Daniel Kramer
Marvin and Margie Hill.

On a Related Note

Just before Christmas we got a frantic phone call about an elderly woman trapped in a sterile nursing home and forbidden from leaving even to spend the holidays with her family. At the time, we didn't know that Harris County had taken guardianship of poor Margie Hill 1) without her approval and 2) without first informing all her children, as required by law. We also didn't know that the nursing home was so horrendously mismanaged that the state had recently declared it

harmful to residents

. Those facts surfaced during our investigation, which comprises this week's

cover story

.

Another interesting fact emerged while reporting this story. It's more of a factoid, really, the sort of detail a writer badly wants to somehow shoehorn into a story though it doesn't belong. And here it is, the tiny nugget that didn't make the cut: Frank Liddell, eldest brother to the siblings trying so hard to gain guardianship over Margie Hill, lives in Nashville with wife, one Lee Ann Womack. -- Todd Spivak

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