Maybe it’s not so surprising, when you stop and think about it, that Houston, the oil town that has long drawn the ambitious and the clever—the ones willing to do whatever it takes to strike the right deals and make their fortunes—has proven to be fertile ground, too, for those with less honorable intentions. Bizarre murders, political bribery, revenge plots, corporate bankruptcies that have sent ripples through the entire financial world—Bayou City has seen it all.

In this issue, we take a look at 12 of the most notorious crimes that have come out of this particular stretch of the Texas Gulf Coast, the stories that changed our city’s history forever, that people have been telling and retelling for years: of the forged will that almost allowed a butler and a lawyer to steal a fortune, of the doctor’s wife who died so suddenly, of the stiletto that became a murder weapon.

Crime is terribly revealing, as Agatha Christie once noted, and not of only the criminal. It can also strip away the poses and pretensions of even the best of cities, and give us a glimpse, for better or worse, of some of the darker things that a town is made of…

In This Feature:

The Strange Case of the William Marsh Rice Murder

Spoiler: The butler (and another guy) did it.

11/26/2018 By Catherine Matusow

The Chilling Tale of the Icebox Murders

Houston’s most infamous unsolved crime starts with a horrifying discovery.

11/26/2018 By Nicki Koetting

Murder and Intrigue in River Oaks Proves Truth Is Stranger than Fiction

This notorious case gripped the city for years, each twist and turn more unbelievable than the last.

11/26/2018 By Abby Ledoux

How the Sharpstown State Bank Brought Down Texas’s Top Politicians

It all started when Frank Sharp wanted to see some favorable banking bills pushed through the Texas legislature.

11/26/2018 By Dianna Wray

The Candy Man Who Wasn't So Sweet After All

Dean Corll was known for passing out sweets to kids in the Heights. But he turned out to be one of the most brutal, calculating serial killers of the 20th century.

11/26/2018 By Timothy Malcolm

When Death Came to the Alley Theatre—and Not on the Stage

Iris Siff was working late inside her office when a man entered and strangled her with a phone cord.

11/26/2018 By Morgan Kinney

The Mom Who'd Stop at Nothing to Get Her Daughter on the Cheerleading Team

When your daughter doesn't have a chance of making the squad, what do you do? Solicit murder, of course.

11/26/2018 By Gwendolyn Knapp

How the Railroad Killer Reached the End of the Line

The serial killer who nudged aside Osama bin Laden on the FBI Most Wanted list

11/26/2018 By Morgan Kinney

It Comes to a Head: When Robert Durst Washed Up in Galveston

It wasn’t long before the horrors that seemed to follow the wealthy New York real estate heir popped up in Texas—this time, in black garbage bags.

11/26/2018 By Laura Furr Mericas

How Enron Rose and Fell

The story of a company's collapse, and the CEO who insisted he wasn't responsible

11/26/2018 By Dianna Wray

Tainted Love: The Astronaut Love Triangle That Led to Adult Diapers and Battery

When astronaut Bill Oefelein dumped fellow astronaut Lisa Nowak for someone else, Nowak didn't exactly take it well.

11/26/2018 By Gwendolyn Knapp

If the Shoe Fits: A Courtroom and a City Captivated by the So-Called Stiletto Murder

Ana Trujillo allegedly tore the shoe off her foot and bashed it into her boyfriend's head some 25 times.

11/26/2018 By Abby Ledoux