Evan Thomas

Facing Death

ANDREW CUNANAN was a great and gaudy pretender. He improved upon his breeding, his education, his employment (he had none), even his name. He created, out of his imagination, a flamboyant persona, the rich homosexual playboy who waves a fat cigar and always picks up the check.

Sex And Lies

Minot, N.D., is a flat and lonely place. There's not much there, aside from the 150 nuclear-tipped ICBMs buried in the surrounding wheat fields. A young first lieutenant could grow bored and restless, especially if she were the air force's first (and only) female B-52 pilot.

The Plan And The Man

During the winter of 1946-47, the worst in memory, Europe seemed on the verge of collapse. For the victors in World War II, there were no spoils. In London, coal shortages left only enough fuel to heat and light homes for a few hours a day.

Remembering Fdr

AT THE VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL in Washington, bereaved families and friends often leave mementos--flowers, letters, old war medals--under the names carved on the Wall.

A Question Of Consent

THEY CALLED IT "THE GAME." at Aberdeen Proving Ground, army drill sergeants allegedly passed around a list of female recruits "locked in tight"--which meant they were willing to have sex.

The Trouble With Newt

IN JOURNALS OF OPINION, covering Newt Gingrich has become a kind of death watch. Last month a widely read cover story in The New Republic was titled "The Madness of King Newt." Then the conservative Weekly Standard--once pro-Newt--wondered whether Gingrich was in "meltdown." The lead article--by a fellow GOP congressman, Peter King--called the speaker "political road kill." Gingrich's trip to China was intended to position the speaker as a statesman--but he was attacked by conservatives when...

'The Next Level'

EXCEPT FOR THE STINK OF DEATH, everything was neat and tidy. Police found no sign of struggle or even discomfort among the 39 corpses. Each member of the cult followed the written instructions to "lay back and relax" after swallowing the phenobarbital-laced pudding chased with vodka.

Judgment Day

THE FIRST PIECE OF EVIDENCE FELL OUT OF the sky. At about 9 a.m. on April 19, 1995, Richard Nichols, a maintenance man in Oklahoma City, was huddled on the floor of his car, cowering from an enormous blast that seemed to sweep over him like a prairie twister, when he heard a strange whooshing noise.

Trouble In The Ranks

GENE MCKINNEY, THE SERGEANT major of the U.S. Army, is the most senior of the army's 410,000 enlisted men. He has a staff of six and an office on the E-Ring of the Pentagon alongside the army chief of staff.

The Role Of A Lifetime

TENNESSEE SEN. FRED THOMPSON scowled as he listened to the story about his red pickup truck. According to a recent article, Senator Thompson had been spotted secretly ditching his truck, a popular symbol of his folksy campaign, and driving off in a ""sweet silver luxury sedan'' one night after a speech in Tennessee.

Friends For Now

RELATIONS BETWEEN Presidents and vice presidents are famously chilly; between their wives, catty or worse. Jackie Kennedy used to refer to Lyndon Johnson and Lady Bird as "Uncle Cornpone and his Little Porkchop," and in eight years the Reagans never once invited the Bushes to dine in the White House residence.

Death Of A Truthteller

IN THE WINTER OF 1991, PAUL TSONGAS gathered his family together to give them some important news. His three children worried when they saw the grave look on their father's face.

Social Insecurity

As an alarming number of Americans gloomily give up on the future of Social Security, Washington is scrambling for solutions. A presidential commission wants to put the nation's retirement money in the ever-volatile stock market.

The Spy Who Sold Out

STUDENT SPIES AT ""THE Farm''--Camp Peary, the CIA's 9,275-acre training ground near Williamsburg, Va.--are taught to make ""surveillance detection runs,'' better known in spook parlance as ""dry cleaning.'' They learn how to tell if they are being followed by looking at the reflections off shop windows, by retracing their steps, by entering and quickly exiting subway terminals.

An American Melodrama

ALGER HISS WAS ""FIRST RATE IN every way,'' according to Felix Frankfurter, his professor at Harvard Law School. He was tall, handsome, perhaps a bit arrogant but graceful and sure.

A Heroic Failure

AS YOUNGSTERS, MOST GREAT American leaders were not expected to turn out to be formidable figures. They were neither popular, athletic nor commanding. They did, however, have one thing in common: a sense of history.

Riddle Of The Depths

As divers dodge sharks to solve the mystery of TWA Flight 800, the Feds are trapped between scores of grieving families and an incredibly complex caseTHE DIVERS CALL IT MAKO CITY, AFTER THE MEDIUM-size sharks that prowl there.

Death On Flight 800

THE DEAD DO SOMETIMES TELL tales, if you know how to look for them. Behind drawn shades in the autopsy rooms of the Suffolk County medical examiner's office, Dr.

Hillary's Other Side

THE OCCASION WAS JUST THE SORT OF SOCIAL event that the Clintons are said to loathe: a gathering of Washington establishment insiders, clustered around candlelit tables for 10 to fete one of their own, media heavy Mortimer Zuckerman.

A Matter Of Honor

COMMAND, THE SAYING goes, is lonely, and it can be lonelier still for a naval officer. Navy lore says a captain in battle always goes down with his ship; in modern practice, that means the captain is always held responsible, whether he is truly to blame or not.

The Reluctant Spymaster

THE MORNING AFTER FORMER CIA director William Colby vanished, a fisherman found his empty canoe, swamped and drifting along the Potomac River. In his weekend home nearby, the former spymaster's computer was still running, and a glass of wine sat by the sink in the kitchen.

A School For Scandal

THE 1992 CHEATING SCANDAL THAT implicated 133 of their mates. The 1995 drug bust that caught 24 would-be officers. The stolen-car ring indicted this month, the midshipman just arrested for molesting a child, and the two hapless seniors who got caught last week sneaking into the house of the former state superintendent of police in order to see his teenage daughter at 2 a.m.

The End Of The Road

AFTER 18 YEARS OF VAINLY trying to get its man, the FBI wanted to be absolutely sure it had the right one. In the woods outside the rude shack where the suspect lived in the distant mountains of Montana, the FBI had assembled enough high-tech spying equipment to stage a James Bond movie.

Missing The Moment

The house democrats had a problem last Thursday morning. They wanted to mock Speaker Newt Gingrich for his infantile outbursts by bringing giant baby bottles to wave on the House floor, but the local Price Club store that sold the props didn't open until 11 a.m.

Why He Got Out

THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF THE Powell presidential fantasy came on the morning of Friday, Nov. 3, as General Powell was lying in bed with his wife, Alma, She was quietly weeping and he was silently praying.