January 2012 Issue

Features

Hannah and Andrew

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

Feature

The 2012 Bum Steer Awards

It was a year of avaricious Astros fans, brainless bank robbers, competence-free comptrollers, discourteous doctors, enraged exes, frisky Frisco-ites, greedy gram-toting grandmothers, hotheaded hand surgeons, ill-informed idiots, jammed-full Jaguars, knife-krazy Kimbroughs, lambasted Lufkinites, mean-spirited magazine articles, nervy narcotics users, obtuse O’Neals, profane pilots, quazy Quaids, romantically rejected receivers, surveilling Scientologists,

Art

Sketchy Characters

Before cameras were allowed in courtrooms, artist Gary Myrick and his assortment of colored pencils provided Texas television audiences with a vivid look at the state’s high-profile legal proceedings against figures like T. Cullen Davis, Henry Lee Lucas, and Charles Harrelson.

Miscellany

Roar of the Crowd

Roar of the Crowd

End Run It took a not-surprising fifteen pages (and two paid ads by the Aggies) for Paul Burka to explain how greed trumps tradition [“Farmers Flight!” November 2011]. For a rural teasipper who graduated in 1958 and grew up worshipping Bobby Layne, this situation is almost beyond my comprehension.

Decision 2012

No one wants to give the governor a Bum Steer. No one wants to poke fun at the elected representative of 25 million Texans. In fact, when Rick Perry launched his presidential campaign four and a half months ago, we felt compelled to defend him (a little) from the slings

Columns

Denton Cooley

Two Hearts

Conducting the country’s first successful heart transplant and the world’s first artificial heart transplant made Denton Cooley a household name—and turned one of his closest colleagues against him.

Hunting

The Bucks Stop Here

East Texas deer breeder Billy Powell flouted the laws against importing live whitetails, emailing photos of his illegally obtained animals to prospective customers. Then Texas Parks and Wildlife came calling.

Behind the Lines

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

Web Exclusive

Did It Their Way

Austin filmmakers David and Nathan Zellner prove that Sundance still embraces their type of idiosyncratic, shoestring-budgeted work.

Don’t Mess With River Oaks

Houston has always prided itself as a city that barrels forward into the future, and operates without memory, regret or nostalgia. But when developers began messing with the historic River Oaks Shopping Center, Houstonians raised their hackles.

Campo

BY THE TIME MATT McCallister opens his own restaurant—sometime this year—the thirty-year-old wunderchef will have had more local media coverage than most cooks get in a lifetime. Self-taught, he started as a lowly pantry cook at Stephan Pyles’s eponymous Dallas restaurant in 2006. He then became executive chef and master

Art

One Family, Two Very Different Artists

Gary Panter, famous for designing the bizarre and far-out Pee-wee's Playhouse set, went home to Sulphur Springs for the holidays and showed his mind-bending art in a local gallery alongside his father's traditional oil paintings.

Web Exclusive

Peggy Railey

The wife of a prominent Dallas minister, who was left for dead some 24 years ago in her garage, finally dies after spending years in a nursing home in Tyler.

Web Exclusive

A Q&A With Pamela Colloff

The executive editor on writing about wrongful conviction cases, interviewing Hannah Overton in prison, and recognizing that things may not be as they seem.

Web Exclusive

Courtroom Drama

Some of the biggest murder trials have happened in Texas, from proceedings against serial killers Henry Lee Lucas and Charles Harrelson to housewives Darlie Routier and Candy Montgomery. Find out what TEXAS MONTHLY had to say about some of the most infamous Texans who were tried for murder.

Reporter

Craig Finn

The lyricist and lead singer for the Hold Steady on recording his first solo album in Austin, working with producer Mike McCarthy, and writing a song a day.

How to Tan a Deer Hide

According to an old wives’ tale, every animal has enough brain matter to tan its own hide. While the amateur tanner may not embrace that technique, rest assured there’s more than one way to tan a deer, so to speak. “Professionals often use harsh chemicals and acids,” says Durango-based master

Joe Arellano, Meteorologist

Arellano, who was born and raised in McAllen, is the meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service forecast office in New Braunfels. His career, which began in 1976, has taken him all over Texas, as well as to Puerto Rico and Florida. There’s an old saying here in Texas: “Either you’re

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