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Big Stories

9 Feature Stories You Can't Miss This Week: Tough Times, Trade Secrets, And Troll Detectives

This week for BuzzFeed News, Katie J.M. Baker goes to Mississippi, where a teen's bizarre and brutal murder has shaken her tiny, rural town. Read that and these other great stories from BuzzFeed and around the web.

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1. Who Set Jessica Chambers on Fire? The Internet Is Trying to Find Out. — BuzzFeed News

Photograph by Raffe Lazarian for BuzzFeed News

Six months ago, a teenager was burned alive in a tiny Mississippi town. Police say they still don’t know who killed her or why, leaving the mystery in the hands of amateur online sleuths who may be doing more harm than good. When does a private tragedy become a public pastime? Read it at BuzzFeed News.

2. “They Saw An Anointed One” — BuzzFeed News

Randall Hill / Reuters

Joel Anderson speaks to the heartbroken friends and associates of Clementa Pinckney, the pastor and state legislator slain in the Emanuel Church massacre, who seemed destined for great things. “He worked tirelessly for the downtrodden, the less fortunate. He was their eyes, their voice, their ears.” Read it at BuzzFeed News.

3. Five HostagesThe New Yorker

Photograph Carla Van De Puttelaar for The New Yorker

Lawrence Wright tells the devastating story of five families who banded together in the wake of learning their loved ones had been kidnapped by ISIS. “I have friends who say we’ll get back to doing stuff the way we used to do. That’s gone. Now we’re looking for a new normal, and where that will be, frankly, I don’t know.” Read it at The New Yorker.

4. Mark Wahlberg's Playbook Is the Oldest in Hollywood — BuzzFeed News

Anne Helen Petersen explores the old-fashioned attitude behind Marky Mark's success. "In an era in which the value of the movie star is continually, and often correctly, called into question, he’s established himself as something that Hollywood values even more than Twitter followers, magazine covers, or charisma...a sure bet." Read it at BuzzFeed News.


5. Comedy Central in the Post-TV EraThe New York Times Magazine

Photograph by Grant Cornett for The New York Times

Jonah Weiner explores how the home to hits like Broad City, Key & Peele, and Inside Amy Schumer is managing to undergo a renaissance while the industry around it is in crisis. "What does a television network do when its bread-and-butter demographic — young, piracy-fluent, glued to phones — stops watching television?" Read it at The New York Times Magazine.

7. The Talented Mr. KhaterTexas Monthly

Photo Illustration by Joel Salcido for Texas Monthly

When 23-year-old Callie Quinn moved to Chile from Texas, she never could have expected that her new roommate would be an international con artist — or that he'd try to bury her alive. Francesca Mari chronicles the crimes and deceptions of Youssef Khater. Read it at Texas Monthly.

8. As Assad Butchered His People, This London Firm Helped His Banks Trade — BuzzFeed News

Photo Illustration BuzzFeed News / Getty images

In the years since Syrian president Bashar al-Assad began his brutal reign, many of the country's financial institutions have been blacklisted under international sanctions in attempt to starve the state of funds. Jane Bradley investigates how a leading London firm broke the law to help the banks of a regime that is killing its own people. Read it at BuzzFeed News.

9. Baltimore's Challenge: Buy Tablets for 100,000 Kids, and Don't Mess It Up — BuzzFeed News

Baltimore County Public Schools

Last year, the Los Angeles school district’s attempt to give all its students an iPad ended in a billion-dollar disaster. Molly Hensley-Clancy goes to Baltimore County, where its ambitious young superintendent hopes to succeed where L.A. failed. Read it at BuzzFeed News.