By Any Measure, Capital Punishment Is A Failed Policy
Nearly half of everyone sentenced to death since 1976 in the country’s active death penalty jurisdictions are no longer on death row, but not because they were executed. Hundreds have been released from prison; thousands are serving a lesser prison term.
MDMA Researcher Is Fixing The Bad Science That Sent Him To Prison
As a teenager, Christopher Medina-Kirchner went to prison for selling ecstasy, but now his MDMA research is debunking the bad science that got him there. He’s also creating a pipeline to help other formerly incarcerated people transition into scientific research.
The Great Affordability Crisis Breaking America
In one of the best decades the American economy has ever recorded, families were bled dry by landlords, hospital administrators, university bursars, and child-care centers. For millions, a roaring economy felt precarious or downright terrible.
Golden Dawn: The Rise And Fall Of Greece’s Neo-Nazis
A decade ago, violent racists exploited a national crisis and entered mainstream politics in Greece. The party has since been caught up in the biggest trial of Nazis since Nuremberg, and is now crumbling – but its success remains a warning.
Art Forgery Is Easier Than Ever, And It’s A Great Way To Launder Money
More and more rich people are buying art and stashing it in strange places. According to infamous scammers, it’s not even close to legit. In some respects, it mirrors the giant pools of money sloshing around in Manhattan or London real estate—funds that are relatively concentrated in a few hands spending it in a few places.
Where The Bodies Are Buried
Mexico’s drug war has left tens of thousands of casualties in secret graves. Now, the mothers of the missing are digging them up, armed with iron rods and quadcopter drones.
Operation Encore And The Saudi Connection: A Secret History Of The 9/11 Investigation
Behind the scenes, a small team of FBI agents spent years trying to solve a stubborn mystery — whether officials from Saudi Arabia, one of Washington’s closest allies, were involved in the worst terror attack in U.S. history. This is their story.
Gun Shop, America’s Love Affair With Guns
This film shows 2,328 firearms, out of the 393 million currently in the US. Arranged in a dizzying 24 frames per second progression, from handguns to semi-automatic rifles, “Gun Shop” encourages viewers to critically examine America’s love affair with guns.
Trump’s Art Of The Steal
How Donald Trump rode to power by parroting other people’s fringe ideas, got himself impeached for it—and might prevail anyway. Trump mines Twitter, plucking what he wants, “very comfortable with half thoughts,” “always looking for tidbits of information that he can use to his advantage.”
Catholic Leaders Promised Transparency About Child Abuse. They Haven’t Delivered.
After decades of shielding the identities of accused child abusers from the public, many Catholic leaders are now releasing lists of their names. But the lists are inconsistent, incomplete and omit key details.
The True Story Of Erroll Garner, The First Artist To Sue A Major Label And Win
You have to dial back to 1960 to find the major precedent: when star jazz pianist Erroll Garner sued Columbia Records for breaking his contract — and won after a nearly three-year battle in a New York Supreme Court decision. It was a landmark case that has been largely forgotten.
Ponzi Schemes, Private Yachts, And A Missing $250 Million In Crypto: The Strange Tale Of Quadriga
When Canadian blockchain whiz Gerald Cotten died unexpectedly last year, hundreds of millions of dollars in investor funds vanished into the crypto ether. But when the banks, the law, and the forces of Reddit tried to track down the cash, it turned out the young mogul may not have been who he purported to be.
‘It’s Been Hell’: Inside The Town Where Trumpers Are Building A Private Wall
Either as a demonstration of loyalty to the president or, in the case of one developer, a bid for lucrative government contracts, some private citizens are furiously erecting their own barriers along the Southwest border. The latest iteration, the three-and-a-half-mile Rio Grande Valley wall, is now nearly complete.
The Origins Of The Sicilian Mafia
The Sicilian Mafia, referred to by its own members as Cosa Nostra, a phrase meaning “our thing”, is an infamous association of criminal syndicates. They are famous for their heavy-handed role in protection racketeering, alcohol and drug smuggling, and other organized illegal activities across the world.
The Long-Forgotten Vigilante Murders Of The San Luis Valley
For more than a century, historians, writers, and artists were guilty of creating a mythologized version of the American West. How history forgot Felipe and Vivián Espinosa, two of the American West’s most brutal killers—and the complicated story behind their murderous rampage.
‘We’re The Only Plane In The Sky’
Nearly every American above a certain age remembers precisely where they were on September 11, 2001. But for a tiny handful of people, those memories touch American presidential history. Where was the president in the eight hours after the Sept. 11 attacks? The strange, harrowing journey of Air Force One, as told by the people who were on board.
‘The Intelligence Coup Of The Century’
For more than half a century, governments all over the world trusted a single company, Crypto AG, to keep the communications of their spies, soldiers and diplomats secret. But what none of its customers ever knew was that Crypto AG was secretly owned by the CIA.
Give Me Capitalism Or Give Me Death
Politicians are floating the idea that the economy supersedes the needs of living, breathing human beings; cruise and airline companies are demanding bailouts and full control over the terms; senators are doing crimes in broad daylight; and billionaire corporatists who did the same are asking regular people for money.
“You’re Essentially A Prisoner”: Why Do Dubai’s Princesses Keep Trying To Escape?
First Princess Latifa tried to flee by boat and almost made it to India—before being sent back. Then Princess Haya, Sheikh Mohammed’s “public wife,” refused to return from England. Now the sheikh is battling her in court over their children.
Deepfake Video: The Weaponization Of Fake News
The technology to manipulate video has become so sophisticated that words can literally be put into people’s mouths. Mark Kelley explores how it’s done and why the implications have led the U.S. Defence Department to work to protect itself against the “weaponization” of fake news.
Money Laundering: The Art Of Cleaning Dirty Money
Money laundering is the lifeblood of our profession of organized crime. Without it, there’s no point in committing crimes in the first place if the money we get isn’t usable. Here’s how money laundering works.