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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.