Journalism: EMS, disaster, medical issues, mental health, crime, courts, prisons, the military, foreign affairs, education, fire, hospice, death, chronic pain, gambling, drugs, source documents...

I’ve worked on stories under contract and/or as a staff writer and/or had pieces killed (or have had to abandon them) for Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Spin, The Village Voice, Esquire, APBNews.com, Vibe, Sports Illustrated, US Magazine, Texas Monthly, Z Magazine, City Limits, NY Press, The Dallas Observer, The Fader, and KoreaWebWeekly (Kimsoft.com).


BALKAN-ALBANIAN TRANSNATIONAL CRIME INVESTIGATIVE SERIES
(2011-- on-going)

These stories are about Albanian organized crime, but they are really a more human, social, psychological story of a people; of the defendants and victims and communities involved. This is about corrupt and murdered politicians (Albanian but with US connections), corrupt government and/or law enforcement in Albania and the Balkans, murdered Albanian police, US stock fraud, massive amounts of transnational illicit drug trafficking, violence, kidnappings, much interstate US crime, and many crimes in Canada.

Remembering Albania in 1997; interviews in the penitentiary in Michigan (the Albanian inmate with 10 sentences, six for life); with the FBI's Balkan Task Force; riding down the highway with the government's confidential informant; in the Albanian coffee shops and community off 15 Mile Road Detroit; wandering late night on the streets and in the cafes, bars, pizzerias, strip clubs, and social clubs in the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island - - where rap groups The Bloody Alboz (TBA), Rebel, Uptown Affiliates, Unikkatil, and singers Aurela Gace and Anita Bitri ring bells.

The Albanian civil servant with the silencer, the Uzi, the shotgun from Fat Tony, the kilos, the betrayals, snitches, cooperating witnesses looking for their 5K letter, wiretaps and body wires, pen registers and trace and traps, border crossings, bodies dumped on the BQE highway, the reporter getting anonymous tips (credible) on fugitives and traffickers, the dead pop singer - - inside and outside of the on-going Federal RICO death penalty-connected trial in Manhattan. Shqiptar.

Part I: Introduction to Albanian Transnational Crime
http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/culture/2011/03/1571454/introduction-new-york-albanian-mob

Part II: From 15 Mile Road Detroit Michigan to Manhattan Federal Court
http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/culture/2011/06/2290014/big-trial-albanian-american-crime-story-15-mile-road-pearl-street

Part III: The Verdict in the First Case; The Crimes Continue
http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/culture/2011/07/2562296/verdict-feds-chip-away-new-york-albanian-mob-bigger-battles-come

Part IV: Anatomy of a Mob Hit; Arrests are Made Across the Nation and Overseas
http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/culture/2011/07/2654826/anatomy-albanian-mob-coup-challenge-balk-murder

Part V: The Sidekick Wears a Wire; New Kingpins Face Trial
http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/culture/2011/07/2801356/runaway-sidekick-how-little-tani-kocareli-escaped-new-york-albanian-






What you're reading, this whole site, represents a life's work in journalism. A certain type of journalism that is difficult to do and difficult to get published the right way. Many battles, many struggles to get this to you.

I want to and will continue to do that kind of good original work on this site.

I'll just be blunt. Is what I've done here a service, useful good, creative. Does it enhance your life in some way. Isn't it worth something.

I guess more blunt. Is it worth 1 dollar, 2 dollars to you.

Unfortunately I do need that. It helps, maybe enables, me to do this and do it well and do it with some peace of mind.

I'll shut up now because this may be obnoxious.

Any help, anyone looking out, is sincerely appreciated. I'll try and not let you down.

 


 

7 1/2 DAYS
Reporter Kevin Heldman spent seven days undercover in the psychiatric ward
of a public hospital in one of NYC's poorest communities

 
"Fine, powerful piece... hoping many people will read your story (including those who could improve the situation)."

Dr. Oliver Sacks, professor of neurology and psychiatry; best known for the books The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat and Awakenings, adapted into an Academy Award nominated film

                                                                  

* National Mental Health Association Award
for excellence in mental health reporting

* American Psychiatric Association Certificate of Commendation
"The entire judging panel was overwhelmingly impressed with your dedication and personal sacrifice for this story. This level of investigative reporting is certainly unique."

 

WHAT MAKES SAMMY RUN?
In and out of Texas psychiatric wards 46 separate times. He's coming out for the 47th time, and the state's got a plan to
keep him out




* National Mental Health Association Award for excellence in mental health reporting
 
THE WORLD OF GAMBLING
Down And Out at Yonkers Raceway



     
ON THE TOWN WITH THE U.S. MILITARY
The world of soldiers stationed overseas -- an in-depth view of every aspect of Army life before embedding, Buffalo Soldiers,Iraq, support our troops, etc.
 
SLEEPING ROUGH
There are times when compassion is not condescension and pity is overcome by respect.  Our Reporter spent two months living in a London homeless shelter, exploring the boundaries of benevolence

* Finalist Livingston Award for
international reporting
 

* Finalist Livingston Award for
international reporting

 

EXTREME GRAFFITI
Xanax and dust 40 feet up, inside NYC subway tunnels, and "fucking up the city"

"The article has become somewhat of a classic, and it's pretty much the most well known piece written on graffiti (and in my opinion one of the best done from an outsiders perspective and for a major publication)."

"If you want to read the definitive piece of journalism on [graffiti], go to your local library and hunt down on microfilm an article from Rolling Stone called "Mean Streaks" dated February 9, 1995.

In it, Kevin Heldman, a real journalist, trails a couple of spray painters around New York (following them into subway tunnels to stand breathless by their side as the trains barrel past; clambering up the Manhattan Bridge to observe them hanging from their knees to bomb or tag the mammoth structure) and generally lays out the whole historical and sociological context of urban graffiti."

Here's a link to a profile of the author, where he discusses, among other things, how he reported the story and what challenges he faced.

INSIDE THE NUDIST LOCKER ROOM:
THE AUTHOR DISROBES TO COVER THE NAKED

Peter Kacalanos, frail and agreeable with a full beard and long gray pony tail,
is the 59-year-old president and founder of the Skinnydippers,
a New York City based nudist...

 

A YOUNG MAN, HOMELESS IN THE LIVING ROOM
Bill H., Shakespearean actor, lives his life on a couch . He has
no direction, no prospects, and no agenda. He takes the occasional anti-anxiety
pill and says every day he feels like just falling asleep and never waking up...

 

MULTI-PART INVESTIGATION INTO THE
JAPANESE PRISON SYSTEM

(Winner of the Livingston Award for International Reporting)




 

 

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
Texas teenager Rudy Meinecke was tortured for three days and nights.
His alleged tormentors included hustlers, drag queens and drug dealers.
They were all children of the Montrose

 

 

THIS IS WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE WHEN SOMEONE
YOU LOVE DIES IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES

(with everlasting gratitude to The Rosalynn Carter Fellowship)

 

 

TRAVELS IN WAR-TORN AFGHANISTAN
When You Run Around Afghanistan Alone And in Shirtsleeves While
All Around You Your Fellow Americans Are Barricaded, Bunkered, And
Bulletproof-Vested Up, This is What You Can Experience

 

 

TWO BOYS FROM JUVENILE DETENTION
(ONE MURDERS, ONE STRUGGLES NOT TO)

Four months after his release from the Gainesville State School,
seventeen-year-old Federico Solis is sitting in my apartment one night,
still in his warehouse work clothes...