Read these: Tim Tebow circus, VW bus ride, Vatican's gay lobby, more

Here are some of the best long reads you may have missed from the week past.

A high-value Guantanamo Bay detainee reveals what it's like to be a guinea pig for "enhanced interrogation" and describes the deceptions he used to mislead interrogators in diary entries obtained exclusively by Al Jazeera.

Esquire tells the story of a terminal cancer patient, the scientists who challenged her fatal diagnosis and a case that could validate an entirely new way to treat the deadly disease.

An investigation by the Hollywood Reporter reveals that the nonprofit American Humane Assn. has awarded its "No Animals Were Harmed" credit to films and TV shows on which animals were injured during production.

The Los Angeles Times uses police files, investigators' field notes, internal department correspondence and autopsy results to reconstruct the cold case of a 1998 slaying that once had a strong suspect.

The New York Times teams up with Frontline to recount the botched death investigation of a Florida sheriff’s deputy’s girlfriend. Did she commit suicide or was she murdered? Evidence that was never collected or tested could hold the key to the case.

An examination by Denver's 5280 magazine of Colorado's mental healthcare system after the Aurora theater shooting finds that a lot of work remains after the state passed a $25-million initiative to restructure its crisis system for mentally ill patients.

Vanity Fair navigates the hidden world of the Vatican's powerful "gay lobby," where homosexual cardinals, monks and other clergy hold positions of great authority in the Catholic Church.

Four astronauts will depart Earth in 2023 to become the first residents of Mars. The Ascender asks: Is it a hoax, a suicide mission or a chance to become planetary pioneers? The answer: It might be all three.

The Los Angeles Times steps inside the world of lurkers, fringies, false witnesses, lone-nutters and conspiracy theorists seeking the truth behind the tragedy of John F. Kennedy's assassination.

With more choices than ever in music, television, film and publishing, the New Yorker wonders why blockbusters still rule the entertainment industry. Can a series of small ripples substitute for one big splash?

The New York Times examines the changing definition of the family as American housesholds become more diverse, surprising and baffling. Researchers combing through census, survey and historical data have identified a number of key emerging themes.

An elite Florida athletic training facility that for decades has trained tennis and golf prodigies is spending millions to attract blue-chip talent to a fledgling high school football program. BuzzFeed says Friday nights may never be the same.

A game-winning three-point shot in the closing seconds of a championship basketball game turned a clutch player into a YouTube star. Mashable looks at how the offline world of an online sensation will prove tougher to navigate.

The "godfather of free online education" who signed up 1.6 million students for massive open online courses has now changed his mind about MOOCs. Fast Company explains why.

Tim Tebow's fame and the circus atmosphere that accompanies him has overshadowed his football career and threatens to destroy it. Sports Illustrated asks: Will we ever see Tebow in the NFL again?

At 79, Charles Manson is in poor health and walks with a cane but continues to inspire followers who regularly visit him in prison. Rolling Stone reports that darkness still surrounds America's most notorious criminal.

The Los Angeles Times recounts the tale of two Brazilians who find their classic Volkswagen bus — a vehicle that goes out of production next month — inspires kindness and camaraderie among strangers on an eight-month, 13,500-mile journey. 


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