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A Daughter Changes Her Mind About Zodiac Killer's Identity

'I think you're right,' Gloria Doerr says to author who accused her dad

(Newser) - San Francisco police still have not figured out the identity of the infamous Zodiac Killer , a man who killed at least five and injured two in the late 1960s. Over the years, amateur sleuths digging into the killer's taunting letters and ciphers to police have put forth countless suspects...

'Outcasts' Find Meaning in Their Passion for SpaceX
They Moved to Texas to
Get Close to Starbase
longform

They Moved to Texas to Get Close to Starbase

Loren Grush visits 'Rocket Ranch' near SpaceX launch facility and reports back for the Verge

(Newser) - In his quest to send people to Mars, Elon Musk has been launching rockets from a SpaceX facility in remote Texas, outside Brownsville and near a village called Boca Chica. The launch facility itself, called Starbase, has a "Willy Wonka" feel to to it, writes Loren Grush at the...

Freud Denied Painting It, but the Questions Linger

'New Yorker' digs into the history of a disputed work of art attributed to Lucian Freud

(Newser) - Before he died in 2011 , the acclaimed British painter Lucian Freud adamantly denied painting a work that surfaced in the late 1990s and was being attributed to him. You might think that would be the final word on the subject. But as Sam Knight reports in a lengthy story in...

His Patients Were Maimed or Even Died. He Kept Practicing
The Texas Surgeon Was
Charming—and a 'Monster'
longform

The Texas Surgeon Was Charming—and a 'Monster'

The 'Texas Observer' reports on Dr. Eric Heston Scheffey

(Newser) - "Looking at Dr. Scheffey, one isn't likely to think he's a monster. But he was a monster." That's how retired personal injury attorney Priscilla Walters describes Dr. Eric Heston Scheffey, and she's not the only person to speak in such terms about him. She...

He Paid $75K to Get 3 Inches Taller
He Wanted to Be Taller.
Agony, $75K Got Him There
longform

He Wanted to Be Taller. Agony, $75K Got Him There

Inside the world of surgical leg lengthening

(Newser) - For the next five years, John Lovedale will be paying $1,200 a month back to SoFi bank to pay off the loan he got in order to pay for cosmetic leg lengthening. The procedure is what it sounds like: one's femurs are broken and adjustable titanium nails are...

One Explanation for Why Things Get Worse at Nursing Homes

The 'New Yorker' looks at the role private equity plays

(Newser) - American society is in the early stages of a "silver tsunami," with adults over 65 expected to outnumber children by 2035. Demand for nursing homes will surge, as will revenues for those who operate such facilities, writes Yasmin Rafiei for the New Yorker. It’s an irresistible business...

FBI: A 24-Year-Old Made Millions With His Ferrari Scam

Daniel Lesin allegedly sold allocations he didn't have

(Newser) - "Daniel Lesin was simply trying to fake his way upwards and did so fairly convincingly for five or six years." It's a great line from Stef Schrader's lengthy piece for the Drive on Lesin, a New Jersey 24-year-old who presented himself as someone who was already...

His Autism Left Him Isolated, Unemployable. Then, Hope

ProPublica reports on the innovative ITvitae program

(Newser) - By the CDC's count , 1 in 44 8-year-olds were diagnosed with having an autism spectrum disorder in 2018. As Renee Dudley writes for ProPublica , those children eventually become job-seeking adults, and in great numbers. And while there are programs that seek to employ people with autism whose focused and...

Inside the Endless 911 Calls About 312 Riverside Drive

It turns out there is no 312 Riverside Drive in New York City

(Newser) - Walter Reed is the only person on Earth who knows about the extreme troubles at 312 Riverside Drive on New York City's Upper West Side. Assaults. Fights. Stabbings. A potential terror cell. The 70-year-old has reported them all in thousands of calls to 911. Police have come up empty-handed,...

For Long COVID Sufferers, Brain Fog Is Devastating
Brain Fog Isn't a Fog.
It's Something Far Worse
longform

Brain Fog Isn't a Fog. It's Something Far Worse

Executive-function impairments make life exceedingly difficult for long COVID sufferers

(Newser) - You've heard about "brain fog" in relation to COVID, but likely not like this. Writing for the Atlantic , Ed Yong delves into the symptom that plagues some long COVID sufferers, and plagues might be too soft a word. As one primary-care specialist from the University of Oxford puts...

