Goodbye, 2016, and good riddance. Still, the year wasn’t a total wasteland—as evidenced by the excellent work our writers managed to do amidst all the pussy-grabbing and Russian hacking, the Turkish coups and the seaside terror attacks, the Stanford sex assault scandals, Hillary health scams, and Justin Bieber’s defection from Instagram.
None of that is featured here. Instead, we have wild tales of unsolved crimes, glamourous spy rings in Nazi-occupied France, the secret past of a shadowy ISIS leader, and a life-saving kitty cat. We have Southern outlaws and skeezy pickup artists and Glenn Beck schadenfreude. We have time travel. We have socialite sex. And we have the penis that broke the internet.
Tune in tomorrow for Part II of the Best of the Beast, featuring jewel thieves, a party girl who kneecapped Trump back when the Teamsters ran New York, and a celebration of the Year of Our Royal Beyoncé.
Cold Cases and Crime
The Search for My Father’s Killer by Goldie Taylor
The writer searches for the man who gunned down her father in cold blood.
Pickup Artists And A Secret Rape Ring by Brandy Zadrozny
A woman discovers details of her rape on a pickup artist forum—and decides to fight back.
The Lost Girls of Panama by Jeremy Kryt
Two Dutch girls set off on a hike in Panama’s idyllic cloud forest—and never return. Months later, detectives find their bones.
Is Kristin Smart Buried In This Backyard? By M.L. Nestel
The last man to see college student Kristin Smart swears he didn’t kill her—but cadaver dogs keep finding a scent on his family’s property.
The Tech Mogul Who Beat His Lover by Michael Daly
A Silicon Valley princeling harbors a nasty secret behind closed doors.
An Eat, Pray, Love Story Ends in Murder by Barbie Nadeau
A bon vivant American likes to party in Florence—and turns up dead after a night of wild sex.
Doctor Feelgood Got Women Hooked on Pills for Sex by Kelly Weill
A high-flying doctor gets young women addicted to his potent prescriptions—then moves in for the kill.
Inside the Nate Parker Rape Case by Kate Briquelet and M.L. Nestel
An old, incendiary sexual assault case comes back to derail a Hollywood juggernaut.
‘Serial Killer Took My Sister’s Picture’ by M.L. Nestel
Her sister is missing for four years—until cops find her picture in a serial killer’s photo stash.
Doctors Said They Shook Their Baby to Death. They Didn't. by Rachel Blustain
Two young parents lose their infant to a tragic illness—and are charged with his death.
The Head With No Body—And No Answers by Justin Glawe
A boy makes a horrific discovery in a Pennsylvania field.
The Socialite Spy Who Outsmarted the Nazis by Christopher Dickey
An American aristocrat charms everyone she meets—including her Nazi captors.
The Spy Messages No Computer Could Decode by Shane Harris
How to listen in on secret spy missives.
The Slave Who Stole Confederate Codes—And A Warship by Christopher Dickey
Confederate officers go ashore for a night in Charleston and leave their gunboat with an enslaved pilot—who attempts a daring escape.
The Secret, Hypocritical Gay World of ISIS by Tim Teeman
Jihadis throw a teenager to death for being gay but spare the life of his rapist.
Jailed with the Women of al Qaeda by Lindsay Snell
A journalist accused of being a CIA agent is thrown in a Turkish jail—where she meets a dangerous cast of characters.
From French Soldier to ISIS Spymaster by Michael Weiss
A small-time Euro drug runner morphs into the mastermind behind the Paris attacks.
Why Islamists Are Sex-Obsessed by Maajid Nawaz
The author tackles Islamism’s hardline sexual taboos.
How Not to Have A High-Class Hampton’s Sex Orgy by Lizzie Crocker
A group sexcapade descends into ‘Lord of the Flies’-like savagery.
You Must Be This Old to Ride the DiCaprio by Amy Zimmerman
He gets older, they stay the same age.
Lap Dancing for the Cartels by Andrea Noel
Defiant prostitutes and desperate mothers try to survive Mexico’s deadly sex trade.
The Met's Secret High-Class Escorts by Lizzie Crocker
A tour of history’s most wicked and delightful women.
A Mad King's All-Male Pleasure Palace by Will O’Connor
A sexually repressed monarch builds a spectacular island getaway—and it costs him his crown.
Those pictures. That shadow. Thanks, Legolas.
Why Glenn Beck's Empire Is Burning Down by Lloyd Grove
The Blaze deteriorates into a swamp of backbiting and paranoia.
A powerful TV newsman hires the author for a network job—then proposes a “sexual alliance.”
The 'Brothel' That Educated Murdoch by Clive Irving
A lecherous, vindictive newspaper owner rewrites the rules of the tabloid biz.
Angels of the Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Paris by Christopher Dickey
A brave group of women band together during World War II to smuggle Allied pilots to safety—but the Nazis are on their trail.
My Great-Great-Grandmother Was An Outlaw—And A Slave by Goldie Taylor
A Civil War-era slave helps her half-brother avenge their father’s bloody murder.
Farewell to the Cat Who Saved My Life by Andrew Kirell
A little ginger tabby named Ernest rescues his owner from crippling depression.
Two military sons make the ultimate sacrifice.