Longform

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Nearly Killed as Babies, Here's What Happened to the 'Avondale Quads'

Quadruplets are 18 now, have defied the odds for years

(Newser) - Eighteen years ago, the "Avondale Quads" were born to a couple living in a small one-bedroom apartment in Avondale, Arizona. Thanks to news articles about the impending birth of the quadruplets, donations of money and baby necessities poured in for Elizabeth Whittle and Anthony Perez. Despite the donations and... More »

Escape After 30 Years as an 'Unperson'

'New Yorker' tells horrifying story of 'Rosie,' who grew up in dad's South London cult

(Newser) - In 2013, a 30-year-old woman named Rosie escaped from a life of captivity—and her story, as told by Simon Parkin in the New Yorker , is a terrifying one of human imprisonment, beatings, and mind games. She grew up shuttled from one rundown South London home to another, always with... More »

It Might Be the Greatest Food Crime in History

'Vanity Fair' takes a deep dive into maple syrup theft of 2012

(Newser) - It was an epic heist and the most Canadian crime ever, to boot: Back in 2012, thieves stole 540,000 gallons of maple syrup worth at least $13 million. It was nothing less than mind-boggling, writes Rich Cohen at Vanity Fair . "It felt less like a crime than a... More »

What Rare Brain Cancer Expert Did When His Own Son Got It

'The chances of beating it were so small ... and yet, you try': Dr. Sam Gambhir on usually fatal disease

(Newser) - As the chair of Stanford University's Department of Radiology, Sam Gambhir had studied a specific type of brain tumor called a glioblastoma multiforme. So it was a shock when his own 14-year-old son, Milan, was found to have one—a "brutal" coincidence, per the Stanford Medicine Diagnostics journal... More »

A Diminutive Man Bet Against Pearl Harbor, and Won

A look at one man who did prepare for attack on Pearl Harbor: Isoroku Yamamoto

(Newser) - The man responsible for ravaging America's Navy 75 years ago this month "stood only three inches taller than five feet and weighed 130 pounds, maybe," writes Steve Twomey in a deep dive for Smithsonian on how we got to the morning of Dec. 7, 1941. In roughly... More »

Backpage Wasn't Always a Haven for Sex Ads

But it is now, and a legal case raises free-speech implications

(Newser) - Backpage.com has a reputation of being the seedy home for online sex ads, and one stat puts a point on it: Of the $50 million in revenue it earned in California from January 2013 to March 2015, 99% of it came from adult ads, notes the Ringer . "It... More »

Comatose Patient's 16-Year Mystery Is Solved

Young man from Mexico lay unidentified in a coma all that time

(Newser) - Nobody's exactly sure how it came to be—maybe it was related to a route number or perhaps to the auto shop that handled the accident—but a comatose patient lying in a hospital bed in California came to be legally identified as Sixty-Six Garage. His caretakers didn't... More »

His Epic Sail Was a Hoax, and It Cost Him His Life

The sad tale of Donald Crowhurst's trip 'around the world'

(Newser) - In 1968, 36-year-old Donald Crowhurst set off from England to sail around the world as part of a competition. Crowhurst had his hopes set on using the resulting prize money to save his failing business, but he really had no business being in the race given that neither he nor... More »

Gambler Meets Alleged Gangster, and a Crazy Tale Unfolds

Revealed is an interesting idea about how to launder money

(Newser) - It's a money laundering tale that seems destined for Hollywood: Rolling Stone unspools the case against Owen Hanson, who went by O-Dog more than a decade ago when he was a member of the USC football team and as "Junior DeLuca" in his post-college days as the alleged... More »

One Client Got Death. Then Another, and Another

The 'Guardian' looks at defense lawyer Frederick Duchardt

(Newser) - Missouri claims less than 2% of America's population, but is the place where 14.5% of the convictions of the 62 people sitting on federal death row occurred. In a lengthy piece for the Guardian , David Rose looks at the lawyer who "has had more clients sentenced to... More »

