Longreads

About a Boy

Jan 20, 2013 By Michael Hall

The short life and tragic death of Johnny Romano, the youngest professional skateboarder ever.

Nothing To It

Jan 20, 2013 By Gary Cartwright

Bolstered by his favorite phrase, my son Mark faced life with grace, dignity, and good humor. I knew he’d face death the same way.

Sniffing

Jan 20, 2013 By Stephen Harrigan

A visit to San Antonio’­s underground city, looking for kids with a can of paint and a nose for thrills.

The Innocent and The Damned

Jan 20, 2013 By Gary Cartwright

The case against Fran’s Day Care in Austin raised the specter of Satanic conspiracy—just like hundreds of similar controversial child abuse cases across the country.

Lyndon Johnson on the Record

Jan 20, 2013 By Michael Beschloss

Working on his memoir one day in 1969, LBJ spoke more frankly into a tape recorder about the Kennedys, Vietnam, and other subjects than he ever had before. The transcript of that tape has never been published—until now. Michael Beschloss explains its historical significance.

Home Girl

Jan 20, 2013 By Michael Hall

Most people from Dallas who make it big in the music business get out of town as soon as they can. “That’s what celebrities do,” Erykah Badu says. “I never wanted to be a celebrity.”

Aggie bonfire tragedy
The Aggie Bonfire Tragedy

Jan 20, 2013 By Paul Burka

What’s so important about a stack of wood? Every Aggie knows that the answer is tradition—which is why, after a catastrophe that took the lives of twelve young men and women, the decision of whether to continue, change, or call a halt to the bonfire looms so large at Texas A&M.

Lust in Space

Jan 20, 2013 By S. C. Gwynne

The lovesick antics of diapered astronaut Lisa Nowak are some combination of funny and sad but seemingly not revealing of anything larger, until you realize that her tragic, tabloidy breakdown says everything you need to know about NASA’s many troubles.

It’s a Family Affair

Jan 20, 2013 By Michael Hall

For all her talent and poise, Beyoncé didn't become the biggest star in the world without help. And she got plenty of it from the people who know her best.

The Desert of the Dead

Jan 20, 2013 By Pamela Colloff

While politicians and bureaucrats endlessly debate the best ways to secure our borders, undocumented immigrants are dying to get into America—literally.

The Next Frontier

Jan 20, 2013 By S. C. Gwynne

How has the state’s most storied ranch managed to survive and thrive in the twenty-first century? By operating in a way that its founder, Captain Richard King, would scarcely recognize.

Still Life

Jan 20, 2013 By Skip Hollandsworth

A violent tackle in a high school football game paralyzed John McClamrock for life. His mother made sure it was a life worth living.

Honor Thy Father

Jan 20, 2013 By Skip Hollandsworth

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.

The Beating of Billy Ray Johnson

Jan 20, 2013 By Pamela Colloff

The short, slight, mentally disabled black man was found on the side of a road in Linden, huddled in a fetal position. He was bloody and unconscious—the victim of a violent crime. But another tragedy was how residents of the East Texas town reacted.

Carlos Brown Is a Hero (No Matter What He Says)

Jan 20, 2013 By John Spong

My best friend from high school is no longer the uncool, baseball-card-collecting goofball he once was. He’s a Navy surgeon and commander, and for two horrific weeks I got to watch him calmly and bravely save lives in wartime—not just Americans’ and not just soldiers’—in one of the most dangerous cities in Iraq.

Unholy Act

Jan 20, 2013 By Pamela Colloff

No one in McAllen saw Irene Garza leave Sacred Heart that night in 1960. The next morning, her car was still parked down the street from the church. She never came home.

11/22/2013

Dec 1, 2012 By Mimi Swartz

In one year the eyes of the world will turn to Dallas's Dealey Plaza for the fiftieth anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Is the city ready?

The Unsinkable Lisa Blue

Dec 1, 2012 By Skip Hollandsworth

Her husband, Fred Baron, helped bankroll John Edwards's presidential campaign, only to die of cancer amid the most sordid political scandal in recent history. But before long, Dallas's newest rainmaker had emerged from the wreckage—with every hair in place.

Turnover!

Sep 30, 2012 By Joe Nick Patoski

Two decades ago, a barbarian from Arkansas named Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys and rebooted the franchise from the ground up. Inside the wild first days of the most hostile takeover the NFL has ever known.

Portrait of the Artist as a Postman

Sep 30, 2012 By Jason Sheeler

The only American ever to design scarves for the exclusive French fashion house Hermès is Kermit Oliver, a 69-year-old postal worker from Waco who lives in a strange and beautiful world all his own.

