Financiers Fight Over the American Dream. One day in the summer of 2011, Christine Richard arrived at the forty-second floor of a high-rise on Fifty-seventh Street in Manhattan to visit a hedge fund called Pershing Square Capital Management.
Richard worked for a boutique research firm that identified “short” opportunities—companies that investors could profitably bet against—and she was there to present an idea to Pershing Square’s founder, William Ackman. 2017/01 [guardian] The big-eyed children: the extraordinary story of an epic art fraud. There’s a sweet, small suburban house in the vineyards of Napa, northern California.
Inside, a family of devout Jehovah’s Witnesses bustles around, offering me a cheese plate. A Siamese cat weaves in and out of my legs. Everything is lovely. Sitting unobtrusively in the corner is 87-year-old Margaret Keane. “Would you like some macadamia nuts?” This story begins in Berlin in 1946. Fifteen years later and Keane was an art sensation. Walter himself was not a melancholic man. “No,” I said. This conversation apparently took place at an outdoor art exhibition in San Francisco in 1955.
2014/11 [guardian] Big Eyes review – Tim Burton’s art fraud film is a slow-burn study of abuse. The irony of Big Eyes, Tim Burton’s film about the authorial stamp on a work of art, is that it is nearly bereft of what makes Burton’s work so recognisable.
The deeper implications of this are a matter for Burton and his shrink, but for us in the audience it’s a welcome recharge from a man whose last picture, Frankenweenie, was merely a longer version of one of his earlier projects. Big Eyes reteams Burton with screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who collaborated on the (dare I use the M-word?) Masterpiece Ed Wood. Both films are about a misunderstood artist, but the similarities end there. The new film tells the strange but true story of Margaret Keane (Amy Adams), a divorcee who arrives with her young daughter in San Francisco in the late 1950s. 2016/11 [Vanity Fair] How Sarma Melngailis, Queen of Vegan Cuisine, Became a Runaway Fugitiv. Focus on the dog.
Missing man’s Facebook account suddenly comes alive, terrifying family. Charlie Carver and Kala Brown didn’t show up to dinner on Aug. 31.
It seemed odd. The South Carolina couple had just moved together into a house in Anderson, and Brown was excited to show off her new live-in beau to her friend, Lindsey Mayson. “That’s what that Thursday night was supposed to be about,” Mayson told the Daily Beast. “It was meeting them and having dinner with them and getting to know each other.” Someone Is Pretending to Be This Missing Couple on Facebook.
Ever since Charlie Carver and Kala Brown vanished, someone has been adding life events on Facebook and even messaging his friends.
Could it be his ex-wife? Charlie Carver’s Facebook page tells the story of a man in love. On July 1, Carver posted that he and his girlfriend were expecting a daughter. On Aug. 1 they bought a house, and on Sept. 1 they were married. 2016/11 [The Pinch] My Murderer's Futon - Sarah Viren The Pinch. Winner Of The 2014 Pinch Literary Award In Nonfiction - Also appearing in issue 35.1 Spring 2015 The futon was cheaply made.
2016/09 [buzzfeed] To Solve JonBenét Ramsey’s Murder. 2016/09 [NYmag] The Sandy Hook Hoax. On December 14, 2012, Lenny Pozner dropped off his three children, Sophia, Arielle, and Noah, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Noah had recently turned 6, and on the drive over they listened to his favorite song, “Gangnam Style,” for what turned out to be the last time. Several hours later, while Sophia and Arielle hid nearby, Adam Lanza walked into Noah’s first-grade class with an AR-15 rifle. Noah was the youngest of the 20 children and seven adults killed in one of the deadliest shootings in American history. When the medical examiner found Noah lying face up in a Batman sweatshirt, his jaw had been blown off. Lenny and his wife, Veronique, raced to the school as soon as they heard the news, but had to wait for hours alongside other parents to learn their son’s fate. It didn’t take much longer for Pozner to find out that many people didn’t believe his son had died or even that he had lived at all. Cuz my son is dead and it doesnt matter. 2016/09 [Vanityfair] Exclusive: How Elizabeth Holmes’s House of Cards Came Tumbling Down.
