Murder

Ed Ates at his Cedar Hill home on June 1, 2019.
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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.

True Crime |
July 13, 2016

The Murders at the Lake

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.

Crime |
February 11, 2014

A Question of Mercy

In 1998 famously tough Montague County district attorney Tim Cole sent a teenager to prison for life for his part in a brutal murder. The punishment haunts him to this day.

Crime |
April 1, 2013

The Unresolved Murders of Texas Prosecutors

A Texas district attorney and his wife were found dead at their home, gunned down by unknown assailants, less than two months after an Assistant DA in the same office was shot outside the courthouse. There are no conclusive suspects, but the signs are pointing towards gang violence.

Longreads |
February 12, 2013

Trouble in Mind

Andre Thomas is deeply mentally ill. He is also a vicious murderer. How should he be punished?…

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…

Web Exclusive |
January 21, 2013

A Q&A With Michael Hall

The senior editor on writing about Mary Eula Sears, talking to relatives of the deceased, and dealing with sensitive issues.

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.

Feature |
January 20, 2013

Free to Kill

Once, the State of Texas was going to put Kenneth McDuff to death as payment for his crimes. Instead, it set him free to murder again.

True Crime |
January 20, 2013

Blood Will Sell

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?…

Feature |
January 20, 2013

Innocence Found

Anthony Graves had been behind bars for eighteen years when the prosecutors in his case abruptly dropped all charges and set him free. How did it happen? What happens next?…

Feature |
January 20, 2013

Innocence Lost

Anthony Graves has spent the past eighteen years behind bars—twelve of them on death row—for a grisly 1992 murder. There was no plausible motive nor any physical evidence to connect him to the crime, and the only witness against him repeatedly recanted his testimony. Yet he remains locked up. Did…

Feature |
January 20, 2013

Flesh and Blood

The most shocking thing about the murder of the Caffey family in East Texas last year was not how gruesome or inexplicable the crime was. It was that it was masterminded by sixteen-year-old Erin Caffey, a pretty girl who worked at the Sonic, sang in her church, and loved her…

Sports |
January 20, 2013

Honor Thy Father

In suburban Fort Worth the frail psyche of a football prodigy collided with the crazed ambition of his dad, who himself had been a high school football star way back when. The consequences were deadly.

CRIME |
January 20, 2013

Unholy Act

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.

Web Exclusive |
January 1, 2009

The Science of Murder

Someone killed Melissa Trotter and dumped her body in the Sam Houston National Forest. But according to six forensic experts, that someone was not Larry Swearingen.

Letter From Eagle Pass |
March 31, 2008

The Night In Question

Thirty years later, we still don’t know who murdered Border Patrol agent Jose Gamez. Or maybe we do.

True Crime |
February 1, 2006

A Kiss Before Dying

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.

Crime |
February 1, 2000

Unhappy Trails

Although they hate to let anyone get away with murder, Harris County detectives Harry Fikaris and Roger Wedgeworth are finding that cracking unsolved cases is no easy task.

Feature |
July 31, 1999

Evil

How serial killer Rafael Resendez-Ramirez struck fear in the hearts of the men and women of Weimar, a tiny Texas town that will never be the same.

Crime |
May 31, 1999

Case Open

Nearly three years after attorney Steve Davis’ body was found, his family still doesn’t know how he died. Thanks to an out-of-court settlement with Comanche County, they probably never will.

Reporter |
February 1, 1997

Good Fella

Now that Joe Chagra is dead, it’s time to clear his name in the 1979 assassination of San Antonio federal judge John Wood.

Feature |
November 1, 1996

Thrill Killers

Now that the crack epidemic has leveled off and gang violence is down, urban Texas is being terrorized by a new type of criminal: the superpredator. He murders without motive, feels no remorse, and worst of all, seldom gets caught.