Storming the Ivory Tower

Sep 30, 2012 By Paul Burka

For the past four years, a group of passionate reformers has been steadily trying to remake how higher education works in Texas—over the screams and howls of many professors and school presidents. Last year the battle came to UT. And the bombs are still flying.

The Negotiation

Jul 31, 2012 By Bryan Curtis

Every year, hundreds of Texas high schoolers are aggressively recruited by the nation’s top college football programs. It’s a dream come true, but some kids must go through the bewildering process alone. And according to the rules of the NCAA, there aren’t many places they can turn to for help.

Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives

Jul 31, 2012 By Mimi Swartz

Read this National Magazine Award-winning story about how the Legislature slashed funding for women’s health programs in 2011 and launched an all-out war on Planned Parenthood that has dramatically changed the state’s priorities. The battle continues raging, and the stakes could not be higher.

Sex, Love, and Lawrence v. Texas

Mar 19, 2012 By Sonia Smith

A new book, Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas, explores the history of the men behind the landmark Supreme Court case and questions the conventional wisdom of the story.

The Tree of Strife

Mar 1, 2012 By Mimi Swartz

For a quarter of a century, the Art Guys, Michael Galbreth and Jack Massing, have been Houston’s master provocateurs, stirring up discussion with their wacky, thoughtful, and tenaciously marketed “social sculptures.” But have they finally gone too far?

Hannah and Andrew

Jan 1, 2012 By Pamela Colloff

On October 3, 2006, a four-year-old boy named Andrew Burd died in a Corpus Christi hospital. The cause of death was determined to be salt poisoning, an extremely unusual occurrence. Even more shocking was what happened next: his foster mother, Hannah Overton, was found guilty of killing him. But could she really have done what the prosecutors say?

Up in the Air

Dec 1, 2011 By Nate Blakeslee

No state has defied the federal government’s environmental regulations more fiercely than Texas, and no governor has been more outspoken about the “job-killing” policies of the EPA than Rick Perry. But does that mean we can all breathe easy?

Give Me Shelter

Oct 31, 2011 By Jason Sheeler

Dallas’s ritzy Park Cities is the sort of place where Jerry Jones Jr. can buy a four-story castle with twelve bathrooms and a nine-car underground garage for a reported $8.7 million and some people regard it as a steal. Welcome to the fabulous world of Erin Mathews, the very discreet real estate agent to the very, very rich.

Farmers Flight!

Oct 31, 2011 By Paul Burka

Texas A&M’s announcement that it was bolting the Big 12 for the SEC signaled the end of a passionate rivalry with the University of Texas that has defined the two schools for more than a century. But what does the end of Aggies versus Longhorns mean for the rest of us?

Non-Prophet

Sep 30, 2011 By Katy Vine

When Warren Jeffs fired his attorneys and decided to represent himself in his sexual assault trial, many predicted, accurately, that he would fail miserably. Few realized just what a wild show he would put on.

Karen Wagner’s Life

Aug 31, 2011 By John Spong

She lived outside the spotlight, quietly serving her country as most members of the military do, until one terrible day.

The Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center, just outside Sweetwater, one of the largest wind farms in the world.
A Mighty Wind

Jul 31, 2011 By Kate Galbraith and Asher Price

The unlikely story of how a handful of dreamers, schemers, and (all too often) failures made oil-and-gas-rich Texas the leading wind power state in the country.

Mind Games

May 31, 2011 By Jim Lewis

Baylor College of Medicine neuroscientist David Eagleman is out to change the way we think about guilt and innocence (and time and novels and, well, neuroscientists). Can he pull it off?

Falling Comet

May 31, 2011 By Michael Hall

In 1955 Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock” transformed the sound of popular music and made him an international star. Twenty-five years later he was forgotten, desperate, and dying in Harlingen. How did one of the fathers of rock and roll land so far outside the spotlight?

Tusk!

Mar 31, 2011 By Stephen Harrigan

For as long as I can remember, I've been fascinated by mammoths, those giant, prehistoric creatures that once roamed Texas. So I decided to go looking for them.

The Lost Girls

Mar 31, 2010 By Mimi Swartz

Every year thousands of women are smuggled into the United States and forced to work as prostitutes. Many of them end up in Houston, in massage parlors and spas. Most of them will have a hard time ever getting out.

The Night the Music Died

Feb 1, 2009 By Michael Hall

Fifty years ago, a plane carrying Buddy Holly crashed in a remote Iowa cornfield. This month, hundreds of fans will gather at the ballroom where he played his final show to sing, dance, and mourn the greatest rock star ever to come out of Texas.

Dude!

Sep 30, 2008 By John Spong

Yes, yes, new baby and new movie— but what Matthew McConaughey really wants to talk about is the cushion of the flip-flop, the skooching of hoodie sleeves, the proper thickness of koozies, and his coming career as the arbiter of redneck-Buddha chic.