Flamboyant thief suspected in fraud


I wrote this story for the Miami Herald. It was published on Aug. 21, 1988. A convicted con artist who once ran a $500 million paper empire from a British island off the coast of France is now under investigation for fraud and theft in Broward County. Phillip Morrell Wilson, a short, squat, former insurance

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Ads don’t mention naked men, butterflies


I wrote this feature for the Miami Herald. It was published on March 19, 1989. Silly Northerners. They see a travel ad showing a couple relaxing on the beach, so they pack their bags and grab the first flight to Fort Lauderdale. Then they find out the truth: they’ve been conned. Broward is not the

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Sex scandal dogs Broward doctor


I wrote this story for the Miami Herald. It was published on July 24, 1989. When the woman patient jumped off the examining table and, half-naked, fled down the sidewalk in Coral Springs, the state of Florida figured it had better do something about the doctor from Connecticut. Preston Gary Stern, M.D., gave up his practice in

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Squeaky clean nude bars?


I wrote this story for the Miami Herald. It was published on Oct. 1, 1989. Michael Peter, czar of the nude bars, insists that his 11 glitzy clubs offer a harmless “living fantasy” to the male species. “They’re just as clean and lily white as Disney,” he says. His entrepreneurial purity has made him a

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Minnie Street


I wrote these stories for the Orange County Register. They were published May 23, 1993. Walk toward the alley, past the gamblers tossing down cards and cash. Walk past the grade-schoolers, skipping rope in the dirt, past the Tiny Rascal Gang members puffing Marlboros. Climb the stairs into Apartment D, and a man with a sagging

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