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Texas Monthly’s Most Popular Longreads of 2014

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Revisit (or devour for the first time) Texas Monthly’s fifteen most-read longform stories of 2014.

1. The Murders at the Lake

Michael Hall • April 2014
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.

2. The Witness

Pamela Colloff • September 2014
For more than a decade, Michelle Lyons’s job required her to watch condemned criminals be put to death. After 278 executions, she won’t ever be the same.

3. Sinners in the Hands

Sonia Smith • February 2014
Twenty-seven-year-old Catherine Grove is a member of a small, insular, and eccentric church in East Texas. Her parents think she’s being brainwashed. She insists she’s being saved.

4. He Ain’t Going Nowhere

John Spong • January 2014
As the godfather of Nashville songwriters, Guy Clark has survived more than forty years of late-night partying and arduous touring—and suffered the loss of those he loved most. Yet somehow his genius is as sharp as ever.

5. The Girl Who Saw Too Much

Skip Hollandsworth • March 12, 2014
Robin Doan was ten years old when a stranger killed her entire family. Nearly ten years later, she refuses to let the past haunt her.

6. “I Would Only Rob Banks for My Family”

Skip Hollandsworth • June 2014
Scott Catt was a single dad who held up banks to make ends meet. As his greed intensified, he knew just whom to enlist as accomplices: his kids.

7. Honey, I Want to Move to Mars

Jason Stanford • April 3, 2014
My wife is a semifinalist to board a one-way mission to the Red Planet. I’m proud, happy, and thrilled for her. Now, do you want to know how I really feel about it?

8. A Question of Mercy

Pamela Colloff • March 2014
In 1998, when district attorney Tim Cole sent a teenager named Randy Wood to prison for murder, he was convinced he’d given the boy the punishment that his brutal crime deserved. Now, more than fifteen years later, as Wood serves a life sentence, Cole is not so sure.

9. Man on Fire

Michael Hall • December 2014
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.

10. A Shooting on Spring Grove Avenue

Skip Hollandsworth • November 2014
When Michael Burnside was found dead in his Dallas home four years ago, detective Dwayne Thompson decided that the victim’s girlfriend, Olivia Lord, had pulled the trigger. But as the case made its way through the courts, she maintained her innocence—and claimed Thompson was the one who should go to prison.


11. Confessions of a Fat Bastard

Daniel Vaughn • September 2014
The joys and perils (but mostly joys) of being the nation’s first full-time barbecue editor.

12. The Click Clique

Francesca Mari • September 2014
How Dallas’s Amber Venz transformed a stylish group of young bloggers into a powerful force in the world of fashion—and made them rich along the way.

13. Is This the Most Dangerous Man in Texas?

Skip Hollandsworth • August 2014
University of Texas regent Wallace Hall has been accused of leading a witch hunt against UT-Austin president William Powers. But the Dallas investor insists he’s doing his job. And he doesn’t care what you think.

14. Man About Town

Katy Vine • May 2014
How Houston Rapper Bun B became his city’s leading man.

15. The Man in the Arena

Erica Grieder • February 2014
In the brief time Ted Cruz has been a senator, he has managed to convince half the country that he is a true patriot and the other half that he is a dangerous nutcase. What will he do next?

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  • Natas

    I’ll read anything that Hollandsworth and Spong feel compelled to write. They tell a story- a very enjoyable, descriptive, fact filled and pleasant story. Vine and Grieder could turn a death notice into a talking points memo for Wendy Davis. Despite those two (and a few others- BURKA) you still have the best magazine in America.

  • Curious

    Nice list. But there’s a typo. The snipit for the bun b article above says “because” instead of “became”

  • JA

    Love Pamela Colloff’s pieces. If she had a fan page, I’d be on it.