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Sitdown Sunday: Why do people fall for notorious jailed murderers?

Settle back in a comfy chair and sit back with some of the week’s best longreads.

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. Why women fall for notorious jailed murders

PRISON STOCK Source: AAP/PA Images

Chris Watts was accused of killing his wife and two daughters. So why was he getting love letters in jail?

(Huffington Post, approx 8 mins reading time)

 “I want to get to know you soooo bad its not even funny,” a 39-year-old woman from Colorado wrote to him. “Literally your on my mind almost every single day since you were in the news.” In a follow-up note, she said she would be “the happiest girl alive” if Watts wrote her back. She signed off with the hashtags #TEAMCHRIS, #CHRISISINNOCENT, #LOVEHIM and #SOOOOCUTE.

2. Sigrid was Black. A DNA test said she wasn’t

As DMA tests gather popularity, people are staring to find things out about themselves that they really didn’t expect.

(New York Times, approx 31 mins reading time)

Johnson’s father, a chauffeur who later became a superintendent at a housing project in North Philadelphia, had a golden-brown complexion. Her mother, who said her own father was a white Brit and her mother was half African-American and half Native American, was light-skinned. People sometimes mistook Johnson’s mother for white, and when she applied for seamstress jobs at department stores in the 1920s and ’30s, she chose not to correct them.

3. How do you recover when millions watched you overdose?

In an attempt to fight the opioid epidemic, police – and strangers – have been sharing images and videos of drug users passed out. But this can have drastic effects on these people’s lives.

(New York Times, approx 13 mins reading time)

Addiction experts say the videos are doing little else than publicly shaming drug users, and the blunt horror of the images may actually increase the stigma against them. Users themselves disagree on whether the humiliation helped them clean up their lives.

4. The ghosts of Highway 20

In the space of two decades, four women disappeared and one was raped along the same stretch of road in rural Oregon. One man is linked to all of the crimes.

(Oregon Live, approx 10 mins reading time)

Marlene flew out of the pickup, a blur moving toward the house. He drove off as she banged frantically on the door. She clung to her boots, which she’d grabbed from the clearing. Her hair was matted with sticks and dirt. “Oh my God,” her mother-in-law said, opening the door. “What happened?”

5. Living with a stoma

It’s not something you read a lot about – living with a stoma bag. In this insightful and no-holds-barred article, people who live with stomas ( colostomy bags, bags which collect the ‘output’ or poo from your body) talk frankly about what life is like with them.

(BBC, approx mins reading time)

“My family is Indian,” says Sam. “When I was in hospital a nurse told me: ‘You’ll never be able to eat curry again.’ I was ready to rip out the drips in my arms. She was wrong. You have to just try different foods and now there’s pretty much nothing that I wouldn’t eat.”

6.  Anxiety, addiction and making art 

The legendary Jeff Tweedy of Wilco gives a really interesting interview to Bob Boilen of NPR.

(NPR, approx 5 mins reading time)

“The worst of it happened when I was alone in my hotel room having panic attacks, taking too many pills and then panicking because I’d taken too many pills. Every night I’d lie in bed — or just as often, in the tub until the bath water would get cold — telling myself, ‘if I fall asleep right now, there’s a pretty good chance I’m not waking up. People die in this situation all the time.’”

…AND A CLASSIC FROM THE ARCHIVES…

It’s that time of year – when you have to watch Home Alone to get into the festive spirit. We all remember the crazy booby traps that Kevin set in it – but how lethal were they? Experts weigh in.

(MotherBoard, approx 10 mins reading time)

 ”He’s looking at possible 2nd or 3rd degree burns. A burn of this nature has the potential to damage underneath the dermis and affect deeper tissue. One would expect to see deeply blackened skin with severe blistering or even some exposed bone in the area. Placing his head in the snow was a smart move, but depending on how badly he was affected, his body might’ve gone into shock before he had a chance to do that.”

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday>

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