It's a Modern, Disturbing Twist on Human Trafficking

ProPublica explains how people are forced to work as cyberscammers

(Newser) - When the subject of human trafficking is raised, it's common to think of people forced into sex work or perhaps grueling manual labor. But a story at ProPublica digs into human trafficking with a more modern bent—people forced to work as cyberscammers. In this case, the focus is...

She Documented the Domestic Violence. It Wasn't Enough
His Sister Was Dead.
Then He Opened
Her Laptop
in case you missed it

His Sister Was Dead. Then He Opened Her Laptop

Alex Youn retraced the steps his sister took to try to get help

(Newser) - His sister was dead. But she "had left a trail." So writes Paige Pfleger for NPR in examining the deaths of Alex Youn's sister and mother—and their aftermath. Marie Varsos, 31, and Debbie Sisco, 60, were shot dead on April 12, 2021, by Varsos' husband, Shaun,...

Mobile Gambling Takes Away a Problem Gambler's Tell

There's no longer the need to explain absences caused by trips to a casino

(Newser) - It's getting increasingly easier to gamble on your phone. In a piece for Vice , Maxwell Strachan looks at how the gambling scene has changed of late and the impact that's having, particularly on young men. He zeroes in on Illinois and New York, which have now legalized online...

7 Years After He Went Missing at Sea, No Answers

BBC explores the disappearance of American Keith Davis, a fisheries observer

(Newser) - In 2015, an American marine biologist went missing from a ship hundreds of miles off the coast of Ecuador. No sign of Keith Davis, then 41, has been seen since, and he is presumed dead, writes Rachel Monroe at the BBC . Monroe dug into the case for the Lost at...

There's an Investigation Into the Killing of Wolf 1233

'Intercept' looks at allegations a Yellowstone ranger improperly hunted a wolf

(Newser) - Hunters killed a record 25 Yellowstone wolves last season , a figure that represents one-fifth of the park's wolf population and is more than double the previous high of a decade ago. As a deep dive at the Intercept explains, newly relaxed rules on hunters instituted by Montana Gov. Greg...

Jeremy Strong on New Yorker Profile: 'I Felt Foolish'

'Succession' actor is speaking out on the commotion, calls article a 'profound betrayal'

(Newser) - Update: Jeremy Strong has stayed mum since last year's polarizing New Yorker profile on him, which portrayed the Succession star as an extremely serious actor considered by some to be "self-indulgent." Now, the 43-year-old actor is speaking out, telling Vanity Fair that the article "felt like...

As China Lost Its Fentanyl Crown, the Cartels Stepped In
2 Cartels Are Keeping
America Flush With Fentanyl
longform

2 Cartels Are Keeping America Flush With Fentanyl

'Wall Street Journal' looks at how the Sinaloa, Jalisco cartels ended up supplying the US after China cracked down

(Newser) - He's a 25-year-old cook who works six days a week and pulls in about $10,000 a month. It's a lucrative gig, but also an illegal one: He's cooking fentanyl that will be smuggled into the US, and his one-person lab churns out the equivalent of hundreds...

Embedded in Clippy's Source Code: Letters 'TFC'
Embedded in Clippy's
Source Code: Letters 'TFC'
longform

Embedded in Clippy's Source Code: Letters 'TFC'

It's a reference to a NSFW nickname within Microsoft during its development

(Newser) - Poor Clippy. The much-maligned paper-clip icon that Microsoft rolled out in the 1990s didn't get much love within the company itself during development. As an entertaining story at Seattle Met recounts, the internal nickname for the animated helper was "the f---ing clown." It stemmed in no small...

Competitive Lifesaving Is a Sport. A Pretty Hard One

The 200-meter super lifesaver race is ... involved

(Newser) - The men's world record for the 200-meter freestyle is 1 minute, 42 seconds. But there's a much more complicated 200-meter race that has been done in a best time only slightly longer: 2 minutes, 4 seconds. It's the 200-meter super lifesaver, and it's one of the...

Cops Interviewed Him in 1974, but Let Him Go
Cops Interviewed
Him in 1974,
but Let Him Go
longform

Cops Interviewed Him in 1974, but Let Him Go

Glen McCurley of Fort Worth killed a teen decades ago. The fear is he had more victims

(Newser) - Texas Monthly digs into an infamous 1974 cold case out of Fort Worth, one that has a wrenching detail: Police interviewed the killer of the 17-year-old Carla Walker soon after she was murdered but quickly dismissed him as a suspect. Carla was abducted from her boyfriend's car in...

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