Ghosts of Highway 20

In a five-part series, The Oregonian pieces together the complicated untold story of the women who were raped and went missing on a single Oregon highway. One man appears to be responsible for it all.

Source: The Oregonian
Published: Dec 2, 2018
Length: 49 minutes (12,295 words)

Targeted: A Family and the Quest to Stop the Next School Shooter

“What if the system created the very thing it was trying to prevent?”

Source: The Oregonian
Published: Jun 24, 2018
Length: 21 minutes (5,275 words)

About a Boy: A Transgender Teen at the Tipping Point

“As long as his contours didn’t give his secret away, ‘Jay’ was a clean slate, a boy who could be anyone.” For three years, Casey Parks chronicled the life of a transgender teenager in Washington State. This is part one in a three-part series.

Source: The Oregonian
Published: Jul 28, 2017
Length: 16 minutes (4,207 words)

His Heart, Her Hands

Steve Goodwin was a talented musician, but he had never recorded or written anything down. As his memory began to fade, his family found a professional pianist, Naomi LaViolette, to work with him to save the music in his head.

Source: The Oregonian
Published: Apr 14, 2017
Length: 14 minutes (3,687 words)

Straight Outta St. Johns

From the edge of America’s whitest city, a generation of North Portland rappers emerge:

Rap production in this town tends toward DIY: homemade mix tapes and simple videos shot along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. But the music coming out of St. Johns offers an important look at the city. The lyrics recast places many Portlanders know. For these rappers, the St. Johns Bridge is not an Instagram image but a barrier that symbolizes the wide gulf separating their world from the rest of the city.

Source: The Oregonian
Published: Mar 7, 2014
Length: 19 minutes (4,930 words)

‘A Panel of Rubber-Stampers’

The Oregonian’s investigation into how the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court really works, and what Oregon senators are doing to challenge its authority:

“The statute does not give the judge the authority to turn down applications when the criteria (for eavesdropping) are met,” Turley says. “And those criteria are so low that they are always met.”

He recalls working as an intern at the NSA during the Reagan administration, when he had occasion to go inside the court.

“I was horrified by what I saw,” he says. “It was abundantly clear this was a Potemkin Village. … One can only call this a court if you abandon every substantive meaning of that term. This court has less authority than a standard municipal traffic court. There is no serious review, because there’s no substantive authority to question or reject these applications.”

Source: The Oregonian
Published: Nov 28, 2013
Length: 11 minutes (2,907 words)

A Teacher, a Student and a 39-Year-Long Lesson in Forgiveness

A man attempts to track down his middle school teacher and offer a long-overdue apology:

“Only by chance was I curious enough about the subject line — ‘Customer Feedback’ — to open the email from a man named Larry Israelson.

You published an item involving retired teacher James Atteberry and the CASA program. Mr. Atteberry was a teacher of mine in the early ’70s, and I wish to apologize to him for a regrettable incident that occurred when I was his student. Can you provide any contact information for him, or would you be willing to serve as an intermediary and deliver a message on my behalf? Thank you for your time, and I await your reply.

Source: The Oregonian
Published: Apr 21, 2012
Length: 8 minutes (2,106 words)

25 Years After the Rajneeshee Commune Collapsed, the Truth Spills Out (Part One)

Editor’s note: In a nearly unbelievable chapter of Oregon history, a guru from India gathered 2,000 followers to live on a remote eastern Oregon ranch. The dream collapsed 25 years ago amid attempted murders, criminal charges and deportations. But the whole story was never made public. With first-ever access to government files, and some participants willing to talk for the first time, it’s clear things were far worse than we realized.

Author: Les Zaitz
Source: The Oregonian
Published: Apr 14, 2011
Length: 9 minutes (2,317 words)