Cover Story: The Year in Crime

We like to think we are pretty hard to surprise. As the son of hard-living hippies who were close friends of people like Steve Earle and Townes Van Zandt, I'd seen more by the time I was 12 than many of my peers have experienced up to this day. Since then, I've traveled the world and worked in journalism for close to 11 years.

Many years ago, a much older buddy of mine used to call me "The Sphinx," because he said I'd experienced so much and seemed so nonplussed by all that passed before me.

And yet this past year I spent trolling the Hair Balls crime wire was a year of shocks, astonishments and multiple befuddlings the likes of which I've never seen.

What was that New Caney Woman thinking when she tried to give her alleged partner-in-pill abuse a blow job in the back of the cop car on the way to jail? Why didn't those otherwise thoroughly-prepared bank robbers know that their intended target closed early on Wednesday afternoons? Can life get any more ironic than the Lufkin couple whose verbal altercation that began in a domestic violence counseling session quickened into a physical fight in the parking lot outside?

Weekly, sometimes several times I week, I found myself shaking my head at the wonder of it all. And we hope you will too when you peruse this week's feature.

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