The War Room It was late morning on Friday, October 18, when Elizabeth Holmes realized that she had no other choice.
She finally had to address her employees at Theranos, the blood-testing start-up that she had founded as a 19-year-old Stanford dropout, which was now valued at some $9 billion. Two days earlier, a damning report published in The Wall Street Journal had alleged that the company was, in effect, a sham—that its vaunted core technology was actually faulty and that Theranos administered almost all of its blood tests using competitors’ equipment.
The article created tremors throughout Silicon Valley, where Holmes, the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire, had become a near universally praised figure. 2016/05 [Vanityfair] The Secret Culprit in the Theranos Mess. Over the past few years, when media outlets reached out to Theranos about whether its wunderkind founder, Elizabeth Holmes, would have time to sit for an interview, her P.R. team generally responded with two questions: What time and where?
2016/08 [NYtimes] Rape, Race and the Jogger. The boys accused of assaulting Ms. Meili — Kharey Wise, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam and Raymond Santana, Jr. — were convicted on the strength of contradictory confessions coerced under duress. After an incarcerated serial rapist named Matias Reyes eventually confessed to the crime more than a decade later, a claim confirmed by DNA evidence, their convictions were vacated in 2002. In the early pages of her 2003 memoir, “I Am the Central Park Jogger,” a moving account of her recovery, Ms. 2016/05 [nypost] The downfall of NYC’s hottest vegan - Sarma Melngailis allegedly stole $2 million from her popular vegan restaurant Pure Food and Wine. Sarma Melngailis had it all: an Ivy League degree, model looks and a hot vegan restaurant, Pure Food and Wine in Gramercy, beloved by Alec Baldwin and Bill Clinton. Now, she’s got a mug shot, a $350,000 bail and husband Anthony Strangis: an alleged gambling addict with a criminal past and an 11-year-old child he hasn’t seen in over a decade.
“It’s the worst nightmare you can think of,” Melngailis revealed to The Post in an exclusive jailhouse interview Saturday morning at Rikers. “If I had terminal cancer, it would be better than this, because at least [then] I did not cause it.” For the past 10 months, Melngailis and Strangis had been on the lam after allegedly stealing nearly $2 million from her trendy “raw organic” restaurant — blowing $1.2 million at Connecticut casinos. 2014/10 [Matter] The Rules of Engagement – Medium #sex worker. Big City, Big Money I didn’t travel much for work, unless it was with a client, but girls I know who went on tour told me that New York City is the best place to be an escort. The men there are ready to play a lot, and to pay more.
When a girl travels to a place like Denver, it’s just a different economy, and the guys can’t afford as much. My friends tell me DC is great, because of all the politicians and money. 2014/08 [Matter] You’re 16. You’re a Pedophile. You Don’t Want to Hurt Anyone. What Do You Do Now? – Medium. Adam was at his desk in the second-story bedroom of his family’s suburban home when he came across it.
He had recently switched file-sharing programs to one that offered more content and faster browsing, and his downloading habit had increased in kind. There was now a constant stream of files whose names included acronyms such as PTHC, or pre-teen hardcore. The boy in this video was fair-haired and looked to be about one and a half, his small, naked body tied up to restrict movement.
A man’s torso entered the frame and the child began to scream. 2010/12 [wired] The Incredible True Story of the Collar Bomb Heist. [long reads] The Art of the Con: Four Stories About Scams : Longreads Blog. This morning, as I filed folders at my day job, I turned to the podcast Criminal for comfort. Today’s episode was Gil From London, the story of a strange man posing as a British sixty-something who almost seduced an American widow named Karen.
There are lots of well-told stories about con men, Craigslist hoaxes and financial scams—here are a few of my favorites. 1. “Crowded House.”