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Sitdown Sunday: Where is Ghislaine Maxwell?

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

Image: PA Archive/PA Images

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. Where is Ghislaine Maxwell?

Throughout the discussion on the notorious Jeffrey Epstein, one woman has been mentioned a lot: Ghislaine Maxwell.  His ‘best friend’, she was closely connected through him through the past few decades. But where is she?

(The Guardian, approx 11 mins reading time)

“She was always the most interesting, the most vivacious, the most unusual person in any room,” the journalist Vicky Ward wrote in that Vanity Fair profile. “Her Rolodex would blow away almost anyone else’s I can think of.” Her British accent – shaped by Marlborough College, then Oxford University – was considered exotic by 90s New Yorkers. She seemed unusually accomplished, too. If what has been said is true, she is a helicopter and submarine pilot and speaks four languages.

2. Lovers in Auschwitz, reunited

The incredible story of a young couple who met and fell in love in Auschwitz, were separated, and reunited decades later.

(The New York Times, approx 17 mins reading time)

They were both Jewish inmates in Auschwitz, both privileged prisoners. Mr. Wisnia, initially forced to collect the bodies of prisoners who committed suicide, had been chosen to entertain his Nazi captors when they discovered he was a talented singer. Ms. Spitzer held the more high-powered position: She was the camp’s graphic designer. They became lovers, meeting in their nook at a prescribed time about once a month. After the initial fears of knowing they were putting their lives in danger, they began to look forward to their dates. Mr. Wisnia felt special. “She chose me,” he recalled.

3. The life and death of Mark Starr

Mark Starr’s family believed he was happy and well, but he was found dead while sleeping rough in Glasgow. What happened?

(The Guardian, approx 27 mins reading time)

“We didn’t find out till five weeks after Mark died. And then it was on social media,” says Mark’s mother, Sue. She looks at her daughter, Karen. “One of your friends saw it on Facebook didn’t she, and texted you.” “Yeah, she said: ‘This isn’t your Mark, is it?’” Karen says. “I couldn’t believe it.” “I still can’t believe it,” Sue says. “Well, you don’t ever imagine one of your children is going to end up in that situation, do you? He always told me he was doing fine in Glasgow.” Silence.

4. Hong Kong

A deep-dive into the city’s protest movement in recent months.

(The New Yorker, approx 35 mins reading time)

Debates about Hong Kong’s fate are convulsing the city—at family dinner tables, online, and, above all, in the streets. Since June, demonstrations sparked by a bill to allow extraditions from Hong Kong to the mainland have drawn unprecedented numbers of protesters determined to resist Beijing’s influence. But the debate at City Hall—which, despite its name, is mostly a performance venue—was actually a piece of semi-documentary theatre called “The First and Second Half of 2047.” Much of the script was written by the students who performed it, in a process that the director, Wu Hoi Fai, described to me as “sometimes like shooting a documentary on the stage.”

5. DoItForState.com

The battle for a domain name goes violent.

(One Zero, approx 25 mins reading time)

Deyo and his brother, Chris, had no official ties to State Snaps, but they knew a business opportunity when they saw one. The brothers, both in their twenties, had purchased DoItForState.com in January 2015, when they first noticed State Snaps going viral. They wanted to capitalize on the State Snaps hype by selling merchandise and working with a friend to brand and promote parties under the tagline. But they certainly were not expecting the war that would follow. Now Ethan Deyo had a gun to his head and a note in his hands, its chicken-scratch script barely legible. 

6. The long-forgotten vigilante murders

Two men were behind a string of murders in the 1860s in America’s frontier, but the story has been almost forgotten.

(5280, approx 20 mins reading time)

The killers moved with vicious efficiency, dispatching their victims at the edge of America’s frontier. One murder became two, then five, then eight, and then drifted higher into double figures. Seemingly each month in the new Colorado Territory, another man was found shot or mutilated. On March 16, 1863, 58-year-old Franklin Bruce was first in the string, shot near his sawmill outside Cañon City. One month later, five men were murdered near the gold mining settlement of Fairplay; one was shot in the arm before being chased down a hill and shot again. When residents discovered his body, the man had been stripped and attacked with a tomahawk.

…AND A CLASSIC FROM THE ARCHIVES… 

In 1997, Vanity Fair explored the nightmare of Richard Jewell, the man who discovered a bomb in Atlanta – and then was accused of planting it.

(Vanity Fair, approx 87 mins reading time)

For hours that Saturday, Bryant and Jewell sat and waited for the F.B.I. From time to time Jewell would put binoculars under the drawn curtain in his mother’s bedroom to peer at the reporters on the hill. Bryant was nervous that Jewell’s mother, Bobi, would return from baby-sitting and see her son having hairs pulled out of his head. Bryant stalked around the apartment complaining about the F.B.I. “The sons of bitches did not show up until three P.M.,” he later recalled, and when they did, there were five of them.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday>

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