Longform

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When Someone Dies Alone, They Don Hazmats, Go In

The story of 2 public administrators, Eugene Brown, and his millions

(Newser) - "The Mystery of the Millionaire Hermit" is a story with three main sets of characters: the man who died alone in his 90s in his Corning, Calif., home in 2015; the two public administrators tasked with tracking down his will and heirs; and the heir-finding company that got in... More »

'The Taser Failed': Report Digs Into a Troubling Phrase

Investigative piece finds police Tasers don't work nearly half the time

(Newser) - Look closely at reports on fatal police shootings, and you may see a phrase more often than you think: "The Taser failed." That's one of the observations from an investigative piece by American Public Media on police Tasers. Manufacturer Axon Enterprise, which has a monopoly on the... More »

Key to Assad's Reign: Network of Torture Prisons

'New York Times' looks at the brutality in Syria

(Newser) - Reports of torture and deaths in Syria's prisons have been surfacing for years, but leader Bashar al-Assad has dismissed them as the exaggerations of opponents or as aberrations that occur in every country during a time of war. The New York Times , however, takes a deep dive into the... More »

How My 13-Year-Old Son Was Sucked In by the Alt-Right

After an accusation at school, things spiraled for young teen: essay

(Newser) - It all started at the beginning of 8th grade, when a fellow student overheard 13-year-old "Sam" laughing at an inside joke with a friend, misunderstood and thought they were making a sexual reference, and reported the comment as sexual harassment. Administrators and the school resource officer reprimanded Sam and... More »

A Dad Moved Into Their Dorm. They Soon Fell Under His Sway

'The Cut' dives in to a bizarre tale involving a group of Sarah Lawrence students

(Newser) - It started out innocuously enough: In September 2010, Larry Ray came to stay with his daughter at Sarah Lawrence College. Sophomore Talia Ray lived with seven housemates in a campus dorm called the Slonim Woods 9, and the 50-year-old became the de facto house dad. Then he began "counseling"... More »

What the Egg Donor Brochures Don't Say

It's lucrative for donors, but the side effects can be painful and downplayed by clinics

(Newser) - Stories about egg donations for couples who can't conceive typically focus on the couples. A story at Wired takes a look from the perspective of the donors—think healthy women in their 20s, often college students who are tight on cash. As it turns out, the pay can be... More »

You Might Never Think of Raisins the Same Way

New York Times profiles the surprisingly cutthroat industry in California

(Newser) - Raisins may seem like an innocent, wholesome snack, but reporter Jonah Engel Bromwich of the New York Times has an entertaining read about the not-so-innocent industry that produces them in California. The story focuses on Sun-Maid exec Harry Overly, who at 38 is much younger than the industry's old... More »

Michael Cohen Sounds Ticked on Eve of Prison Sentence

'How come I’m the one that’s going to prison?' he asks in 'New Yorker' profile

(Newser) - Michael Cohen reports to federal prison next week to begin his three-year sentence , and Jeffrey Toobin of the New Yorker caught up with him beforehand. One thing that's clear: The former fixer for Donald Trump is miffed that he ended up being the one in prosecutor's crosshairs. “... More »

Why Poisoned Sausages Fall From the Sky in Australia

An effort to cull 2M cats is underway

(Newser) - People around the world were quick to oppose Australia's plan to cull 2 million feral cats by 2020, with many going online and signing petitions in hopes of saving their furry friends. That was 2015. With 2020 approaching, Jessica Camille Aguirre takes a long look at where things stand... More »

Jewelry Giant Accused of Treating Women Terribly

'New York Times' details lawsuits, accusations by female employees against Sterling

(Newser) - You're almost certainly familiar with Sterling Jewelers even if you don't think you are. "Every kiss begins with Kay." "He should have gone to Jared." Yes, Sterling and parent company Signet own Kay, Jared, Osterman, J.B. Robinson, and lots more chains as the... More »

