Two sisters are helping police track down their father, who abused them and murdered their mother and younger sister in the 1980s:
"DNA analysis quickly confirmed that Gloria's mother, Nilsa Padilla, was the murder victim known for decades as "Theresa Torso." Gloria's father, Jorge Walter Nuñez, instantly became the only suspect. For Miami-Dade police, it was a breakthrough in one of the department's oldest and most vexing cases. For Gloria, it was salvation.
"'They thought I was crazy,' she says of the cops, foster parents, and caseworkers who ridiculed her claims for years. 'Now they know I'm not.'"
PUBLISHED: May 8, 2013
LENGTH: 22 minutes (5575 words)
The nearly forgotten story of Bernard Finch and his mistress Carole Tregoff, who were found guilty of murdering Finch's wife in 1959:
"As Finch’s money dried up, he withdrew to the confines of his West Covina motel room and Tregoff’s one-bedroom Las Vegas apartment. Feeling aggrieved and persecuted, the couple decided to take action. On the Saturday night of July 18, Finch and Tregoff drove her car from Las Vegas to visit his estranged wife. The pair would later swear they had only wanted to persuade Barbara to move to Las Vegas for six weeks—just enough time to qualify for an amicable 'quickie' divorce. That didn’t quite explain why they parked a long block away at the South Hills Country Club, carrying with them an attaché case that contained, among other things, a carving knife, syringes, Seconal, and rope."
PUBLISHED: April 23, 2013
LENGTH: 23 minutes (5792 words)
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)
In the summer of 2012, a homeless man named William Greer Jr. was bludgeoned to death in a park in Austin, Texas. Greer's case remains unsolved, and his daughter is determined to find answers:
"In the weeks that followed her dad's death, Tangie drove to Austin three times: once to speak to police, once to speak to reporters, and once to commemorate what would have been Greer's 50th birthday on July 29. On one of those visits, Tangie went to the spot where her father lost his life. She spoke to a transient named Chris who sleeps nearby and asked him if he had seen anything the night of the murder. She knew detectives had already questioned him—and eliminated him from their investigation—but maybe he had forgotten to tell them something that could prove crucial. 'I was playing detective in a way,' Tangie told me.
"Chris told her he didn't remember her dad, but that he did recall another transient sleeping at the same spot before Greer's murder, and afterward. He gave her a description of the man, and Tangie relayed the information to detectives. But she says they told her Chris wasn't reliable. 'If you interviewed him eight times, you'll get eight different answers,' a detective said."
PUBLISHED: April 2, 2013
LENGTH: 12 minutes (3209 words)
A black gay man running for mayor in a Mississippi town is murdered, leaving residents with lots of questions, but few answers:
"When McMillian decided to run for mayor, Owens and his friends saw it as a chance for a fresh start. His death has given Owens a sort of helpless feeling, like shadowy forces are conspiring against him and his town.
"'It could have been a political hit, you never know,' he says. 'He knew. That’s the funny thing. He knew he was going to die. He said they was gonna kill him…. He knows how this town is. If you want to be on top, something that comes with money and power, you can pay a big price.'"
PUBLISHED: March 14, 2013
LENGTH: 19 minutes (4804 words)
[Not single-page] In 1966, Tim Danielson became the second American high school runner to run a mile under four minutes. Years later, Danielson is now facing murder charges for killing his third wife:
"Nguyen, an electronics engineer, said she suggested that Qi move out of Danielson’s house, telling her friend that Danielson had treated her nicely in bringing her to the United States and establishing her son in school. Make peace with him, Nguyen said she told Qi. Danielson deserved that much respect.
"About 10 days before the shooting, Qi began to pack some things, which made Danielson angry, according to Nguyen. A few days later, he put some of Qi’s belongings in storage and told her to leave. He seemed conflicted, Qi told Nguyen.
"'She couldn’t understand what he wanted,' Nguyen said."
PUBLISHED: March 13, 2013
LENGTH: 26 minutes (6720 words)
A crime writer digs into the decades-long investigation of a serial killer in California, and finds a growing online community of amateur sleuths trying to solve the case:
"The Golden State Killer, though, has consumed me the most. In addition to 50 sexual assaults in Northern California, he was responsible for ten sadistic murders in Southern California. Here was a case that spanned a decade and ultimately changed DNA law in the state. Neither the Zodiac Killer, who terrorized San Francisco in the late 1960s and early ’70s, nor the Night Stalker, who had Southern Californians locking their windows in the ’80s, was as active. Yet the Golden State Killer has little recognition; he didn’t even have a catchy name until I coined one. His capture was too low to detect on any law enforcement agency’s list of priorities. If this coldest of cases is to be cracked, it may well be due to the work of citizen sleuths like me (and a handful of homicide detectives) who analyze and theorize, hoping to unearth that one clue that turns all the dead ends into a trail—the one detail that will bring us face-to-face with the psychopath who has occupied so many of our waking hours and our dreams."
PUBLISHED: Feb. 27, 2013
LENGTH: 32 minutes (8054 words)
An American electronics engineer is found dead in Singapore. Police told the family it was a suicide, but they believe their son was murdered:
"Shane had died a week before he was to return to the US. The police said he had drilled holes into his bathroom wall, bolted in a pulley, then slipped a black strap through the pulley and wrapped it around the toilet several times. He then tethered the strap to his neck and jumped from a chair. Shane, 6ft 1in and nearly 200lb, hanged himself from the bathroom door, the autopsy report said.
"So the Todds, along with two of Shane’s younger brothers, John and Dylan, were unnerved by what they didn’t see as they crossed the threshold. The front door was unlocked and there was no sign of an investigation – no crime-scene tape, no smudges from fingerprint searches. 'The first thing I did was make a beeline for the bathroom,' Mrs Todd recalled. She wanted to see exactly how Shane had died – and she saw nothing that fitted the police description. The marble bathroom walls had no holes in them. Nor were there any bolts or screws. The toilet was not where the police had said."
PUBLISHED: Feb. 15, 2013
LENGTH: 21 minutes (5470 words)
A 10-year-old boy suffers abuse growing up and murders his sleeping father, a member of the National Socialist Movement. What led to the killing, and did the system fail him?
"Inside the police station, Joseph sits in the interrogation room with a blanket on his lap and a McDonald's meal on the table. Krista strokes his hand as Detective Hopewell interviews him. Joseph tells Hopewell that he was 'tired' of his dad hitting him and his mom. 'I didn't want to do it,' Joseph tells Hopewell. 'It's just that he hurts us.'
"He says his dad is cheating on his mother and he's afraid if there would be a divorce, he would have to live with his father. 'That really scared me,' Joseph says. He tells Hopewell that Jeffrey threated to kill the family. 'He hates everybody, even my baby sister. When someone says that about someone I really care about, I get really mad.' Every day, Joseph says, he and his father 'are hating each other more and more.'
"Joseph tells Hopewell that the night of the killing he woke up in his bedroom — 'crazy in my thoughts. I think that if I shoot him then maybe he wouldn't be able to hurt us… I started thinking I should end this father-son thing.'"
PUBLISHED: Feb. 12, 2013
LENGTH: 25 minutes (6408 words)