Before, and After, the Jogger

The real rapist in the Central Park Five case attacked many other women. The survivors speak for the first time.

Published: Jun 3, 2019
Length: 32 minutes (8,225 words)

‘Why Can’t You Behave?’

Called ‘the Medea of Kew Gardens,’ Alice Crimmins was accused of murdering her own children in New York in 1965. Fifty years later, Sarah Weinman revisits the case and the manner in which Crimmins was tried in the court of public opinion.

Source: Hazlitt
Published: Jul 16, 2015
Length: 20 minutes (5,200 words)

The Real Lolita

Did the 1948 abduction of eleven-year-old Sally Horne change the course of twentieth-century literature?

Source: Hazlitt
Published: Nov 20, 2014
Length: 35 minutes (8,846 words)

The Murderer and the Manuscript

Alaric hunt is writing detective novels, while serving a life sentence for murder, arson, robbery and other charges:

Alaric Hunt turned 44 in September. He last saw the outside world at 19. He works every day at the prison library in a maximum-security facility in Bishopville, S.C., passing out the same five magazines and newspapers to the same inmates who chose the library over some other activity. He discovered his favorite writer, Hemingway, at a library like this one, in a different prison. He found the Greek and the Roman philosophers there too. He rediscovered the science-fiction masters who wowed him as a boy and spurred him to write his own stories. And, one Friday three years ago, he found the listing for the contest that would change his life.

Published: Jan 10, 2014
Length: 11 minutes (2,823 words)

The Mysterious Disappearance of Peter Winston

The story of a young chess prodigy’s unraveling and disappearance:

“NEW YORKERS DISAPPEAR all the time. A handful leap into the public eye and remain there, like 6-year-old Etan Patz. An even smaller number miraculously return after decades, like Carlina White, stolen as a baby from a Harlem hospital in 1987 and found more than 20 years later when she discovered her real identity. But most are forgotten, lost to history through apathy or outright indifference.

“What makes the case of Peter Winston so baffling is that at one time he was fairly well-known. The cover of the December 19, 1964, edition of The Saturday Evening Post bears the words ‘BOY GENIUS,’ and inside, not far removed from a short story by Thomas Pynchon, is Gilbert Millstein’s account of a very special 6-year-old child attending one of the earliest of the schools for gifted children that popped up around the New York City area, Sands Point Elementary in Long Island.

“Peter was, Millstein wrote, ‘a wiry, intense-looking youngster with dark-blond hair and hazel eyes, big ears, a wide vulnerable mouth and a somewhat oracular manner of address that is in peculiar contrast to both the shape of his mouth and his childish treble.’ At 18 months, he learned the alphabet by studying the spines of the Encyclopedia Britannica, and he was reading the volumes mere months after that. He mastered fractions by 3. He could tell people—as he did Sands Point’s headmaster—what day of the week their birthday would fall on in any given year using the ‘calendar in his head.’ At age 5, Peter stood up in class and gave a detailed precis of the assassination of President Kennedy, cobbled together from newspaper and TV accounts. He even argued about the existence of God with a classmate, Richard Brody, now a writer for The New Yorker, fascinating the teacher who overheard a snatch of the conversation.”

Published: Jul 18, 2012
Length: 13 minutes (3,271 words)