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Bryan Smith

9 years
ago

The Breakaway: Chicago Blackhawks Owner Rocky Wirtz

By the time Bill Wirtz died last fall, his once-proud Chicago Blackhawks had turned into perennial losers playing before dwindling crowds. His son Rocky took over and quickly opened a new era for the team—by repudiating almost everything his old man held dear

9 years
ago

The Critter Hunter

He stalks skunks, raccoons, foxes, snakes, and more—any wild varmint that’s invaded city or suburb. Got bats in the Attic? Rick Wilberschied is on the case

10 years
ago

Witness at Haditha

When a deadly roadside bomb ripped through a convoy of U.S. marines in Haditha, Iraq, the violent American response left 24 Iraqi civilians dead. In his first public comments on the incident, a marine sergeant from Chicago describes the terrible things he saw—and did—that day in November 2005. His account bolsters the government’s case against his squad leader and friend—that the carnage was a massacre of innocents

10 years
ago

Without a Trace

Last Labor Day, Steve Fossett—the investment wizard turned record-setting adventurer—took off in a plane from a remote Nevada airfield. He hasn’t been seen since. Our reporter retraces the search for Fossett, while examining the theories behind his disappearance—and behind his frequent attempts to defy death

10 years
ago

Bloodlines: The Death of Chicago Dermatologist David Cornbleet

After dermatologist David Cornbleet was murdered in his Michigan Avenue office, his son, Jonathan, devoted himself to finding the killer. Now a shy and troubled young man—a former patient of Dr. Cornbleet’s—has confessed. But that man’s anguished father is arguing that a drug prescribed by the slain doctor may have contributed to the killing.

10 years
ago

Getting By

In some ways, the three families profiled here—one well off, one middle class, one working poor—couldn’t be more different. In income, in possessions, in prospects, they stand on separate economic rungs. Yet each in its own way feels uneasy about money. Do they have enough? Will they have enough? Will there ever be a time when they no longer worry? Rich or poor, their answers are surprisingly similar.

11 years
ago

Lupe Fiasco, Word Star

Sit back and listen in on a Range Rover ride to the West Side with breakout rapper and Renaissance nerd Lupe Fiasco. You’ll get an earful on history, sociology, anthropology, and the artist’s muses, from Tchaikovsky to Noam Chomsky to Ice Cube

11 years
ago

 

House of Cards

Nine bright kids, two harried parents, and a table a few sizes too small made for a raucous dinnertime at the Murray home in Wilmette. Turns out, growing up amid the wisecracks provided the best training a comedian could hope for.

11 years
ago

 

Harry Schmidt’s War

In the fog of war high over Afghanistan, an Illinois National Guard pilot dropped a bomb that killed four Canadian soldiers engaged in live-fire exercises. Since then he has been vilified and stripped of his wings. Now he’s telling his side of the story.

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