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Sitdown Sunday: 7 deadly reads

The very best of the week’s writing from around the globe.

Michael Freeman

IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair. We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour this Sunday.

1. The woman who went missing in her own home
Michael Kruse on the macabre case of Kathryn Norris, who was found in her Florida garage 16 months after she died (St Petersburg Times).

She had used a normal amount of electricity in July 2009 and much less in August and none after that. She had paid her mortgage in August and then stopped. The corpse, deputies wrote in their report, was wearing a dress.

2. The Catholic Church’s ‘secret gay cabal’
Brandon K Thorp on a stunning litany of sexual excess – and peer pressure – among priests in one Florida archdiocese (Gawker).

If their allegations are to be believed, for sixteen years Favalora ran his organization like the don of a lavender mob, rewarding his favorite homosexual sons and forgiving their many indiscretions—rampant sex, hedonism, embezzlement, alcoholism.

3. Life on the drug war’s front line
Andrew Rice on how violence along the Mexico-US border is splitting communities, families and lives (New York Times).

Juárez’s murders are terrifying in both their sheer numbers and their grisly impunity: beheaded bodies are left on busy streets, hit men open fire into crowds in broad daylight.

4. The prison warden watching your soul
James Ridgeway visits Louisiana’s notoriously tough Angola prison, watched over by God-fearing warden Burl Cain (Mother Jones).

The rodeo is famed for such events as “Convict Poker” (in which four inmates try to remain seated around a card table while being charged by a 2,000-pound bull) and “Guts and Glory” (where inmates vie to snatch a poker chip hung around the horns of an angry bull).

5.An amateur goes gambling
Colson Whitehead takes the bus for a trip to the World Series of Poker (Grantland).

“I bet you have a good poker face.” They don’t know a set of trips from a royal flush, but they know this fact. What they’re really saying is, you are a soulless monster whose fright mask is incapable of capturing normal human expressions.

6. The revenge to end all revenges
Dan Bilefsky on how an alleged rapist turned the New York police into his puppets – and put a woman in the dock (New York Times).

“We prosecute tens of thousands of cases each year, but in the collective memory, no one has ever seen anything like this before,” said Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney. “Few people have the capacity to pull off a master plot of this magnitude.”


Back in 2008, Rolling Stone writer Claire Hoffman spent a night with Amy Winehouse in her Camden flat: drinking, looking at photos, and getting ready to meet the paparazzi.

Winehouse seems lonely, in search of a perpetual slumber party. “Women don’t try to use me,” she tells me groggily. Her trust is remarkable; at one point, she even discusses her night’s outfit with two female teenage fans over her door-bell intercom.

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Michael Freeman

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