Kevin Hines paced along the Golden Gate Bridge, trying to figure out whether to obey the voices in his head urging him to jump. Anyone paying the slightest attention to Hines should’ve seen that something was horribly wrong. Sure enough, after about a half-hour, a woman approached him. Hines thought she was there to save his life.
A few hours before Steubenville High School’s first football game of the 2013 season, a six-year-old held my hand and showed me the two photos of cute teenage boys on her “big girl” bedroom walls: Justin Bieber and Cody Saltsman. She wore a tiny jersey with Cody’s number—he’s a senior wide receiver/defensive back for “Big Red,” as the team is nicknamed—and a black and red hair bow.
They called him a better quarterback than Peyton Manning, who kicks off the NFL season tonight against the Super Bowl Champion Ravens. Then they called him the NFL's greatest bust. Now they call him Montana State Prison Inmate No. 3005025. Facing one final shot at salvation, Ryan Leaf tells the true story of his downfall to the most unlikely of writers—his cell mate.
There was a point, during the two years of legal proceedings that would overtake, and then shatter, both of their lives, when Bob Swartz and his son Aaron found themselves with a bit of free time. They had arrived at the Federal Reserve building, in Boston, to meet Aaron’s lawyer—one of dozens of meetings Bob would arrange in hopes of fending off the 13 felony counts against his son. But they were early, so they took a walk.
It was only eight o'clock on the evening of May 30, 2013, but the beach was completely dark. The moon hadn't yet risen above Playa Moín, a 15-mile-long strand of mangrove and palm on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast. A two-door Suzuki 4x4 bumped along a rough track behind the beach. The port lights of Limón, the largest town on the coast, glowed six miles away on the horizon. There was no sound except the low roar of surf and the whine of the engine straining through drifts of sand.
When the phone rang at about 3 a.m. on April 18, Nigel Monaghan was asleep on the floor in his office in Dublin, tangled in a sleeping bag. In his job as Keeper of the National Museum of Ireland’s natural history section, he was overseeing filming of the latest episode of a children’s TV special, Sleepover Safari.