The dead body of 55-year-old Greg Fleniken is found in a hotel room, and with no clear motive, detectives are left trying to answer the all-important question: Why?
"There are not that many murders in Beaumont. Greg’s was one of 10 that year, which was about average. Most are not mysterious. Detective work was usually a matter of doing the obvious—interviewing the drunk boyfriend with gunpowder on his hands, or finding the neighborhood drug dealer who was owed money. A case like this was a once-in-a-career event. If you enjoy working a stubborn whodunit, which Apple does, then this one was an exciting challenge. But the problem with the hard cases is that they are indeed hard. Over the next weeks and months Apple chased down every angle he could imagine to explain the death of Greg Fleniken. But about six months into it, he was stuck."
PUBLISHED: April 11, 2013
LENGTH: 32 minutes (8189 words)
An adaptation of Mark Bowden's new book
on the hunt for Osama bin Laden:
"Everyone else favored sending in the SEALs. Clinton, who had faulted Obama during the primary campaign for asserting that he would send forces to Pakistan unilaterally if there was a good chance of getting bin Laden, now said that she favored the raid. She delivered this opinion after a typically lengthy review of the pros and cons. She noted that the raid would pose a diplomatic nightmare for the State Department. But because the U.S.-Pakistani relationship was built more on mutual dependence than friendship and trust, it would likely survive the crisis. Admiral Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, gave a detailed PowerPoint presentation before delivering his endorsement. Mullen had witnessed McRaven’s rehearsals at Fort Bragg and in Nevada. He had high confidence in the SEAL team.
"Brennan, Donilon, Clapper, Panetta, and Morell all agreed. The C.I.A. director felt strongly about it, which was not surprising. This had been his project all along, and the analysts who worked for him would have felt betrayed if their boss had changed his mind. Panetta told Obama that he ought to ask himself this question: 'What would the average American say if he knew we had the best chance of getting bin Laden since Tora Bora and we didn’t take a shot?'"
PUBLISHED: Oct. 13, 2012
LENGTH: 39 minutes (9960 words)
A murder of a young newlywed went unsolved for 23 years, until a cold case homicide unit picked up the file and found a missing clue.
"Sherri’s file perplexed Francis. The crime report stated that a swab had been taken from the bite mark on Sherri’s arm, but it was not listed in evidence and was not among the forensic samples that had been signed out by Moritt in 1993. It apparently had been misplaced sometime earlier. Where might it be?
"Francis knew well the steps in the evidence chain. Evidence recovered from the victim’s body would be held for a time in the coroner’s freezer, while the case was still active, and at some point would be gathered up and stored under the file number. What if the swab hadn’t made it from the freezer to the file? Francis called the coroner’s office. The swab was not on file, so they searched the freezers by hand."
PUBLISHED: June 14, 2012
LENGTH: 39 minutes (9751 words)
How did a blackjack player manage to win $15 million from Atlantic City casinos over the course of several months?
"As Johnson remembers it, the $800,000 hand started with him betting $100,000 and being dealt two eights. If a player is dealt two of a kind, he can choose to 'split' the hand, which means he can play each of the cards as a separate hand and ask for two more cards, in effect doubling his bet. That’s what Johnson did. His next two cards, surprisingly, were also both eights, so he split each again. Getting four cards of the same number in a row doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. Johnson says he was once dealt six consecutive aces at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. He was now playing four hands, each consisting of a single eight-card, with $400,000 in the balance.
"He was neither nervous nor excited. Johnson plays a long game, so the ups and downs of individual hands, even big swings like this one, don’t matter that much to him. He is a veteran player. Little interferes with his concentration. He doesn’t get rattled. With him, it’s all about the math, and he knows it cold."
PUBLISHED: March 14, 2012
LENGTH: 15 minutes (3915 words)
The battlefield honor, which he knew his son would have cherished, did nothing to ease Dave Brostrom’s anguish. Beyond the grief, he felt a heart-crushing mix of anger, guilt, and betrayal. The anger was unfocused but rooted in his earlier suspicions that his son’s platoon had been inadequately supported and directed. The guilt was more insidious and ran deep. He felt terrible for how the lifetime of competition between himself and Jonathan had fed his son’s ambition. He felt guilty about having pulled strings to get Jonathan into the 173rd. That was where the sense of betrayal was rooted. He had done his homework before approaching Preysler. In 2007 all of the official reports from Afghanistan had been rosy. The fighting was all but over, the assessments read; the work was all humanitarian projects and nation building. Brostrom now saw that as propaganda, and he had fallen for it.
PUBLISHED: Dec. 1, 2011
LENGTH: 53 minutes (13492 words)
After a woman living in a hotel in Florida was raped, viciously beaten, and left for dead near the Everglades in 2005, the police investigation quickly went cold. But when the victim sued the Airport Regency, the hotel’s private detective, Ken Brennan, became obsessed with the case: how had the 21-year-old blonde disappeared from her room, unseen by security cameras?
PUBLISHED: Nov. 8, 2010
LENGTH: 29 minutes (7421 words)
Experienced, emotional, marked by personal tragedy and political setback, Joe Biden is in many ways the antithesis of the president he serves.
PUBLISHED: Oct. 1, 2010
LENGTH: 37 minutes (9337 words)
When the Conficker computer “worm” was unleashed on the world in November 2008, cyber-security experts didn’t know what to make of it.
PUBLISHED: June 1, 2010
LENGTH: 34 minutes (8735 words)
At 57, General David Petraeus has revolutionized the way America fights its wars, starting with the surge in Iraq and continuing into his current command, with responsibility for Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and Yemen.
PUBLISHED: May 1, 2010
LENGTH: 45 minutes (11270 words)