Message from the Mojave

Falling under the spell of the Joshua tree.

Jul 2006

The Last City I Loved: Los Angeles

Or, how I traveled the NY-LA fault line and got home.

Mar 2013

Why I Write What I Write

The continuing appeal of the frontier.

Mar 2013

Highway to Heaven

Every time the author drives PCH, she remembers why she lives in California.

We All Live on Turtle Island

Reflections on literary and real-life encounters with the desert ambassadors.

Jul 2010

9/11 and the Damage Done

Ten years on, accounting for the human toll of the 9/11 attacks is as complex as ever.

Sep 2011

Leaving the Freeway, Paying a Price

Toll roads and the death of the American frontier.

Rocks in the Shape of Billy Martin

The first days of baseball on the eternal diamond.

The Many Masks of Camille Paglia

Part poseur, part philosopher, part outrageous neo-feminist, the myth-making writer has brought sex, sensationalism and rock ‘n’ roll to the temple of academia.

America’s Mermaid

A real-life tale in which I meet the real Gidget, discover an ancient novella and see surfing’s holy grail.

May 2011

Death behind the Wall of Sound

She was a down-on-her-luck actress from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He was one of pop music’s most successful producers. When Lana Clarkson met a grisly end in 2003, had gun-loving Phil Spector’s history of bad behavior finally reached a deadly coda? On the eve of his murder trial, here’s new insight into what happened the night their worlds collided.

Apr 2006

Murder in Twentynine Palms

After moving seven times in eight years, Debie McMasters hoped that the Mojave would be her family’s last stop. For her youngest daughter, it was.

By Exclusive

Studio Options Desert, Then Disappears

Does Tina Brown exist? Was there really a TriStar? Truth, storytelling, and the brutal murder of two girls in Twentynine Palms.

Dec 2001
By Exclusive

California Girl

On Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedy men.

Aug 1997
By Exclusive

Parallel Crimes

In the Mojave, a jock stands trial for double murder—just like O.J., only different.

Jan 1998

The Great Mojave Manhunt

Donald Kueck was a desert rat who built rockets and talked to rattlesnakes. But when he shot a deputy, he found himself on the run from a massive military assault.
Sep 2005

Onward, Christian Soldiers

In anticipation of the second coming, evangelicals leap to Israel’s defense.

Jun 2002
By Editors Recommend

A Murder in Hollywood

The sad and desperate tale of Bonny Bakley, who after a lifetime of con games and a string of husbands finally landed a true celebrity—Robert Blake—and got her head blown off.

May 2002
By Editors Recommend

The Great Wide Open

The desert is America’s primordial sandbox—land of the free, home of the rowdy. Out here, names mean nothing, you can drive fast and the beer’s always colder at the next bar.

Twentynine Palms

A strange and savage homecoming in a strange and savage frontier town.

Jan 2005

Horse Latitudes

The long journey of American wild horses.

Jan 2009

Sunshine States

Legends of the surf at Dana Point.

Until We Meet Again

Giving thanks to the American cowboy.

Nov 2010

The War against the Horse

“The wild horse blazed our trails, fought our wars … even gave birth to America.” So why are we repaying them with slaughter?

May 2010