Print and Digital

Criminal Justice 

  • A Rat’s Tale Eugene Hawes told a story that put three men in jail for five and a half years. Two other people remain in prison. Hawes told a story about them too.  
  • Armed and Dangerous  
  • Cellmates Lee Harris spent years in prison without hope, until an unlikely friendship led to a years-long crusade to prove his innocence.
  • Their Juvenile Records Were Sealed. Decades Later, They’ve Reappeared.  The Washington State Patrol has added thousands of old sealed juvenile records to a database it shares with law enforcement agencies across the country–erasing for many their chance of a clean slate.
  • Killed by a Cop Car The police department may be covering up yet another lethal mistake by its officers. 
  • Sins of the Mother  She survived drugs, prostitution, and prison. Now comes the hard part: getting her kids back.
  •  Prisoner of the Past Detra W. has cleaned up her act and worked hard to regain custody of her little girl. The Illinois Supreme Court is about to decide if the only thing that matters is the time she spent behind bars. 
  • Strip Search Your case has been dropped.  You’re free to go.  Right after your Strip Search.  Months after a court ban, the sheriff’s officers kept making women take off their clothes. 
  • Critical Condition Prisoners are supposed to get decent health care. If they don’t, the consequences can reach far beyond the prison walls.  
  • The Man Who Stole a Hotel: A fugitive from the US started fresh on Vancouver Island–then bilked new victims out of millions of dollars while law enforcement refused to act. 
  • Dealing Death The gun that killed Andrew Young wasn’t stolen, it was purchased legally. But not by the teenagers who murdered him.

Immigration and Citizenship

Economic Hardship & Housing


  • How I Learned to Hate the War Jake’s job was to interrogate the enemy. But it was the U.S. Army he began to question.  
  • Growing Old in Gitmo Two years ago the U.S. military recommended Mohamed Mohamed Hassan Odaini for release from Guantanamo prison. So why is he still there?  
 Food Security
  • The Rise, Fall, and Almost Rise of the Caviar of Cantaloupe  During the early 20th century, the Montreal melon was a culinary delicacy and an agricultural moneymaker. But as industrial farming took hold, the hard-to-grow fruit went the way of the dodo bird. What one farmer’s attempt to revive it says about taste and technology.

Subculture stories 

  • Brickyard Blues Numbed by cold, pelted by rain, enduring smashed fingers and toes, poorly paid brick salvagers keep coming back for more. 
  • Blood Sport  Pride and Passion in the Violent Underworld of Cockfighting   


  • Love Under Lock and Key Lois ran the education program at Joliet. Dan was serving 85 years for kidnapping and rape. He became the light of her life.  
  • A Most Dangerous Method Early in his career therapist Alan Jacobs admired the ideas of Transactional Analysis guru Jacqui Lee Schiff. In the years since, he’s come to see in her extreme practices echoes of the authoritarianism that created the Third Reich. 
  • Death of an Invisible Man Twelve years ago, when things got tight, Sterling Coleman had his gas turned off. He got along just fine without heat or help from anyone–until January’s cold spell. 
  • The Cross Guy Greg Zanis has scattered his handiwork across the country, from rural routes to Columbine to the Lincoln Park porch collapse. Why is he so consumed with the deaths of strangers? 
  • Whatever Happened to Patsy Desmond? Whether you liked her or not, if you lived in Wicker Park in the early 90s, you knew Patsy. She was a scenster, a prankster, a pretty good photographer, a terrible flirt. But not even she knew how dangerous her manic energy could be.
  • What Would You Say? Katherine Chronis’s latest project is hard to ignore.  
  • Bedside Manor Welcome to the National Museum of Hospital and Pharmaceutical History, aka Paul Baxendale’s apartment.  
  • Working for Change Crusading attorney Mark Weinberg is stepping up for panhandlers’ rights, but at the rate he’s going, he’ll be on the street soon himself.
  • To Leap Without Faith Growing up fundamentalist, photographer Kerry Skarbakka was deprived of free will. But now he’s pursuing it in its purest form.
  • Penniless Why A Victoria man has gone two decades without money.
  • Is That a Wig? Orthodox Jewish women from across the city and out of state are asking: Is it live, or is it Gurewicz?

Man on Seemingly Inexplicable Mission

  • Carl Demma’s Mighty Metal Madonna The idea took root when he was a boy. The details–that it would stand over 33 feet high, weigh 8,400 pounds, take 15 years to finish, and cost him half a million dollars–came later.  
  •  The Long Way Home Why drive to Minneapolis when you can walk?  



Slice of Life