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The Prisoner

The Prisoner

MenuLate one night in 1991, a twelve-year-old boy pulled out a gun and killed a cab driver on the East Side of San Antonio. Twenty-five years later, Edwin Debrow remains in prison for that murder, with fifteen more years left on his sentence. Is that justice? And is there room for mercy?ByIssueShareNotes99 CommentsDebrow, photographed at the William G. McConnell Unit, a maximum-security prison in Beeville, on July 22, 2016.Photograph by Matt Rainwatersvery once in a while, Edwin Debrow dreams that he is a boy again. He is standing in a field of freshly mowed grass. It is a warm day, with no...

December 22, 2016
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Houston Is Being Hit by an “Invisible Hurricane.” But Residents Aren’t Responding as They Did for Harvey.

Houston Is Being Hit by an “Invisible Hurricane.” But Residents Aren’t Responding as They Did for Harvey.

MenuAt a 24-hour emergency clinic in northwest Houston, the line for COVID-19 testing routinely stretches down the block these days. Typically, would-be testees remain in their vehicles, but last Friday night so many Houstonians descended on the facility that packing closely together on foot, forming a dense line reminiscent of those outside Apple stores in the hours before the release of the newest iPhone.The next evening, in Rice Village, an upscale shopping district ten miles south, another long line formed, this one also taking up most of a city block. But this spontaneous assembly had...

July 2, 2020
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Houston Is America’s Saddest Sports City, Part Infinity

Houston Is America’s Saddest Sports City, Part Infinity

MenuNo master of the mystic arts ever made a public declaration that Houston sports fans would suffer. There is no all-time great former Houstonian who uttered an oath that, in response to a grand betrayal, the children of the children of the children who watched him play would endure season after season without a championship. No single grand performance from an opposing team robbed Houstonians of hope for the future. No one brought a goat to the Astrodome and invoked a higher power to descend, snatching hope from the breath of fans from Space City, who simply yearned for the experience of...

January 14, 2021
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Texas’s Independence Didn’t Cause the Power Crisis

Texas’s Independence Didn’t Cause the Power Crisis

MenuIn postmortems by national publications about what led to the widespread power outages in Texas last week, the state’s independent electrical grid was often blamed, and characterized as a prime example of the state’s hubris. Yet there are sensible reasons for the grid’s relative isolation from the rest of the nation—beyond an instinctive aversion to federal meddling. And while Texans freezing in their homes in mid-February would have welcomed any relief they could get, having a grid that could have drawn more power from other states would have done little to ease the crisis.Texas lost...

February 28, 2021
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America’s Offshore Wind–Powered Future Begins in a Texas Shipyard

America’s Offshore Wind–Powered Future Begins in a Texas Shipyard

Alongside the Brownsville Ship Channel, which shoots straight as a drill bit into the Gulf of Mexico, one of the biggest manufacturers of offshore oil rigs on the Gulf Coast turned 180 acres of dirt into a veritable gold mine. The shipyard there is a maze of 43 buildings, including 7 hangar-size assembly sheds in which welders’ sparks fly, pneumatic hammers pop, and signs warn in bold letters that any misstep could maim. Into one end of the factory slides sheet after three-ton sheet of steel. Out the other end, like intricate toys from some gargantuan Santa’s workshop, roll some of the...

March 31, 2021
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Can Bee Stings Treat Lyme Disease?

Can Bee Stings Treat Lyme Disease?

MenuByIssueShareNotes0 CommentsPhotograph by Brian GoldmanMedical breakthroughs sometimes begin with an outlandish- sounding idea, but without expensive, well- designed clinical trials, any proof of a treatment’s success will remain elusive.“I have to remind myself why we’re stinging,” Gschwind said. “I’ll question: ‘What the heck am I doing? This is weird. This is stupid. Why are we doing this?’”This article originally appeared in the December 2019 issue of Texas Monthly with the headline “The Sting Operation.” Sign up for Texas Monthly's State of Texas newsletter to get stories like this...

November 20, 2019
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Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild

Joe Exotic: A Dark Journey Into the World of a Man Gone Wild

MenuByIssueShareNotes18 CommentsIllustration by Max-o-maticoe Exotic Before he was Joe Then she began to receive concerning phone calls and emails. People were asking her why her sanctuary was sponsoring traveling road shows that allowed cub petting—something it didn’t do. Baskin soon realized what was happening: Joe had begun using the Big Cat Rescue name and logo to advertise his shows. In January 2011 she sued him in federal court for trademark infringement.“If you think for one minute I was nuts before, I am the most dangerous exotic animal owner on this planet right now.”Joe selected...

May 13, 2019
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Bull Session: Ted Cruz Says the Press Is “Giddy With Glee” Over Pandemic

Bull Session: Ted Cruz Says the Press Is “Giddy With Glee” Over Pandemic

MenuEvery Thursday, we publish Bull Session, a roundup of the political odds and ends of the week, penning them all into one overstuffed corral.Callooh, callay! It’s another glorious day in the mainstream media where, as Texas senator Ted Cruz recently noted, we’re all simply “” over this global pandemic. The sun is shining on all of God’s green earth that the governor recently closed, the birds are chirping in between the distant wail of ambulance sirens, and we members of the press are feeling particularly lighthearted, a sensation we keep checking against all the known symptoms of...

April 9, 2020
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Inside the Frantic—and Frustrating—Race to Develop a COVID-19 Vaccine in Texas – Texas Monthly

Inside the Frantic—and Frustrating—Race to Develop a COVID-19 Vaccine in Texas – Texas Monthly

More than three months had passed since the pathogen appeared on the map in Central China, tearing through Wuhan, an industrial city of 11 million, with alarming speed. Nearly two months had passed since the disease crossed the Pacific Ocean and landed in Washington State, where it quickly began spreading among residents. And a little over a week had passed since the potentially deadly, SARS-like respiratory virus that causes COVID-19 officially touched down outside the nation’s fourth-largest city, promising to unleash upon Texas the same chaos that was still rippling across Asia and much...

April 16, 2020
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Before Uvalde, A Year of ‘Protecting Children’ in Texas

Before Uvalde, A Year of ‘Protecting Children’ in Texas

Texas, a friend used to say, is hard on women and little things. That would come to mind over the years when reporting seemed to bear it out. In 2015, I watched a foster mother testify in court, via telephone from her daughter’s hospital bedside, that state cuts to the Medicaid acute therapy program were having disastrous consequences for her child’s incurable, debilitating genetic disorder. In 2021, an eleven-year-old boy in Conroe suffocated from carbon monoxide poisoning after seeing snow for the first time, as his family tried to keep their home warm after the collapse of a horribly...

May 26
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