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Steven Long

Steven Hayward Long (born July 17, 1944) is an award-winning US journalist and publisher as well as the Houston, Texas-based author of three nonfiction books about notorious true crimes. He has juggled all three roles simultaneously, covering a variety of news stories for magazines and newspapers while editing the monthly Horseback Magazine and researching the books.[1]


Early years

Steven Long was born in Galveston, Texas, one of five children of a rice farmer and his wife. As an 11-year-old Boy Scout, Long won his first journalism award with a merit badge for journalism after his home town paper published a story about his troop's upcoming meeting.[2]


Although he did not receive a degree before launching his journalism career as a radio reporter, Long spent six years at Texas secondary schools after high school, studying at Alvin Community College, Texas Lutheran College and Sam Houston State University.[2]

Radio career

Working as a weekend reporter in the early 1960s for Galveston's KGBC, Long covered the arrival of President John F. Kennedy to Houston's Hobby Airport on the day before Kennedy's assassination the next day in Dallas. He also read the AP bulletin announcing the shooting of Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald live. Long spent four years at Galveston's KILE radio, learning the business side of journalism as an advertising sales associate while also reading the news and coordinating a weekly high school sports program during football season.[3]


During the course of his journalism career, Long has worked on the entrepreneurial side of the business twice. From 1977 until 1988 he owned and published the Galveston alternative weekly newspaper, In Between. And, since 2004 he has worked with his wife, Vicki, to produce the monthly Horseback Magazine, formerly known as Texas Horse Talk.

Newspaper and broadcast journalist

After closing In Between in 1988, Long spent six years as a features writer for the Houston Chronicle and then launched a career as a freelancer covering a number of high-profile Texas news stories for national publications. While at the Chronicle, Long produced several notable investigative reports. One exposed the dealings of the late Houston adoption attorney Leslie Thacker, who was convicted for buying and selling so-called drug-addicted "crack" babies in several Texas county jails.[4] Long also attracted attention for a series of articles about the indictment and conviction of the head librarian at the University of Texas Medical Branch for stealing rare and historic medical texts, some dating to the 16th Century.[5] Also at the Chronicle, Long contributed articles raising questions about the use of state prison inmates for training medical residents in cosmetic surgery.[6]

As a freelance contract correspondent in Houston, Long was assigned by The New York Post daily newspaper to cover several high-profile Texas criminal cases as they unfolded in the late 1990s. These included the case of Andrea Yates, convicted for drowning her five children in 2001, and the investigation into the fall of Enron Corporation. He also covered the complex Enron-related trial of former accounting firm Arthur Andersen for Agence France Press and Crain's Chicago Business. His knowledge of the issues in these cases led to appearances as an interview subject on several television news magazine programs, including Inside Edition, the CBS Early Show, Catherine Crier Live and Mugshots on Court TV. In addition, Long appeared on the E! Network 's Women Who Kill series. He served as a consultant for the Dateline NBC series on its story about controversial Galveston financier Robert Durst. He also served as a courtroom analyst and special correspondent with CNBC for its gavel-to-gavel coverage of the criminal trial of former Enron executives Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, appearing to update that case for viewers of CNBC's Squawk Box and Power Lunch programs as well as the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.[3]

True crime author

Long published his first true crime book in 1987, turning an investigation on nursing home irregularities into Death Without Dignity: The Story of the First Nursing Home Corporation Indicted for Murder for Texas Monthly Press. That book won a 1987 Gavel Award from the State Bar of Texas for distinguished journalism.[7]

Out of Control in 2004 by St. Martin's True Crime Library recounts the much publicized story of Houston-area dentist Clara Harris, convicted in the 2002 murder of David Lynn Harris, her dentist husband, by running him down with her car outside a local hotel where she had caught him engaged in an extra-marital affair.[8]

Every Woman's Nightmare: The Fairytale Marriage and Brutal Murder of Lori Hacking in 2006 by St. Martin's Paperbacks covers the Utah murder of housewife Lori Hacking, whose body was left in a city dump. The investigation ultimately led to charges against her husband, Mark, accused of murdering her while she slept because she had exposed his lies to her about acceptance into medical school.[9] Long's book triggered opposition from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons.[10][clarification needed]

Long's experience as a true crime author also has made him a frequent contributor to the online true crime forum called In Cold Blog.

Horses and journalism

Long's enthusiasm for horses has overlapped his career as both a journalist and publisher. He has appeared with his adopted horse, Facade, on the Animal Cops: Houston cable-TV series while also working to publish Horseback Magazine and contributing articles to Western Horseman magazine. He also collected a journalism award from the American Quarter Horse Association for his 2003 article "Hoofbeats on Hollow Ground," published in Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine. Besides publishing the monthly Horseback Magazine, Long also oversees development of Horseback Online, which includes a breaking news page about the horse industry. Long also has served as vice president of the Greater Houston Horse Council.



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