If you are planning on taking a little break from the ever-grinding news cycle this holiday weekend but are still looking for reading material, The Daily Beast has you covered.
All year, our reporters have been diving deep and dishing up delicious long-reads that are just as fascinating as the day they were published.
Sit back and put your feet up. Here are some of our favorites from 2021.
Anyone who has ever been lulled by the dulcet tones of Bob Ross explaining how to paint “happy little trees” will lose themselves in this gripping examination of a bizarre legal battle over the late TV artist’s legacy. The details, Alston Ramsay writes, “resided in the land of the unbelievable—incorporating deathbed marriages, last-minute estate changes, CIA-style tape recordings, and even a real-life former CIA agent.”
Comments by a knitting influencer (yes, there is such a thing) about Vogue Knitting’s Michelle Obama cover triggered an uproar in a community already divided over race. Emily Shugerman dug in and learned about a textile collection called “Polarized Knits” that featured colors like “Micro-aggression” and “Gaslight,” allegations of racial exploitation, and a fierce Reddit debate. It is, as they say, quite a yarn.
It’s the interview that got Chrissy Teigen canceled. Courtney Stodden told Marlow Stern that Teigen was downright cruel after they married Doug Hutchinson at the age of 16. “She wouldn’t just publicly tweet about wanting me to take ‘a dirt nap’ but would privately DM me and tell me to kill myself. Things like, ‘I can’t wait for you to die,’” Stodden said. That fueled all the headlines—but there’s a lot more in the full interview to unpack.
YouTube pundit Tim Pool has leveraged a billion views into millions of bucks. Here, Robert Silverman puts Pool under the microscope to reveal that his “self-generated mythology—an anti-authoritarian truth-teller whose successes stemmed from confronting ‘the machine’—bears little resemblance to reality.” Silverman talked to 30 sources to build this definitive portrait of the political hype man.
Army Lt. Col. Richard Kane Mansir was married with three children—and a pregnant girlfriend, and another girlfriend, and so on. In this cinematic narrative, Emily Shugerman untangles the insane web of lies that Mansir spun to maintain his extremely complicated personal life and reveals how the women banded together to expose him.
In 1994, Peter Fatovic, a married father of four young children, left his Vermont home and took his own life, leaving behind his loved ones to wonder why. Two decades later, his widow received a letter from the Archdiocese of New York that would allow her, after nine months of investigation, to unravel the mystery. She tells that story in this gut-wrenching piece.
Did educator Laura Carroll and her 17-year-old daughter, Emily Grover, hack into a school computer system to rig votes for a homecoming queen contest? Or were they framed by someone in their Florida Panhandle community? Natalie O’Neill teases apart the evidence and talks to the suspects about a case that reads, as she writes, like a cross between Gossip Girl and Law & Order.
In the bucolic resort town of Whitefish, Montana, an epic drama involving a womanizing billionaire, CIA alumni, local police, fraud allegations, sexcapades, and conspiracy theories has been playing out. Noah Kirsch followed the many threads and wove together the fascinating story of Michael Goguen, his raunchy text messages, and the shadowy people around him.