Freedom, Finally, After a Life in Prison

When she was 15 years old, Paula Cooper and three high school classmates in Gary, Ind., decided to cut school and steal some money to play games at a local arcade. They drank some cheap wine, smoked some pot and walked to the nearby home of a 78-year-old Bible teacher, Ruth Pelke. They figured she might have a jar of money somewhere. The teenagers cajoled their way inside by telling Ms. Pelke that they were interested in Bible lessons.

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Teens On Death Row—the kids we tried to kill

For an Alicia Patterson Fellowship I’m writing about a group teens who I met when they were facing execution. Did they survive? I’m visiting them again now to hear their stories. 

Can Rivers Talk About Rivers?

Joan Rivers was the best. So generous, kind, and hilarious. She let me hang out with her in a limo and at her fabulous–and I mean fabulous–place at the Carlyle Hotel in NYC. Flowers everywhere, adorable lapdog, gleaming grand piano, and Joan herself. Who knew she had such hardscrabble beginnings?

Still Strumming At 70

Pete Seeger – I’m so grateful I got to meet him. “Music has existed for several million years at least,” Seeger said. “The need to hear it is deep in our chromosomes.”

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Forgiving Someone Who Kills Your Loved One Seems Impossible. Until It Isn’t

Day by day, Marietta Jaeger trained herself to feel concern for the man who, finally, would be revealed as David Meirhofer—her daughter’s kidnapper. He confessed to the unspeakable. And Jaeger did the unimaginable. She forgave him.

Shelter Skelter

In 1984, four women living in city housing projects said they wanted to get out. Only one made it. 

Good for the Gander

A stray bird walked a mile to find me, even though we'd only met once in a dark parking lot. A mystery, a love story, and a flap. 

Never Say No

A short story for Narrative Magazine. 


"The world, I knew, was filled with outwardly happy people whose interiors were as botulistic as mine, their synapses similarly overflowing with thoughts of former lovers in the arms of chesty, slim-kneed women named Hope or Faith or, in my case, Joy."

Chew with a View

Sumptuous Holland Lake Lodge proves an old saying wrong: You can eat the scenery.

W.R. Grace Chose Profits Over Health, U.S. Claims

I covered the W.R. Grace asbestos tria​l, the largest environmental-crimes prosecution in U.S. history​. The company's mine in Libby, Mont., contaminated the town with asbestos-laced vermiculite, leaving 400 people dead and causing more than 1,000 illnesses. I worked with New York-based Bob Van Voris, of Bloomberg​​.

The Road to Disodium Inosinate is Paved with Good Intentions

One of my many stories and headlines.

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