Category Archives: stories behind the news

My afternoons with Aubrey-the monster, the madness that was Dr Levin

Someone gasped. The fat doctor sitting in the big office in the mental institution had just said something disturbing. Dr Aubrey Levin, who one day would be caught on spy cam sexually assaulting a patient, had just finished telling us … Continue reading

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Hunting Johannesburg’s first serial killer.

Mavis Davids struck a deal with the stranger in the big black car. Then she opened the passenger door, got in, and disappeared into the night. It was 1937 and in Europe Hitler’s land grab continued, South Africa still struggled … Continue reading

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What the watchers drink

We have known about this for a long time, now it is just official. A survey by PR company Pressat has revealed that the number one choice of fuel for those defenders of Democracy, the Fourth Estate is coffee. In … Continue reading

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Haunted by a boy’s eyes

In the Katlehong police station spokesman Captain Mega Ndobe had a problem. For two months his detectives had been trying desperately to identify the body of young boy who had been found dumped just metres from the railway tracks in … Continue reading

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A week’s long walk to see Madiba one last time

It has been a hard emotional week, chasing one of the biggest stories in the history of our country. Days of little sleep, mammoth queues, and a sense of comradre we are unlikely to experience again.   I hope these … Continue reading

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The grandmother of all newspaper corrections.

It is an embarrassing part of newspaper life. But the New York Times took “for the record” writing to the extreme yesterday when they printed a correction for a story that appeared in their paper 136 years ago. The correction … Continue reading

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The drug deal that almost happened

The plan was for a score. Most us journos have had this assignment before. Find a street corner where the view is unobstructed, so to allow a shooter to snap away, with a long lens, as the transaction goes down. … Continue reading

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Behind bars for ‘a sliver of green’

There was enough grass to roll a spliff the size of a toothpick. Maybe half a toothpick. Not enough for a drag, or even to get high on. But that sliver of green, clinging to the bottom of the stamp-sized … Continue reading

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When photographers drive scary

It happens around the third floor-loose coins float in the VW Polo like bubbles, passengers lift in their seats, only to be held back by seatbelts. What photographer Christopher Collingridge achieves in those frightening seconds, has cost the US government … Continue reading

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Death by a thousand panics

Every day Nelson Mandela dies a score of times in our newsroom. He is killed off when a reader phones in to say they have just heard … Twitter, that Ted Bundy of social media, has killed off the former … Continue reading

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