Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

The Specialist, Cont’d

March 21st, 2013 · 2 Comments

Alfred AnayaNon-fiction storytelling is ridiculously time-consuming. My latest Wired story, which began life as a Microkhan post in January 2012, has been in the works for nearly a year. Granted, much of that time was wasted on tasks that didn’t pan out—I’m still waiting for a certain FOIA request to come through, for example, not to mention a callback from the Kansas Highway Patrol. But there were also so many hours spent perusing over 3,600 pages of trial transcripts, and talking to people with an incredible amount at stake in the project. The end result is a story that I hope y’all will read and pass along—the tale of a creative genius who became a casualty of the War on Drugs.

Special thanks go out to Paul Pope, who provided the story’s perfect illustrations. The one above (click to enlarge) is based on photographs I took in the central character’s San Fernando, Calif., garage.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Captured Shadow

    Great story Brendan. It made me want to build a secret compartment in my car- or look for one that might already be there!

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    @Captured Shadow: It’s funny you should bring that up. One of the details that got left on the cutting-room floor is that one of the vehicles mentioned in the story–the Honda Ridgeline–got sold to a used-car dealer, who in turn sold it to a family that had no idea about the compartment. A couple years after the sale, federal agents showed up with a warrant to inspect the vehicle, and they showed the family that they had been driving around with an (empty) trap all along.

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