The Atavist Magazine

The Atavist Magazine One blockbuster longform story per month, with the most elegant writing, engaging video, and innovative design on the web. An nine-time finalist for the National Magazine Awards, The Atavist Magazine was the first digital-only publication to win for feature writing in 2015.

We've also been nominated for two Emmys, and over a dozen of our stories have been optioned for Hollywood film and TV projects, with the likes of Todd Phillips, Miles Teller, and Edward Norton.

Issue no. 119: For eight years, a man without a memory lived among strangers at a hospital in Mississippi. But was recov...
09/30/2021
Searching for Mr. X

Issue no. 119: For eight years, a man without a memory lived among strangers at a hospital in Mississippi. But was recovering his identity the happy ending he was looking for?

By Laura Todd Carns
With illustrations by Ben Jones

https://magazine.atavist.com/searching-for-mr-x-amnesia-mississippi-radio-mystery/

For eight years, a man without a memory lived among strangers at a hospital in Mississippi. But was recovering his identity the happy ending he was looking for?

Issue no. 118: Remember the Soul Asylum video for "Runaway Train"? Our new story is about one of the kids featured in it...
08/31/2021
The Girl in the Picture | The Atavist Magazine

Issue no. 118: Remember the Soul Asylum video for "Runaway Train"? Our new story is about one of the kids featured in it: Aundria Bowman. Her parents said she'd run away from home, but that wasn't true—and one of them knew it. Three decades later, when two amateur sleuths set out to learn what happened to the Aundria, they thought they were trying to crack one cold case. But the deeper they dug, the more horrifying the truth became.

https://magazine.atavist.com/the-girl-in-the-picture-aundria-bowman-dennis-murder-michigan-cold-case/

A sketch artist and a grieving mother set out to solve a cold case. The more they dug, the more terrifying the truth became.

Photos from Enthusiastic Sobriety Abuse's post
07/31/2021

Photos from Enthusiastic Sobriety Abuse's post

Issue no. 117: For 50 years, Enthusiastic Sobriety programs have promised to help teenagers kick drug and alcohol addict...
07/30/2021
The Love Bomb | The Atavist Magazine

Issue no. 117: For 50 years, Enthusiastic Sobriety programs have promised to help teenagers kick drug and alcohol addiction. But former followers say ES doesn’t save lives—it destroys them.

https://magazine.atavist.com/the-love-bomb-enthusiastic-sobriety-bob-meehan-abuse-cult-drugs-rehab/

For 50 years, Enthusiastic Sobriety programs have promised to help teenagers kick drug and alcohol addiction. But former followers say ES doesn’t save lives—it destroys them.

"They were supposed to be silver—silver slippers on a golden road. That’s how Dorothy’s shoes are described in L. Frank ...
06/15/2021
No Place Like Home | The Atavist Magazine

"They were supposed to be silver—silver slippers on a golden road. That’s how Dorothy’s shoes are described in L. Frank Baum’s 1900 book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. But in the film version, the color changed. A screenwriter hastily crossed out 'silver.' Technicolor was about thinking brighter. The shoes would be ruby instead."

Issue no. 116, our first-ever narrative podcast, has arrived!

Listen here: https://magazine.atavist.com/no-place-like-home-wizard.../

and/or

Subscribe on Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/.../no-place-like.../id1570685298

In 2005, a pair of ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz was stolen from a small town in Minnesota. Who took them, and where did they go? In an eight-part narrative podcast, two journalists search for answers.

We made a podcast! Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen to shows. The first episode drops tomorrow...
06/14/2021
‘No Place Like Home’: Seyward Darby & Ariel Ramchandani To Host Podcast About Heist Of Dorothy’s Iconic Ruby Slippers

We made a podcast! Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen to shows. The first episode drops tomorrow.

https://deadline.com/2021/06/no-place-like-home-seyward-darby-ariel-ramchandani-podcast-heist-of-dorothy-iconic-ruby-slippers-1234774042/

EXCLUSIVE: The wild story behind the heist of Dorothy’s iconic ruby red slippers from The Wizard of Oz is the subject of a new podcast series hosted by Seyward Darby and Ariel Ramchandani. No Place…

Congrats to Max Blau on being a finalist for a Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma for his phenomenal Atavis...
05/07/2021
Revive - The Atavist Magazine

Congrats to Max Blau on being a finalist for a Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma for his phenomenal Atavist story, "Revive" (March 2020).

