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Author Jennifer Pappas

  • Jennifer Pappas


Me, Plus Syllables

A name means something. And changing it can mean trouble.

“What’s the value of a name? Is it just a name, or something more?” It’s a Tuesday morning, first period at Laguna Hills High School. My question—part of my introduction to reading Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”—hangs in the air between myself and my juniors. “This is an essential question of the play,” I say, trying to read their half-asleep faces. Read more...

Home at Last

Reconciling a divided self after the trip of a lifetime

In February 2009, the nation’s unemployment rate was 8.1 percent and climbing. As an editorial assistant for two boating magazines based in Irvine, I went to work every morning grim, waiting to be let go. When the day finally arrived and I was sent to pack up my desk, one thought kept running through my mind: “I’ve become a statistic.” ¶A month later, my boyfriend Steve also was laid off, from a far more lucrative job in sales. Rather than panic, we came up with a solution, actually more of an exit plan. We leased out our three-bedroom Laguna Hills home for a year, dispersed everything we owned among friends and family, and left the country.  Read more...

Gifts Never Lost

The shortest lives sometimes leave the deepest impressions

I was used to getting weekly emails from Collie. As the captain of our co-ed soccer team, he’d send out game-time reminders every Thursday, making sure everyone could make it. But the email I received Jan. 20 was different. The subject line simply read: “Maddie.” Read more...
READ NOW: Serial Killer Seduction

Our "Center of the Universe" story is being read all over the world right now. Click here for the story.


Who Did Randy Kraft Seduce?

Current photos of author Jay Roberts.


A Fact-Checker's Journey to a 1980 Afternoon

Our intrepid intern tracks down the details in Roberts' story.


Why Isn't Randy Kraft Dead?

Our original piece on one of California's deadliest and most depraved serial killers. 


Editor's Letter, October 2013

Our editor considers "Center of the Universe" to be compelling—and incredibly frightening. Click above to find out why.