From a ladykilling Instagram star to a scheming band of prostitutes to investigations into a broken VA hospital and an abusive center for teens, it's been a helluva year for longform story-telling at Miami New Times.
Here were our most-read tales in 2014:
Senior writer Michael E. Miller's two-part investigation found widespread failures in Miami's Veterans Affairs hospitals that lead to the suicide of a local Iraq War veteran.
This excerpt from "Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis and the Quest to End Baseball's Steroid Era" -- a book on the scandal by Managing Editor Tim Elfrink and former New Times writer Gus Garcia-Roberts -- traced the long trail of steroid abuse at UM.
photo by Stian Roening
Wilkerson rocketed to fame as the preacher who married Kim and Kanye, but the Miami Gardens holy man has long been a locally controversial figure for his extreme stunts in the name of God.
7) Teens Tied Down and Shot Up With Drugs at Pembroke Pines FacilityA bracing investigation into a center for troubled teens in Pembroke Pines finds widespread abuse, including teens tied down and fed drugs against their will.
6) DJ Laz and the Dinner Key Boating Disaster: Too Many Watery DeathsThis deep dive by staffer Trevor Bach looks into the death of a 23-year-old near Key Biscayne at the hands of radio jock DJ Laz, who gunned the engines of a power boat that was stuck on a sandbar. Bach found a rash of boating deaths and lax regulations.
A band of beautiful Miami prostitutes ripped off dozens of men in a yearlong crime spree -- and just might get away with it.
photo by Stian Roenning
Anwar Zayden has accumulated a massive Instagram following by frollicking on horses and tearing through Biscayne Bay on speedboats with beautiful women. But who is he?
A brutal gang rape leads police on a trail of depraved teenage social media postings -- some of which hold clues to solving the crime.
2) How to Get Rich in the Medical Marijuana Business (or Go Broke Trying)In the lead-up to November's vote on medical marijuana in Florida, entrepreneurs scrambled to try to figure out how to make a buck on the new business. Then voters shot it down.
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Our most read-feature of the year delved into the hugely popular reality show that dives into criminal cases in police forces around the country -- including in South Florida. The investigation by staffer Terrence McCoy found huge problems with how the show skewed police work -- and made big bucks off ultimately innocent suspects.