Longreads

Texas History |
February 19, 2020

The Legend of John Holmes Jenkins

He was a notorious deal maker known for bringing priceless pieces of Texas history back to the state. He was also a suspected forger and arsonist. Thirty years ago, he was found dead in the Colorado River near Austin, and to this day a question remains: Could John Holmes Jenkins…

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December 24, 2019

Miss Girard’s Christmas Gift

When her former student was found wandering the streets a decade after she’d last seen him, Michell Girard immediately agreed to take him in. Then she decided to do far more, including give him the Christmas he’d never had.

True Crime |
December 18, 2019

The Doctor, the Dentist, and the Killer

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.

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November 20, 2019

Can Bee Stings Treat Lyme Disease?

Treatments for chronic Lyme disease are controversial and expensive. As a last resort, some patients are pursuing this unproven and painful alternative.

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October 2, 2019

Saving Lives in Tomorrow’s War, Today

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.

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July 23, 2019

Crowdsourcing Justice

How does a man wrongly convicted of murder get released twenty years later? It helps to have a wife who loves you, a podcaster who believes in you, and an army of amateur sleuths who won’t stop digging for the truth.

Politics & Policy |
July 23, 2019

Trump’s Apostle

No matter how incendiary his latest tweet or policy might seem, Donald Trump can count on evangelical preacher and Fox News fixture Robert Jeffress to defend him. What’s behind the Dallas pastor’s unconditional embrace?…

Critters |
March 22, 2019

Life, in Dog Years

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.

True Crime |
February 20, 2019

When Does an Accident Become a Crime?

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.

Politics & Policy |
January 2, 2019

The Texanhood of George H. W. Bush

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?…

Longread |
October 11, 2018

The Love Story That Upended the Texas Prison System

In 1967, a 56-year-old lawyer met a young inmate with a brilliant mind and horrifying stories about life inside. Their complicated alliance—and even more complicated romance—would shed light on a nationwide scandal, disrupt a system of abuse and virtual slavery across the state, and change incarceration in Texas forever.  …

Books |
August 24, 2018

The Man Who Walked Backward

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.

True Crime |
July 20, 2018

Schlitterbahn’s Tragic Slide

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.

The Culture |
June 22, 2018

Mom, in Touch

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.

Politics & Policy |
June 8, 2018

How Houston Lost Its Mind Over a Trump Shirt

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.

Music |
May 29, 2018

Growing Up With Steve Miller

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.