A fatal overdose, a stunning coincidence, and a mother’s long quest to heal.

Issue no. 114: Sentenced to life in prison at 16, Adolfo Davis hoped a Supreme Court ruling would give him a chance at a...
05/04/2021
Invisible Kid - The Atavist Magazine

Issue no. 114: Sentenced to life in prison at 16, Adolfo Davis hoped a Supreme Court ruling would give him a chance at a new beginning. But nothing about freedom turned out as he expected.

Story by Maddy Crowell
Photos by Akilah Townsend

https://magazine.atavist.com/invisible-kid-adolfo-davis-chicago-prison-justice-juvenile-life-parole/

Sentenced to life in prison at 16, Adolfo Davis hoped a Supreme Court ruling would give him a chance at a new beginning. But nothing about freedom turned out as he expected

Big news: We've redesigned the website, and migrated to WordPress.com! Check out the gorgeous new magazine via our lates...
04/23/2021
The Lives of Others - The Atavist Magazine

Big news: We've redesigned the website, and migrated to WordPress.com! Check out the gorgeous new magazine via our latest story, issue no. 113, which has already been viewed more than 250,000 times because it's just that good.

https://magazine.atavist.com/the-lives-of-others-newfoundland-come-by-chance-cottage-hospitals-nurse-tiger-babies/

Two women gave birth on the same day in a place called Come By Chance. They didn’t know each other, and never would. Half a century later, their children made a shocking discovery.

Issue no. 112 is here! With dozens of felines turning up dead around London, a pair of pet detectives set out to prove i...
03/01/2021
Cat and Mouse

Issue no. 112 is here! With dozens of felines turning up dead around London, a pair of pet detectives set out to prove it was the work of a serial killer. Writer Phil Hoad follows them on the trail of the Croydon Cat Killer, aka UK Animal Killer, aka Jack the Rippurr, aka Pooboy.

https://magazine.atavist.com/cat-and-mouse-london-serial-killer-snarl-slain-pets

With dozens of felines turning up dead around London, a pair of pet detectives set out to prove it was the work of a serial killer.

We are 10 years old! That's right, we've been telling awesome stories for a whole decade. And here's our latest: So they...
02/01/2021
The Gilded Age

We are 10 years old! That's right, we've been telling awesome stories for a whole decade. And here's our latest: So they were buying illegal gold from a known criminal and lying about it—what could go wrong? A tale of greed, grift, and murder from award-winning reporter Scott Eden.

https://magazine.atavist.com/the-gilded-age-peru-gold-ntr-elemetal-illegal-mining-ferrari

Gold mined in the jungles of Peru brought riches to three friends in Miami—but it also carried ruin.

Issue no. 109! While renovating a house in San Francisco, a couple discovered a diary that had been hidden away for more...
11/30/2020
Castles in the Sky

Issue no. 109! While renovating a house in San Francisco, a couple discovered a diary that had been hidden away for more than a century. It held a love story—and a mystery.

By Christina Lalanne
With illustrations by Jacqueline Tam

https://magazine.atavist.com/castles-in-the-sky-san-francisco-denmark-diary-love-mystery

While renovating a house in San Francisco, a couple discovered a diary that had been hidden away for more than a century. It held a love story, and a mystery.

Issue no. 104: The recent #BlackLivesMatter protests have been going on for five weeks. 66 years ago, a group of Black m...
07/01/2020
The Long Walk

Issue no. 104: The recent #BlackLivesMatter protests have been going on for five weeks. 66 years ago, a group of Black mothers marched every school day for EIGHTEEN MONTHS, demanding justice for their children. The school district in Hillsboro, Ohio had told them to wait patiently for integration; they refused. Their protest became the basis for the first test case of Brown v. Board north of the Mason-Dixon.

https://magazine.atavist.com/the-long-walk-civil-rights-hillsboro-ohio-segregation-black-lives-matter

When a group of Black mothers in Ohio were told to wait for school integration, they started marching every day in protest. They kept going for nearly 18 months.