Before Van Attack, Rental Staff Laughed as He Drove Away

Alek Minassian didn't know how to put in drive, according to 'Toronto Life' profile

(Newser) - One year after a van plowed into pedestrians on Toronto's busy Yonge Street, Toronto Life magazine has done a deep dive into the life of the man accused in the attack. Alek Minassian is 26 now, awaiting trial on 10 counts of murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.... More »

It Was the Story of My Career. Except It Wasn't True

The hero of the 1999 Mont Blanc Tunnel fire wasn't one after all

(Newser) - The deaths were horrible ones: 39 people died on March 24, 1999, in the Mont Blanc Tunnel, with many asphyxiating. A semi-truck carrying more than 20 tons of flour and margarine entered from the French side, intending to traverse its way beneath Mont Blanc for seven miles to the tunnel'... More »

Universities Could Have Lowered Tuitions—but They Didn't

Online courses gave them the chance

(Newser) - Think college debt is killing America? Then consider how universities missed the chance to lower tuitions—by hoarding a secret windfall and giving the rest to companies you've likely never heard of, HuffPost reports. Called "online program managers," or OPMs, the companies create online courses for such... More »

Her 5-Year-Old Son Wasn't Starving. Barely

Tahmima Anam details a traumatic premature birth, the lengthy challenge that followed

(Newser) - For the first five years of his life, Tahmima Anam's son would eat only one thing: baby porridge that she and her husband added formula, vitamins, and a calorie supplement to so that he could survive. He wasn't starving, but she describes a hellish existence in a lengthy... More »

After an On-Air Boast, Things Went Downhill for Radio Host

Craig Carton said he could turn $10K into $25K at blackjack. He did, but he also got hooked

(Newser) - “I’m guilty only of really, really bad judgment," former New York City radio host Craig Carton tells Nick Paumgarten of the New Yorker . The feds, however, saw it as conspiracy, wire fraud, and security fraud , and the fallen WFAN personality just got sentenced to more than three... More »

How the Repeated Mention of a Basement Cracked a Case

Mark Bowden looks at the 1975 disappearance of the Lyon sisters

(Newser) - It took 42 years to get justice for the Lyon sisters —decades that didn't pass unnoticed by Mark Bowden. In a Washington Post article adapted from his new book, The Last Stone: A Masterpiece of Criminal Interrogation, Bowden writes that he was a "green 23-year-old" on the... More »

Courtney Stodden: Yeah, That Was 'Crazy'

Tabloid favorite looks back on her (very) young marriage to a much older man

(Newser) - Courtney Stodden emerged in the public eye in all the wrong ways in 2011, when, as a 16-year-old, she married 51-year-old actor Doug Hutchison. They became tabloid mainstays, especially Stodden , who endured the worst her critics and the internet had to offer at a young age. Now 24, Stodden has... More »

His 30-Year Mission: Justice for a Lynching

Virginia's John Johnson has been collecting evidence and names in Raymond Byrd's death

(Newser) - What is thought to be the last lynching in Virginia occurred in August 1926 when a mob pulled Raymond Byrd from a jail in Wytheville, brutally assaulted him, and hanged him from a tree. Now the Washington Post has the story of 80-year-old John Johnson, a black resident of modern-day... More »

For North Korean Refugees, an 'Underground Railroad'

'GQ' takes a look at the network through the stories of 2 key people

(Newser) - North Koreans trying to escape the hardship of their homeland often rely on what's come to be known as the North Korean Underground Railroad. GQ has a lengthy story providing a look at how this network of safe havens across Asia operates, and the story by Doug Bock Clark... More »

Creator of Cathy Comic Is a 'Paradox'

The Cut profiles Cathy Guisewite, who ponders the meaning of 'AACK!'

(Newser) - Fans of the Cathy comic strip—and critics of it as well—may want to check out a profile of creator Cathy Guisewite at The Cut . Writer Rachel Syme sees the 69-year-old Guisewite as a "paradox." After all, few women were in the field when Cathy first appeared... More »

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