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Sitdown Sunday: 7 deadly reads

The very best of the week’s writing from around the web.

IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair.

We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour.

1. Daughter of a serial killer

HAPPY FACE KILLER Source: AP/Press Association Images

Melissa Moore’s father Keith Jesperson was the ‘Happy Face Killer’ who raped and murdered eight women. Melissa writes about growing up not knowing her father’s dark secrets.

(BBC Magazine, approx 14 mins reading time, 2920 words)

But I go back to that incident so often and I think: “If he had told me, what would have happened next? If he had told me about his seven murders – it was very soon to be eight – would I have gone to the police? Having revealed his secrets, would he have given me the chance?”

2. Tiny cells

shutterstock_228142315Source: Cells via Shutterstock

Do you know what a microbiome is? You've got one right now - the tiny cells that share our lives with us. This fascinating article is about the lengths people go to keep a healthy microbiome...

(New York Times, approx 9 mins reading time, 1855 words)

This quest for a healthy microbiome has led some people to take measures that are far more extreme than simply spooning up yogurt. In September, the archaeology writer Jeff Leach used a turkey baster to infuse his guts with the feces of a Hadza tribesman from Tanzania.

3. Prescription drugs are killing us

shutterstock_136029929 Source: Pills via Shutterstock

Amelia Abraham is just 22, but buying prescription pills - like Valium - from friends is nothing new. She writes about how the use of such meds is "quietly killing" her generation.

(Vice, approx 11 mins reading time, 2243 words)

The first time I went to India, at 19, I bought several packs of Valium from a chemist, just because I could. I was young and probably quite enamoured by the idea of getting high off something that I could buy in a shop. I'd like to say that I have grown up since then, but I did the same in Cambodia this year, when I was 22.

4. The outcast

UKRAINE JEWISH PILGRIMAGE File Source: AP/Press Association Images

When Sam Kellner's son told him he had been abused by a member of their Hasidic community in Brooklyn, he decided to get the matter deal with by the police. But the situation did not develop as he anticipated.

(New Yorker, approx 46 mins reading time, 9215 words)

Litwin found the boy’s “claims to be extremely credible,” he wrote in an affidavit. But he told Kellner that the crime was a misdemeanor, and that it was unlikely that Lebovits, a first-time offender, would receive jail time. Disappointed, Kellner said that Lebovits had molested other boys, too. “O.K., so help me find them,” Litwin told him.

5. Is Banksy a woman?

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Banksy's Girl with a Pierced Eardrum - Bristol Source: Ben Birchall

Have people been looking for the wrong Banksy the whole time? Kriston Capps writes a compelling piece about how he believes Banksy is most certainly not a man.

(City Lab, approx 7 mins reading time, 1476 words)

"Banksy hunters" who tracked the elusive artist over the course of her month-long residency last October never caught a glimpse of her—at least, so far as anyone can be sure. Reporters such as Beth Stebner (New York Daily News) and Keegan Hamilton (then with The Village Voice) didn't find her. That her identity is still secret is an achievement, given her notoriety and marketability.

6. Did he murder her?

serial  pic2 Source: Serial

We told you about the amazing podcast Serial during the week - now here's an interview with its creator, Sarah Koenig.

(Vulture, approx 10 mins reading time, 2015 words)

t’s so funny, that is what everyone keeps saying, and to be honest, it’s driving me crazy. I do not know how this is all going to turn out. I just read a piece on Slate that insisted I have some tricks up my sleeve and am manipulating the audience in some way, and that really couldn’t [be] farther from the truth. I am not playing all of you.


Travel Trip Rwanda Memorial Tours

After genocide broke out in Rwanda, UN peacekeepers were under huge pressure. But one of them, Capt Mbaye Diagne, took massive risks to save people's lives. (BBC, 18 mins reading time, 3717 words)

“Captain Mbaye ran over and stood right between the priest and I,” says Concilie. “He shouted, ‘Why are you killing this woman? You must not do this because if you do the whole world will know.’” The priest backed down.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >

The Sports Pages – the best sports writing collected every week by TheScore.ie >

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