05/27/2020
Long May They Reign

Issue no. 103 is coming this weekend! Here's a sneak peek: on the trail of monarch butterflies' epic migration.

Issue 102 is here!When he was a boy, a freak accident and a circus hypnotist helped Aleksander Kulisiewicz develop a rem...
05/01/2020
The Bard

Issue 102 is here!

When he was a boy, a freak accident and a circus hypnotist helped Aleksander Kulisiewicz develop a remarkable power of memory. He could write words on the "blank page" of his mind, retain them, and call them forth whenever he wished, like pulling a book from a shelf. At 21, imprisoned in a N**i concentration camp, he began mentally archiving the music he heard men singing—music they had written at the camp, to document life as they experienced it. But to save the songs of the Holocaust, Kulisiewicz first had to save himself.

https://magazine.atavist.com/the-bard-holocaust-music-nazis-jewish-survivors-poland

One man's quest to save the music of the Holocaust.

Issue 99! (A belated post.) What if the Goonies were real? Writer Leah Sottile, host of the award-winning Bundyville pod...
02/13/2020
The Ghost Hunter

Issue 99! (A belated post.)

What if the Goonies were real? Writer Leah Sottile, host of the award-winning Bundyville podcast, goes looking for treasure and truth on the Oregon coast, where more than 300 years ago a Manila galleon sank into the sea.

#longreads #longform #Oregon #history

For hundreds of years, there were rumors of a shipwrecked treasure on the Oregon coast. But no one found anything, until an unlikely hunter began digging.

Issue no. 98! "It seemed that we had passed on to some bleak, dusky afterlife, a mist-swarmed purgatory of facts and alt...
01/02/2020
Lost in Summerland

Issue no. 98!

"It seemed that we had passed on to some bleak, dusky afterlife, a mist-swarmed purgatory of facts and alternative facts out of which emerged such fearsome ghouls as InfoWars, Stephen Miller, and Space Force. Given that our lives had essentially become posthumous, could you really blame me for wondering if my brother could summon ghosts?"

From writer Barrett Swanson, a story about a terrifying brain injury, the voices of the dead, and two brothers' journey to find the truth.

At the world's largest gathering of psychics and mediums, two brothers confront a painful family secret.

"To read the transcript of Erin Hunter’s trial, which runs all of 81 pages and can be digested in half an hour, is to en...
12/02/2019
“Your Honor, Can I Tell the Whole Story?”

"To read the transcript of Erin Hunter’s trial, which runs all of 81 pages and can be digested in half an hour, is to encounter a disregard for human dignity instrumental in producing the most sprawling system of incarceration in the world."

A murder in #NewOrleans, a trial that lasted less than a day, and the lives they entangled for the next three decades. Published in partnership with @thelensnola, with support from @fundFIJ.

#longreads #longform #truecrime #criminaljustice #crimereads #louisiana

A murder in New Orleans, a trial that lasted less than a day, and the lives they entangled for the next three decades. Published in partnership with @TheLensNOLA and with support from the @FundFIJ.

Issue no. 96! The only woman who'd ever tried to run the Colorado River vanished in the Grand Canyon. That didn't stop t...
11/01/2019
The Wild Ones

Issue no. 96! The only woman who'd ever tried to run the Colorado River vanished in the Grand Canyon. That didn't stop two female scientists from embarking on the harrowing journey in 1938. The remarkable true story, from Melissa Sevigny.

People said that women had no place in the Grand Canyon and would likely die trying to run the Colorado River. In 1938, two female scientists set out to prove them wrong.

Issue no. 95 is here! A true story of terrorism or heroics, depending on who you ask.#longreads #longform #migrants #ref...
10/02/2019
The Rescue

Issue no. 95 is here! A true story of terrorism or heroics, depending on who you ask.

#longreads #longform #migrants #refugees #mediterranean #europe #malta #libya

A flimsy raft, more than 100 souls, and three teenage heroes—or are they pirates? Atavist Issue no. 95: "The Rescue," by Zach Campbell.

