1. Murder and Manifest Destiny on the Mosquito Coast — BuzzFeed Freda Moon for BuzzFeed Fifteen years ago, a mysterious Greek entrepreneur bought and resold a series of tiny islands off the coast of Nicaragua, setting off a bizarre and tragic chain of events that included a reality-TV sensation and allegations of an insidious murder plot. The ensuing chaos brought to light a centuries-old question: Who does land really belong to? Read it at BuzzFeed. 2. The Strange & Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit — GQ Photo: Andy Molloy/ Kennebec Journal / AP Photo Michael Frinkel brings the almost unbelievable story of a man who for nearly thirty years lived in the Maine woods until he was captured robbing a cabin last spring. Why did it he do it? And how did he survive? Read it at GQ. 3. The Witness — Texas Monthly Photograph by Matthew Mahon for Texas Monthly As the public face of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for over a decade, Michelle Lyons witnessed 278 executions. Pam Colloff reports on the toll this took on her. Read it at Texas Monthly. 4. You Can't Quit Cold Turkey — ESPN The Magazine Photograph by Jonathan Robert Willis for ESPN The story of Jared Lorenzen, a former NFL quarterback, still struggling as his weight rises well past 300 lbs.: "When you're fat, every day is a prompt to start your life over. Lorenzen has a new office, a new apartment, a new life after football. He's a Super Bowl champion, a cult hero, a father of two. Now he has to try to be a man." Read it at ESPN the Magazine. 5. 'If They Had Only Treated Him Before' — CNN Photographs by John Nowak, CNN In 2006, Will Bruce — a Maine man diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia — killed his mother just weeks after being released from a mental health facility. Now he's getting another chance: "Will feels the weight of past and future. If he screws up, he messes up everything. For everyone." Read it at CNN. 6. Out Of Power — Sports Illustrated Photo Illustration by Alicia Hallett for Sports Illustrated Curtis Malone was one of the most powerful men in the world of high school basketball — until he was busted by the Feds. Writes Pete Thamel: "He left friends, family and the basketball world to figure out whether he was an AAU coach moonlighting as a drug dealer or a drug dealer masquerading as an AAU coach." Read it at Sports Illustrated. 7. Bill Nye Fights Back — Popular Science Photographs by F. Scott Schafer for Popular Science The beloved children's television host is now taking on creationists and climate change deniers. Ryan Bradley asks: will he come out victorious? Read it at Popular Science. 8. DIY Diagnosis — Mosaic Science Illustration by Ana Frois for Mosaic Science Ed Yong brings the story of an extreme athlete who learned she had not one but two rare genetic flaws — and then sought to prove her hunch that they were related. Read it at Mosaic Science. 9. The Spy Who Loved Me — The New Yorker Illustration by Alex Williamson for the New Yorker In the late eighties, a British woman had a child with a man she understood to be a passionate animal rights advocate — who then disappeared forever. That was until two years ago when she saw his photo in the paper and learned that he'd been a spy. Lauren Collins brings this riveting story of an elaborate undercover police operation and its abuses. Read it at The New Yorker.