True Crime

aerial of canadian, texas
Tom Brown’s Body, Chapter 1: A Pretty Little Place

Sep 29, 2020 By Skip Hollandsworth

In 2016 a popular teenager disappeared in the tiny Panhandle community of Canadian. Two years later, his remains were discovered beneath a tree outside of town. But to this day, no arrests have been made, and it seems that nearly everyone involved in the case has fallen under suspicion.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Jeff Pike
Jeff Pike, Texas’s Own Tony Soprano

May 19, 2018 By Skip Hollandsworth

Earlier this spring, Jeff Pike, the head of the infamous Texas-based Bandidos motorcycle club, went on trial in federal court for racketeering. Prosecutors called him a ruthless killer, the man behind one of the deadliest biker shootouts in American history at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco. Pike, however, said he was just a good family man. On Thursday, jurors announced their verdict.

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.

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?

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.

96 Minutes

Aug 2, 2016 By Pamela Colloff

At 11:48 a.m. on August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman began firing his rifle from the top of the University of Texas Tower at anyone and everyone in his sights. At 1:24 p.m., he was gunned down himself. The lives of the people who witnessed the sniper’s spree firsthand would never be the same again.

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.

The Reckoning

May 16, 2016 By Pamela Colloff

Fifty years ago, when Claire Wilson was eighteen, she was critically wounded during the 1966 University of Texas Tower shooting—the first massacre of its kind. How does the path of a bullet change a life?

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.

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.

The Talented Mr. Khater

Jun 16, 2015 By Francesca Mari

In 2011 Callie Quinn moved from Austin to Chile to experience a new way of life. Then she met a charming fellow foreigner—and almost lost everything.  

A Tree Is Known By Its Fruit

Dec 9, 2014 By Sonia Smith

When the 85-year-old matriarch of a prominent pecan-farming clan in San Saba was murdered, her death shook the town—and exposed how obsession and greed can fell a family from within.

The Innocent Man, Part One

Jan 21, 2013 By Pamela Colloff

The National Magazine Award–winning story about Michael Morton, a man who came home from work one day in 1986 to find that his wife had been brutally murdered. What happened next was one of the most profound miscarriages of justice in Texas history.

The Lost Boys

Jan 21, 2013 By Skip Hollandsworth

It was the most shocking crime of its day, 27 boys from the same part of town kidnapped, tortured, and killed by an affable neighbor named Dean Corll. Forty years later, it remains one of the least understood—or talked about—chapters in Houston's history.

Blood Will Sell

Jan 20, 2013 By Skip Hollandsworth

The richest man ever tried for murder has found the Lord, along with a new career peddling hand cream. Are you buying the latest incarnation of Cullen Davis?

Borderline Insanity

Jan 20, 2013 By Cecilia Ballí

How else to describe the murder and mayhem and fear that have gripped Nuevo Laredo for months—and are now spilling over into Texas?

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.

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.

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.

A Kiss Before Dying

Feb 1, 2006 By Pamela Colloff

Forty-five years after Betty Williams was shot to death by the handsome football player she had been secretly seeing, her murder haunts her Odessa high school—literally.

A surveillance camera captured Peggy Jo Tallas, wearing men's clothes and a fake beard, during a robbery in 1992.
The Last Ride of Cowboy Bob

Nov 1, 2005 By Skip Hollandsworth

The feds knew him as a prolific bank robber. But the bearded man who eluded them for so long was not who they imagined him to be. And absolutely no one expected the story to end the way it did.

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Girls Gone Wild

Aug 31, 2005 By Katy Vine

Bobbi Jo and Jennifer were young, in love, and on the road, with the wind at their backs and a happy future ahead of them. All that stood in their way was a dead body back in Mineral Wells.

Family Man

Feb 1, 2004 By Skip Hollandsworth

To his suburban Dallas neighbors, Todd Becker was a doting husband and devoted father. They had no clue that he led a secret, lucrative life as a safecracker.

Clara Harris
Suburban Madness

Nov 1, 2002 By Skip Hollandsworth

Why would a devoted wife deliberately run over her beloved husband three times? It’s quite simple, really. He was having an affair with a woman accused by her allegedly pill-popping ex-husband of carrying on a lesbian relationship with her best friend, whose ex-husband has been indicted for an illegal wiretapping scheme designed to catch the two in the act and cover up his own infidelities with her former Lamaze-class buddy. Any questions?

Maybe Darlie Didn’t Do It

Jun 30, 2002 By Skip Hollandsworth

Darlie Routier has been on death row for five years now, always insisting that she didn't kill her sons Devon and Damon. And as her lawyers prepare to head into court yet again, new information about her case raises the possibility that she may have been telling the truth all along.