Issue no. 94! A Dutch gallerist spent two decades making thousands of forgeries. When he was caught, a new con began. Ou...
08/30/2019
Masterpiece Theater

Issue no. 94! A Dutch gallerist spent two decades making thousands of forgeries. When he was caught, a new con began. Our writer navigated trickery, boasting, and contradictions to get the story—not all of it on the part of the master forger.

Chagall, Picasso, de Kooning, Dali—a master forger mimicked them all. For two decades, he duped art dealers and collectors. When he was caught, a new con began.

Issue no. 93 is here! The story of an American woman who spent 40 years searching for the truth about her friend's fate,...
07/31/2019
There Are Places You Cannot Go

Issue no. 93 is here! The story of an American woman who spent 40 years searching for the truth about her friend's fate, after he returned to his home country in the midst of a genocide. In the end, she learns that her friend never stopped seeking a better life.

From Brent Crane, with photos by Thomas Cristofoletti.

A friendship born out of the ruins of a nation, a dangerous journey home, and a 40-year search for the truth. From writer Brent Crane, a story of the Cambodian genocide.

Issue no. 92 is live! In the 1970s, the black men from #Pittsburgh who formed America’s first paramedic corps wanted to ...
07/01/2019
The First Responders

Issue no. 92 is live! In the 1970s, the black men from #Pittsburgh who formed America’s first paramedic corps wanted to make history and save lives—starting with their own. From writer Kevin Hazzard, with illustrations by Marc Aspinall, a remarkable story of brotherhood and perseverance.

The black men in 1970s Pittsburgh who formed America’s original paramedic corps wanted to make history and save lives—starting with their own. From writer Kevin Hazzard, with illustrations by Marc Aspinall.

Don't forget! This Saturday night in New York City, our friends at Topic and Pop-Up Magazine are presenting John Cameron...
06/20/2019
NYU BOX OFFICE | Topic Talks: Music Presented by Luminary

Don't forget! This Saturday night in New York City, our friends at Topic and Pop-Up Magazine are presenting John Cameron Mitchell—Hedwig herself!—in an awesome live storytelling and music performance. See below for ticket (and discount) info.

Topic is proud to present our new live event series Topic Talks, in partnership with Pop-Up Magazine. First up is “Topic Talks: Music”, a night of music, stories and stories about music.

Love storytelling and music? We do, too! Our friends at Topic are presenting a new live event series called Topic Talks,...
06/05/2019
NYU BOX OFFICE | Topic Talks: Music Presented by Luminary

Love storytelling and music? We do, too! Our friends at Topic are presenting a new live event series called Topic Talks, in partnership with Pop-Up Magazine. First up is a night of music, stories, and stories about music—on June 22 at 7 p.m. at NYU Skirball. Featuring John Cameron Mitchell, creator of the iconic film and Tony-winning musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, who will perform songs from his new podcast musical, Anthem Podcast. There will be other special guests, too! Get tickets and a 20% discount here. See you there!

Topic is proud to present our new live event series Topic Talks, in partnership with Pop-Up Magazine. First up is “Topic Talks: Music”, a night of music, stories and stories about music.

Thrilled to share that Chris Outcalt has been honored with the #LivingstonAward for National Reporting. The Livingston h...
06/05/2019
Murder at the Alcatraz of the Rockies

Thrilled to share that Chris Outcalt has been honored with the #LivingstonAward for National Reporting. The Livingston honors exceptional work by reporters under the age of 35. Past winners include Christiane Amanpour, David Remnick, and Thomas Friedman, among other industry leaders. Congrats to Chris! You can read his story, about the first murder at the most secure prison in America, here.

In 2006, a rookie FBI agent was tasked with unraveling a murder conspiracy in America's most secure prison—home to the Unabomber, international terrorists, and drug kingpins. A story of brutality, isolation, and loyalty, by Chris Outcalt for The Atavist

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I saw a story this morning, The Snitch by Jordan Michael Smith. It came by way of a newsletter I receive in my email weekdays, 1440 is the newsletter. Today the story by Mr. Smith appeared, intriguing. I came to your FB page hoping to see it here, no luck. Will it show up at some point?
As helium shortages worsen, balloons might one day become extinct.
Sairam Vashikaran Specialist
This is a sick publication. I salute this increasingly rare form of in-depth, long form investigative journalism.