A KILLING IN THE HILLS (Parts 1 and 2)
For decades, the Spencer family fought for justice for Judy. But what if they got the wrong man?
"What stunned locals wasn’t just how the young woman died; it was who she was. In dozens of interviews with Riverfront Times, they utter the same phrase again and again: Crimes like this just didn’t happen here. Not to families like the Spencers."
Don Weir bled millions from clients to bankroll his lavish lifestyle
"Spread out in the hallways and scattered around one room with a large safe were thousands of coins and other valuables. They lay in stacks and plastic storage tubs, special agent Cosentino says, but didn't look organized. 'My first thought was, "There's no way in hell this gold is supposed to be here."'
In Cahokia, racial tensions flare in the wake of the hanging death of fifteen-year-old Lester Wells Jr.
"In the dim gray dawn of Sunday, April 25, on the southern outskirts of Cahokia, Illinois, a pickup truck was creeping along the Prairie du Pont Creek levee and stopped. Behind the wheel, Bob Shipley of the Metro East Levee District was supposed to be checking the creek's water level. Instead, he found himself staring down at an obsolete railroad bridge that crossed the dark, treeless expanse. The body of an African American boy was dangling from one of the wooden bridge supports."
A screwball crew of gearheads retool the outlaw cross-country car race
"The 2904 is no road trip; it's a road race, from Manhattan to the Golden Gate — a total of 2,904 miles — on a budget that cannot exceed $2,904. And just like the madcap Cannonball Run races of three decades ago, the idea is to go as fast as you fucking can. And if that means doing 115 mph in a junky old police cruiser, rigging up auxiliary gasoline tanks, subsisting on beef jerky and peeing into plastic bags to save time, well, so be it."
Jeff Foiles was a rockstar in the world of waterfowl hunting - until the feds drew a target on his back
"'We're gonna see if we can't shoot their beaks off,' Foiles boasts to the camera, his chiseled, goateed face streaked with camo paint. The upcoming hunt, he quips later, 'will be a bloodbath, and you'll need blood goggles.'"
Cop critic Bruce Franks is now an unpaid cop consultant. Can he really reform law enforcement from within?
"Bruce Franks Jr. knows he fits the description. Black male. Age 30. Face tattoos and heavy eyelids. Wears a hoodie, drops St. Louis slang and even once caught a stray bullet. Franks is a battle rapper — stage name 'Ooops' — who soldiered up on the frontlines of the Ferguson protests. When cops see him, he says, they see a thug — at least, the cops he isn't friends with. But he is friendly with some cops."
The trail that could make Missouri a hiking destination has languished for decades. Could that finally change?
"The Ozark Trail isn't finished, and perhaps never will be, because the last third is the most daunting: The trail must somehow traverse seven gaps of mostly private property — a combined 162 miles through eight different counties — and in a region that has historically cast a suspicious eye toward government, outsiders and recreation projects. But not all Ozarkers are hostile."
Cops believe Reggie Allen mowed down an unarmed black man outside an east-side club more than a year ago. So why isn't he behind bars?
"Neal managed to shake his pursuer. The last time he saw the truck, he says, it was hunting a new target: Anthony Rice, who was scrambling up South Eighth Street. At his young age, Anthony Rice had already undergone heart surgery three times. He also suffered from asthma. On this particular night, he couldn't run fast enough."
From a small St. Louis office, Voltron prepares to recapture the universe
"By all accounts, Voltron founder Peter Keefe was half-man, half-electromagnet. His thick black handlebar moustache, always curled, clashed with his fine blond hair. Colorblind (though he kept that secret), Keefe would arrive at business meetings in purple shirts, yellow scarves and cowboy boots. He addressed associates like a ringmaster, sprinkling in exotic words (during one presentation, he described a show's enduring appeal as 'velcronic')."
Dorian Williams thought he was a bike champion, shrinks and FBI be damned
"A 'grandiose delusion' is a serious mental illness but isn't menacing by itself, experts say. Certain mental illnesses do correlate with violence, but they don't cause it. In fact, most people with serious mental illnesses never act violently. Then there's Dorian Williams. Over the past decade he has been locked up repeatedly for threatening to murder those he believes block his path to greatness, including federal officials."
Hard-chargin' Ed Martin wants to win your vote — and Russ Carnahan's congressional seat
"'I like Ed,' says Mike Kelley, former chairman of the state Democratic party. 'He's a person I've had drinks with before, and a person I've worked with before. But working with Ed is like working with a lit firecracker. It's gonna explode; you just don't know when.'"
If you're downtown at 4 a.m. and craving a slinger — or a reason to love St. Louis again — there's only one place to go
"Eat-Rite is nothing like Nighthawks, Hopper's romantic rendering of a late-night diner. It's not a spare, glassed-in cavern in which you brood at arms length from your neighbor. It's a bunker, your neighbor's arm is draped around your neck, and he's eating your fries."
St. Louis is hurtling toward its highest number of homicides in decades. Is there any way to stop the bloodshed?
Jovica Petrovic tried to embarass his ex-wife to death, and revenge porn was the name of the game
A quartet of legal eagles aim to shoot down Paul McKee's grandiose vision to regenerate St. Louis
A boot camp for fathers makes men of deadbeat dads
The collapse of a local software start-up left one founder out for blood -- and his partner in prison
Whatever happened at Fr. Cooper's cabin in 1971, the Archdiocese isn't responsible
Anglican bishop Martin Sigillito is accused of fleecing Regular Joes and Racquet Club jet setters alike out of $45 million
Mark Robbins took on the Missouri State Highway Patrol and won. So why's he still pissed?
Club Lure is not responsible for all of Washington Avenue's problems, but it's taking all the blame