How the Super Rich Pretend That They're Not

A deep dive into how one man hid $400M from his soon-to-be ex-wife

(Newser) - One part Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and one part The Big Short, a recent New York Times piece gives readers a chance to "peer inside the hidden world of the super rich"— or at least at the system they use to hide everything that makes them... More »

Sad Reason Why Ex-Inmate's Freedom Lasted Just 103 Days

Dealing with mental illness, addiction in Mass. prisons and in real world stacks deck against certain prisoners

(Newser) - It can be tough for ex-inmates to stay out of trouble when they get out prison, but for those with drug problems or battling mental illness in Massachusetts, the transition is even more of a struggle, per a piece by the Boston Globe's Spotlight team. A Department of Correction... More »

'Unknown Man' Learns Name, but His Old Life Still Elusive

William Burgess was a rarity in modern age: an unidentified man

(Newser) - Last year, a genetic sleuth solved a high-profile mystery when she figured out the identity of a man with amnesia after other experts (and even Dr. Phil) had failed to crack the case for more than a decade. The man had gone by the name "Benjaman Kyle" after being... More »

Growing List of Nations Tied to Trump's 'Empire'

Meaning lots of potential for conflicts of interest, per 'NYT'

(Newser) - With more than 100 companies with business interests around the world , Donald Trump has attracted the attention of ethics experts, who contend his possible conflicts of interest are "unprecedented" for a modern-day US president. Now the New York Times offers a closer look at some of these global projects... More »

After a Few Days of Texting With 'Josh' He Was Dead

The 'Inlander'digs into the death of 19-year-old Isaiah Wall

(Newser) - Isaiah Wall's phone kept ringing. The 19-year-old eventually picked up, and found the Idaho State Police on the other end. Best friend Chris Anderson recounts what happened next to the Pacific Northwest Inlander : The caller said police knew Wall's green Mustang had been in a hit-and run; Wall... More »

Miami Beach's Sand Comes From Elsewhere ... Problematically

It's pumped up sand from seafloor, and now that nearby sand is tapped out

(Newser) - Sand may seem like an infinite natural resource, but as cities with beaches around the world know all too well, it's anything but. And Miami Beach, Fla., is standing at a crossroads now that it, along with the US Army Corps of Engineers, has spent years pumping up sand... More »

His Plane Violently Crashed. Then the Bad Luck Continued

The 'Washington Post' digs into the November 2014 crash

(Newser) - If the Cessna you were co-piloting crashed into a mountain in a remote part of Virginia on a frigid night, there are a number of things you wouldn't want to happen: Your cellphone to be lost in the crash. Your emergency radio's battery to be dead. Your feet... More »

Her Dad Murdered Her Family, but Does It All Add Up?

Police say it's an open-and-shut case. Laila Siddique isn't so sure

(Newser) - On Sept. 28, Laila Siddique became an orphan. The story as pieced together by police: Her father, Nasir Siddique, killed his wife in their Bel Air, Maryland, home; drove to the University of Maryland; and murdered her 19-year-old brother before taking his own life. Laila isn't so sure. In... More »

He Was an NFL Draft Pick, and a Brazen Serial Killer

'Sports Illustrated' looks at Randall Woodfield, the I-5 killer

(Newser) - In the 17th round of the 1974 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers went with Randall Woodfield. The handsome, six-foot-tall Portland State receiver showed up for training camp that summer and scrimmaged against the Chicago Bears in July. On Aug. 19, his NFL career was over before it really began.... More »

Inside the Odd Origins of an Allegedly Ruinous Hair-Loss Drug

Propecia's backstory begins with 'male pseudo hermaphrodites'

(Newser) - It's a little pink pill taken once daily and prescribed to millions of men. A sliver of those users allege it was a devastating choice. Writing for Tonic , Lisa Marshall reports a class-action suit against Merck over finasteride, better known as Propecia, will be heard late next year. In... More »

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