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Big Stories

9 Longform Stories We're Reading This Week: Juliana Pastrana, Dasani, And The Hunt For Chris Dorner

This week for BuzzReads, Tim Stelloh tells the story of the sad and strange life — and afterlife — of a once-famous Sinaloan freak show performer. Read that and these other stories from BuzzFeed and the rest of the web.

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1. Behold! The Heartbreaking, Hair-Raising Tale Of Mexico’s Monkey Woman — BuzzFeed

The Bridgeman Art Library / John Gara / BuzzFeed

Julia Pastrana was born in the 1830s in Mexico, severely deformed and covered in hair, then became an international sensation. After she died in 1860, her mummified remains became an equally public curiosity, and only now, 153 years later, is she finally resting in peace. Read it at BuzzFeed.

2. Invisible ChildThe New York Times

Ruth Fremson for The New York Times

There are more than 22,000 homeless children in New York City. Here's an inside look at the life of one, a Brooklyn middle schooler named Dasani, and the increasingly unequal city she lives in. Incredible work by Andrea Elliott and photographer Ruth Fremson. Read it at The New York Times.

4. The ManhuntThe Los Angeles Times

Kevork Djansezian / Getty

A serialized piece about the crimes and death of Chris Dorner. After being rejected by the police academy, Dorner committed a revenge double homicide; this is the story of authorities' search for him. Read it at The Los Angeles Times.


5. The Lobotomy FilesThe Wall Street Journal

Jenn Ackerman and Tim Gruber for The Wall Street Journal

A trove of old documents reveal that around 2,000 WWII veterans were lobotomized after the war in an attempt to treat depression, anxiety, even homosexuality. Michael M. Phillips tells the story of one veteran still haunted by the procedure. Read it at The Wall Street Journal.

6. What Kind of Monster Would Shoot Up His School? — Gawker

AP Photo/Washington County Sheriff's Office, File

The day before Adam Lanza massacred Sandy Hook Elementary School, a high school senior in Oklahoma named Sammie Eaglebear Chavez spoke about committing a school shooting and was subsequently arrested. Camille Dodero examines his life and that supposed crime. Read it at Gawker.

7. My Injury File — Deadspin

A story adapted from the memoir of former Bronco Nate Jackson. Relying upon his own medical records, which he took legal action to obtain from the NFL, he discusses the extent to which they — not he — owned his body. Read it at Deadspin.

8. Suspended JusticeIndiana Daily Student

Caitlin O'Hara for the Indiana Daily Student

An Indiana man came home to a horrific scene: his wife and two children shot dead. Police disregarded evidence to the contrary and tried him for the murders, a conviction that was finally overturned 13 years in prison and three expensive trials later. Read it at Indiana Daily Student.

9. Something Inside UsOxford American

William Lovelace / Getty

In late 2008, a massive retention pond at a Tennessee Valley Authority burst open, spilling a billion gallons of toxic coal ash. They decided to ship 4 million tons of it by train to a small, poor, rural, mostly black community outside Uniontown, Alabama, once the proud front in the fight for civil rights. Read it at Oxford American.