.

Gender Bender

Feb 24, 2016 By Francesca Mari

Colt Keo-Meier is Texas’s preeminent researcher on transgender issues. But for him, it’s not just about the science. It’s personal.

To Tell the Truth

Jan 31, 2016 By Lauren Caruba

Michael McManus was one of thousands of men and women who embellish their military service. But his story casts a different light on stolen valor.

Put to the Test

Jan 27, 2016 By Dan Solomon

For children with debilitating epilepsy, an unprecedented medical trial in Fort Worth offers a glimmer of hope. But if it works, is the state ready to embrace medical marijuana?

Just Desserts

Dec 23, 2015 By Katy Vine

Sandy Jenkins was a quiet accountant at the Collin Street Bakery who felt overlooked and dreamed of living the good life. He found it (for a while) by embezzling nearly $17 million from the famed fruitcake maker.

False Impressions

Dec 23, 2015 By Michael Hall

How the once troubled Texas Forensic Science Commission put the state at the forefront of the criminal justice reform movement.