On Murder; On a Con Man

I wrote two pretty on-brand stories in July.

For The Atlantic, I wrote about Matthew Cox, a man who was on the most-wanted list after committing millions of dollars of mortgage fraud, and how he established new career from prison… as a true crime writer. Is this a sincere attempt at reinvention or is it just an indication that Cox has an instinct for hot markets?

For Outside, I wrote about two hikers — Louisa Jespersen and Maren Ueland — who were murdered by ISIS sympathizers when they hiked Mount Toubkal in Morocco last December. I lived in Morocco over a decade ago and have fond memories of the hike & the region. I wanted to use this piece to explore how acts of terrorism reveal the fragile, tourist-dependent economies of places like the Atlas Mountains.

Murder Mind

For Bookforum, I reviewed Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered, the book by the women behind the My Favorite Murder podcast. Crime and entertainment and humor and self-help and empathy and privilege and feminism and “feminism” overlap in ways that make me uneasy — not just on this show, but all over contemporary culture. My feelings about this book were… complicated! Read them here.


I have a feature in the Money issue of the New York Times Magazine. It’s about Meow Wolf, a group of artists from Santa Fe who morphed from being an anarchic collective to a multimillion-dollar corporation beloved by real estate developers. Working on this piece gave me a lot to think about in terms of creativity and commerce and compromise in twenty-first century America. Read more here.


I have a new story out — it’s a profile of Dave Asprey, the founder of Bulletproof, the guy who convinced everyone to start putting butter in their coffee. He plans to live to 180 and believes he can have complete control over his own biology. He’s a leading representative of a Silicon Valley biohacking scene that combines tech utopianism with some old New Age ideas. Read more here.