The Teenager & The Porn Star

An in-depth profile of a then-18-year-old Sasha Grey, detailing how she found her way into the adult film industry. Grey would go on to become one of the biggest names in porn before retiring at the age of 21.

Published: Nov 1, 2006
Length: 25 minutes (6,430 words)

Gone in 30 Seconds

How four California Highway Patrol officers with little undercover experience posed as Vegas players to take down motorcycle thieves in LA.

Published: Mar 18, 2015
Length: 19 minutes (4,970 words)

The Trouble With Oxy

Occidental, a small liberal arts college, has been the subject of two federal complaints over the way it has handled sexual assault cases. The school is currently bitterly divided: faculty and students are fighting for justice, while the administration is battling bad publicity.

Author: Mona Gable
Published: Feb 10, 2015
Length: 26 minutes (6,563 words)

Becoming Zoey Tur

How Bob Tur, a storied helicopter news pilot, dealt with gender dysphoria and became Zoey.

Published: Dec 22, 2014
Length: 33 minutes (8,374 words)

Gone Girls: Human Trafficking on the Home Front

In Los Angeles, Mike Kessler talks to survivors of child prostitution, as well as law enforcement officers, judges, politicians, and advocates working to prevent the sex trafficking of minors.

Published: Oct 14, 2014
Length: 28 minutes (7,201 words)

Who Killed Bugsy Siegel?

One family’s answer to one of America’s most famous unsolved Mob mysteries.

Published: Sep 29, 2014
Length: 35 minutes (8,884 words)

Escape from Cuba: Yasiel Puig’s Untold Journey to the Dodgers

The story of how L.A. Dodgers star Yasiel Puig defected from Cuba to come to the U.S. to play baseball:

Given the riches that await in el exterior, it is remarkable not that so many Cuban athletes leave but that so many more stay. Nobody needs to remind them that the decision to flee is irrevocable, a one-way journey from privation to overload. “You’re afraid to leave your family, you’re afraid that maybe you won’t triumph, you’re afraid of…I don’t know, it’s just a very difficult step,” rookie infielder and Cuban defector Alexander Guerrero, in the first year of a $28 million deal, told me at the Dodgers’ spring training camp in Arizona. It took Guerrero years to build up the gumption to flee, then three attempts to succeed. “Once you board one of those boats,” he added, “you don’t know who is who and how those people are going to react, or what’s going to happen out in the sea.”

An elaborate underground of couriers and bagmen is forever shadowing Cuba’s best ballplayers. So is a state-sponsored network of secret police and paid informants. When you are being lured and monitored at every turn, caught between ambition and duty, survival sometimes means playing both sides.

Author: Jesse Katz
Published: Apr 13, 2014
Length: 32 minutes (8,227 words)

The Hugo Problem

Hugo Schwyzer was considered “L.A.’s most prominent male feminist” until his bad behavior exposed him as a hypocrite:

During one student lobbying trip to Washington, D.C., in April 1997, he says he had sex with four coeds, three of them at the same time. This was a period when he was also drinking heavily, abusing cocaine and prescription drugs, and swept up in a stormy relationship with a woman in her twenties.

In 1998, Schwyzer, now divorced from his second wife, would see his destructive behavior catch up with him. After a drug and alcohol binge, he landed in the hospital. He went into rehab and got sober and, he says, initiated discussions with Pasadena City College officials about his past philandering with students. As part of his amends to PCC, he wrote the college’s first policy governing sexual relations between faculty and students, and then returned to the classroom. Schwyzer began carefully building a new story for himself, one that came to be known, mockingly, by his online feminist critics as “Hugo’s redemption narrative.”

Author: Mona Gable
Published: Mar 26, 2014
Length: 25 minutes (6,479 words)

The Secret Life of Johnny Lewis

Johnny Lewis was a Hollywood actor who starred in series such as The O.C. and Sons of Anarchy. He soon began exhibiting troubling behavior that led to a grisly murder:

In late October 2011, Lewis lost control of his Triumph motorcycle near Twentynine Palms. At the hospital the staff checked him for signs of a concussion, but he was allowed to leave after tests came back negative. Michael Lewis, however, noticed that his son’s behavior was becoming erratic and bizarre. Had the accident shaken something loose in his brain? he wondered. The elder Lewis scheduled two MRIs, which Johnny refused to undergo. Friends picked up on Lewis’s change in behavior, too. During an acting class in December, he kept speaking in a vaguely British accent. “I asked him about it because I was confused,” Tucker says, “but he shrugged it off.” By the new year Lewis’s behavior would turn from curious to dangerous.

Published: Jan 30, 2014
Length: 21 minutes (5,380 words)

The Northridge Earthquake: ‘Like a Punch Delivered from Below’

Revisiting the Northridge earthquake two decades later. Before Hurricane Katrina, it was considered “costliest natural disaster in U.S. history”. As recalled by Richard Andrews, director of California’s Office of Emergency Services at the time:

I took a turboprop plane with Wilson and the head of the California Highway Patrol from Sacramento to Los Angeles. We knew there had been damage to the freeway system, so on the flight down we were poring over maps of Southern California and trying to locate the places where we knew there would be freeway interruptions. We began talking about the strategy that we would eventually employ later that day of fast-tracking contracts to get the debris cleared and the repair work under way on the freeways. That proved to be one of the smartest things we did, because not only did it shorten dramatically the time to get the freeways back up and running, it also sent the public a signal that somebody was in charge and taking action quickly to address some of the major problems.

After we landed in L.A., we boarded an LAPD helicopter and took an aerial tour. We saw the damage to the Nordstrom out in Canoga Park, the freeway collapse at the 14/I-5 interchange and along the I-10 toward Santa Monica.

Published: Jan 14, 2014
Length: 11 minutes (2,810 words)