Michael Hall's Profile Photo

Mike Hall writes about criminals, musicians, the law, and barbecue. Mike graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1979 with a degree in government. He wrote for various publications, including Trouser Press, Third Coast Magazine, the Austin American-Statesman, and the Austin Chronicle. In 1997, he joined Texas Monthly, where he has won two Texas Gavel Awards from the State Bar of Texas and four Stephen Philbin Awards from the Dallas Bar Association. He was named Writer of the Year at the City and Regional Magazine Awards in 2015. His stories have appeared in The Best American Magazine Writing, The Best American Sports Writing, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Da Capo’s Best Music Writing, the New York Times, and Men’s Journal. Mike is also a musician and has played in Austin bands the Wild Seeds, the Setters, the Lollygaggers, and the Savage Trip. He pitches for the Burkas, the Texas Monthly softball team.

278 Articles

Music |
February 12, 2015

Plains Sound

Twenty-year-old Hayden Pedigo is making the most innovative, audacious music in the country. So why is he still in Amarillo? 

Religion |
November 13, 2014

Man on Fire

The Reverend Charles Moore ardently dedicated his life to the service of God and his fellow man. But when he couldn’t shake the thought that he hadn’t done enough, he drove to a desolate parking lot in his hometown of Grand Saline for one final act of faith.

Criminal Justice |
November 27, 2013

Wrongfully Convicted Grandma Freed

After Fran Keller spent 21 years in prison based on allegations by children who said they were sexually abused in a satanic ritual at her and her husband's day care, she was finally released.

The Daily Post |
November 19, 2013

The San Antonio 4 Are Finally Free

Four women spent more than thirteen years in prison because of bad science and scurrilous tales told by children who had been coached by an adult. They’re free now, but who else is sitting behind bars based on these types of false accusations?

News & Politics |
November 10, 2013

Foster Mother Whose Children Testified in the “Mineola Swingers Club” Case Now Accused of Abuse

Eight years ago Margie Cantrell pushed law enforcement to investigate allegations of abuse by a group of adults in Mineola. Seven people were convicted of child sexual abuse, and the scandal rocked East Texas. Now, two of those same children are alleging Cantrell physically abused them.

Criminal Justice |
September 17, 2013

Pardon Me, Mr. President

Dear Mr. President: Richard LaFuente just filed a petition for executive clemency. I urge you to read it—and to commute his life sentence.

Sports |
February 12, 2013

The Man Who Fell to Earth

After decades as one of the most admired athletes on the planet and one of the toughest competitors ever to ride a bike, Lance Armstrong is facing a new challenge: how to come back from a very public disgrace.

January 21, 2013

The Last Man Exonerated

Kerry Max Cook walked off death row in 1997, but he was never officially exonerated. At least not yet. He just filed a DNA motion he hopes will clear his name.

January 21, 2013

Investigating the Prosecutors

What will state supreme court chief justice Wallace Jefferson do about Ken Anderson, the DA who sent an innocent man to prison? Based on these clues, Anderson is in for the fight of his life. 

Behind the Lines |
January 21, 2013

Fed Up!

Sure, Texas’s criminal justice system is tough. But as Fort Worth inmate Richard LaFuente could tell you, the federal criminal system is even tougher.

Web Exclusive |
January 21, 2013

Another Tale of Wrongful Conviction?

Richard LaFuente, who was convicted of murder in 1986, has steadfastly proclaimed his innocence for more than twenty years. Now he has some unlikely support in one person—the victim's own sister.

Feature |
January 21, 2013

Free Richard Lafuente!

They say he ran over Eddie Peltier with his El Camino on a North Dakota Indian reservation in 1983. He says he didn’t do it, and the evidence is overwhelmingly on his side—yet the Plainview native has languished in federal prison for twenty years. It’s long past time for justice

Travel & Outdoors |
January 21, 2013

The Backwoods Drive

ROUTE: Uncertain to JasperDISTANCE: 140 milesNUMBER OF COUNTIES: 6WHAT TO LISTEN TO: Jim Reeves’s 
“Welcome to My World”If you want to see, smell, and taste the Deep South, look no further than East Texas. Start your drive in Uncertain, but before you even get behind the wheel, take a short

Feature |
January 21, 2013

Trials and Errors

Over the past two decades Texas has exonerated more than eighty wrongfully convicted prisoners. How does this happen? Can anything be done to stop it? We assembled a group of experts (a police chief, a state senator, a judge, a prosecutor, a district attorney, and an exoneree) to find out.

Texas History |
January 21, 2013

The Paper Chase

Houston attorney Bill Kroger and state Supreme Court chief justice Wallace Jefferson are on a mission to rescue thousands of crumbling, fading, and fascinating legal documents from district and county clerks’ offices all over the state. Can they save Texas history before it’s too late?

Feature |
January 21, 2013

Who Killed Mary Eula Sears?

In 1982 a man named Wayne East was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of one of Abilene’s most prominent citizens. To this day, he maintains his innocence. And one member of the victim’s family believes him.

True Crime |
January 21, 2013

Across the Line

Was the quaint East Texas town of Mineola home to a horrific child sex ring? Were the three people sent to prison last year for running it guilty? Was justice served? Depends on which district attorney you ask.

Sports |
January 20, 2013

Lance Armstrong Has Something to Get Off His Chest

As he readies himself for this summer's Tour de France, the two-time winner is battling allegations in Europe and elsewhere that he uses performance-enhancing drugs. He insists he is clean. But proving that is turning out to be one of his toughest challenges yet. He doesn't use performance-enhancing drugs, he

Music |
January 20, 2013

Three Chords and A Station Wagon

In the years before anyone had heard of Woodstock or Altamont, teenagers across Texas started bands in their parents’ garages, banging out earnest rock songs on cheap equipment and hoping to hit it big at the local skating rink or VFW post. For some, those dreams won’t fade away.

Magazine Latest