Search Results for: Lisa Miller

The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

This week, we’re sharing stories from Amy Wallace, Katherine Laidlaw, Lisa Miller, Porochista Khakpour, and Lauren Schwartzberg.

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The Rules For Being John Hinckley

John Hinckley, Jr. arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington in November 2003. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Thirty-four years after his commitment to Saint Elizabeths Hospital, after being found not guilty by reason of insanity for shooting Ronald Reagan to impress actor Jodie Foster, John Hinckley is free. Well, “free.” In a fascinating New York magazine profile that also digs into the limits of both psychiatry and juries, Lisa Miller details some of the conditions of his release into the custody of his 90-year-old mother.

Under the order of a federal judge, Hinckley has to live with his mother for at least a year. He must remain in treatment with mental-health professionals in Williamsburg, who have to be in regular touch with the doctors at St. Elizabeths and the court. He may not travel more than 50 miles from home, and he may not contact Foster or any of his other victims. He may not knowingly travel to places where “current or former Presidents” will be present, and if he finds himself in such locations he must leave. He may play his guitar in private, but in the interest of containing his narcissism, he may not play gigs. For now, he may browse the internet but not look at pornography or at information related to his crimes. He has to submit the make and model of his car to the Secret Service as well as his cell-phone number. He is encouraged to make friends in Williamsburg but may not invite a guest to sleep over at his house unless his mother (or one of his siblings, both of whom live in Dallas) is home. Violations of these terms could send him back to the hospital.

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The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Below, our favorite stories of the week.

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The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Photo: Julie Blackmon/Robert Mann Gallery

Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.
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Why Would Two Girls Attempt Murder for Slender Man?

Photo: MDL70

In 2014, two 12-year-old girls stabbed a friend, arguing that they did it for a fictional internet horror creature named Slender Man. Lisa Miller tries to understand why in New York magazine:

By the age of 8 — and definitely by 12 — psychologists agree, most children are as able as adults to sort out what’s real from what is not. What sets children and adolescents apart from adults is a mental task psychologists call “discounting” — the rational inner voices that can subdue overheated emotional responses to the imagination’s powerful projections and that come with the maturing of the frontal lobe by around age 25. That’s why a 50-year-old can finish rinsing her hair even as she recalls the shower scene from “Psycho,” while a 16-year-old will find herself with a racing heart, soapy and dripping on the mat. But the feeling of being in the thrall of a fantasy (even a morbid one) can be seductive as well, as comforting as getting high, as mesmerizing as Minecraft.

In this way, the friendship of Anissa and Morgan, with its shared obsessions and mutually satisfying imaginary play, was the rather unremarkable effort of two bright, alienated kids to build a world more thrilling than their reality, a private bubble that offered them belonging, excitement, and a sense of their own power. The problem wasn’t that Morgan and Anissa didn’t know they were living in a fantasy world: Ultimately, when pressed by adults, they acknowledged the difference between fantasy and reality. The problem was that they couldn’t — or didn’t — extricate themselves from the ­fantasy. “He does not exist,” Anissa told police on the day of the stabbing. “He is a work of fiction.” Morgan, the more troubled one, had a more enduring attachment to the fairy tale they had told themselves and that had brought them to the woods. But even she admitted, in her interview, that the attack on Bella was “probably wrong,” she said. “I honestly don’t know why we did this.”

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The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.

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Longreads Best of 2014: Here Are All of Our No. 1 Story Picks from This Year

All through December, we’ll be featuring Longreads’ Best of 2014. To get you ready, here’s a list of every story that was chosen as No. 1 in our weekly Top 5 email.

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The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.

Sign up to receive this list free every Friday in your inbox.

* * *

Read more…

The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle and Readmill users, you can also get them as a Readlist.

Sign up to receive this list free every Friday in your inbox.

Read more…