The Gacy files

On the unidentified victims of the ‘killer clown’

“He thought he must have missed something — maybe he had an incomplete report. Maybe he’d read something wrong. How could it be that over three decades later, no one knew the identities of one-quarter of Gacy’s victims? Moran tracked down some of the original investigators, but they didn’t know any more than he did.” Image Credit

Tim Stelloh | BuzzFeed

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Maternity test

What can a pregnant photojournalist cover? Everything

“Within seconds, government soldiers were upon us, pointing their guns and yelling in Arabic, their voices shot through with adrenaline. They ordered us facedown into the dirt, motioning with their hands. We all assumed this would be the moment of our execution. And then we all slowly crouched down and begged for our lives.” Image Credit

Lynsey Addario | The New York Times Magazine

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The greatest knight or a failed crusader?

On William Marshal

“The kingdom of Jerusalem had been in an embattled state in 1183. That June, Saladin had finally managed to overcome Muslim rivals in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. This gave the sultan control of an arc of territory running south to Damascus, then on to Egypt and the great city of Cairo, effectively surrounding the Kingdom of Jerusalem.” Image Credit

Thomas Asbridge | History Today

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Spies, cover-ups and death in Argentina

On Alberto Nisman and Argentina’s overarching intelligence apparatus

“For years Antonio Stiuso, the general director of operations, had been the president’s eavesdropper-in-chief, helping Fernández use the state intelligence agency as a weapon against opposition politicians, journalists and critics, according to human rights monitors. Now, though, he and Nisman had begun plotting to indict the president.” Image Credit

Jonathan Watts | The Guardian

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Inside a British bank-bombing spree

“The ATM bombers were getting better, bolder, and bigger. The Birchwood heist was their 28th in the U.K.—and No. 27 had gone down just minutes earlier in Wirral, 40 miles west, carried out by a second team of five. The combined take of almost £250,000, or about $375,000, was the group’s biggest score in a single night yet…To stop the rampage, there was little Britain’s banks could do.” Image Credit

Nick Summers | Bloomberg Business

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Getting out of Afghanistan

The incredible logistical effort of closing down a war

“…the soldiers are sitting ducks. As the sappers inspect the road, the gunners keep scanning the mountain walls. Not finding anything, the sappers climb back into their trucks. The soldiers up and down the column let out a collective breath as the trucks start rumbling forward again. And that’s when they get hit.” Image Credit

E.B. Boyd | Fast Company

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Buchenwald in 1945

Richard Crossman’s 1945 piece on the experiences of a Buchenwald survivor

“We started dinner at seven and finished at 3.30 a.m. We talked Buchenwald; and what follows is only a fragment of what K had to tell. As a young Austrian Catholic, K had a rough time at first. When he got there in 1938 Buchenwald was composed of criminals, who held all the key positions under the S.S.; some 2,000 German Communists–the cream of the Party; Jews; gypsies and homosexuals.” Image Credit

Richard Crossman | New Statesman

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From Annihilation to Acceptance

An author’s surreal journey after agreeing to publish three novels in one year

“I’ve also always wanted to be published by FSG. To be honest, it’s the first and only time I’ve seemed to hear celestial music playing in the background while reading an offer letter. That seems like a good sign. Of course, I’m going to have to write the second and third novels in about 18 months, but that’s no big deal, right?” Image Credit

Jeff VanderMeer | The Atlantic

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How Russia outfoxes its enemies

“One of the most famous examples is the Battle of Kulikovo Field in 1380, when the young Muscovite, Prince Dmitry Donskoy, and 50,000 Russian warriors fought against 150,000 Tatar-Mongolian soldiers led by Khan Mamai. It was the first time the Slavs were fighting as a united army – Russia against the Golden Horde.” Image Credit

Lucy Ash | BBC News Magazine

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The rat tribe of Beijing

On the people living underneath the city

“These below-ground rooms owe their existence to two historical events. One is the Cold War, when Mao’s China struggled with the Soviet Union for ideological supremacy in the East bloc. In 1969, the same year the two countries fought a bloody border war along the Amur River, Mao ordered people to “dig tunnels deep” as protection against Soviet air raids.” Image Credit

Ian Johnson | Al Jazeera America

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