Longreads

Joe Gamaldi in his office at the Houston Police Officers’ Union.
A Bad Cop’s Best Friend?

Nov 18, 2020 By Michael Hardy

One morning in late January 2019, Rhogena Nicholas texted a prayer to her mother, Jo Ann Nicholas, just as she did every day. A widow in her eighties, Jo Ann could no longer make the four-hour drive from Natchitoches, Louisiana, to visit her daughter and her son-in-law, Dennis Tuttle, at…

American Airlines
Why Is American Airlines So Infuriating?

Oct 3, 2020 By Jason Heid

With its industry reeling, the Fort Worth–based airline giant is quietly betting that diminished competition will keep passengers coming—even as they grumble about the carrier’s poor service, late arrivals, and the jam-packing of its flights amid the pandemic.

Saving Lives in Tomorrow’s War, Today

Oct 2, 2019 By David Wood

In the next big military conflict, experts expect heavy casualties on battlefields from which quick medical evacuation may be impossible. Whether wounded Americans live or die will depend on work happening now in Texas.

Life, in Dog Years

Mar 22, 2019 By Mimi Swartz

My father always pampered his pets. So when he fell ill and moved in with us, it was no surprise that his corgi came to rule our home. What I didn’t expect was for Trilby to care for me after Dad was gone.

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.

The Texanhood of George H. W. Bush

Jan 2, 2019 By Mimi Swartz

He built an oil empire, revitalized the state’s Republican party, gave rise to a political dynasty, and forever changed the Lone Star State. Yet the question dogged him his entire life: Was he a real Texan or merely a Yankee transplant?

The Man Who Walked Backward

Aug 24, 2018 By Ben Montgomery

When the Great Depression put Plennie Wingo’s bustling Abilene cafe out of business, he tried to find fame, fortune, and a sense of meaning the only way he knew how: by embarking on an audacious trip around the world on foot. In reverse.

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.

Mom, in Touch

Jun 22, 2018 By Abby Johnston

My mom’s handwritten notes were an abiding feature of my childhood. They offered wisdom, encouragement, and comfort—and they continued to arrive long after her death.

The Jackie Robinson of Rodeo

Jun 22, 2018 By Christian Wallace

Five decades ago, Myrtis Dightman broke the color barrier in professional rodeo and became one of the best bull riders who ever lived. But his imprint on the sport was only just beginning.

Kellye Burke
How Houston Lost Its Mind Over a Trump Shirt

Jun 8, 2018 By Mimi Swartz

Outside a cookie shop in one of Houston’s most idyllic neighborhoods, a West University Place council member spied Trump’s name on a teenager’s shirt and yelled a few of the president’s worst words at her. Then the internet found out. It's springtime in the age of hysteria.

Steve Miller
Growing Up With Steve Miller

May 29, 2018 By Max Marshall

Eleven years ago, the man who topped the charts with ‘The Joker’ and ‘Rock’n Me’ took a thirteen-year-old guitarist and would-be songwriter under his wing. Eleven years later, he’s still teaching me lessons on how to be an adult.

Mothers in Peril

Apr 18, 2018 By Ricardo Nuila

A harrowing journey through Houston’s health care system offers an inside look at why so many women are dying after giving birth.

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.

How Whitney Wolfe Herd Changed the Dating Game

Jan 17, 2018 By Sarah Hepola

The first time I heard about Bumble, I was complaining about dating apps, a favorite pastime of those of us consigned to them. This was December 2015, and I’d spent four months swiping right (but mostly left) on Tinder. It had yielded three good dates, one of which turned…

Tilman Fertitta
Tilman Fertitta, the Two-Billion-Dollar Buyer

Nov 22, 2017 By Michael Hardy

It was $2.2 billion, actually. That’s how much billionaire restaurateur Tilman Fertitta offered to buy his beloved Houston Rockets. This is the inside story of how he pulled off the most expensive deal in American sports history.