Alex Hannaford

Independent Journalist


Alex Hannaford

Writer for the Sunday Times, Guardian, GQ, The Telegraph, Atlantic, and The Texas Observer | Fellow @ The Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma, Columbia University | www.alexhannaford.com



Rocky Mountain Murder Mystery

The voice on the phone to the 911 operator sounds urgent, slightly breathless: "Hello, my name is Harold Henthorn, I’m in the Rocky Mountain National Park, and I need an Alpine Mountain Rescue Team immediately." The operator transfers him to the National Park Service. "My wife has fallen from a rock on the north summit of Deer Mountain," he says.
The Telegraph Link to Story

The Promised Land

These refugees are desperate to make it to Britain. Their perilous journey has taken them across two continents. Many of them, like this man, are willing to risk their lives in the cold waters of the Channel in the hope of a new beginning.
The Sunday Times magazine Link to Story

Inside Guantanamo

The armchairs have manacles, dinner is served via tube and there is a detention section so guarded its location is still top secret. Esquire becomes the first UK magazine to go inside the most notorious prison in the world
Esquire Link to Story

A prophet rises from the ashes of Waco

Charles Pace is the leader of the Branch Davidians, the religious sect in Texas that became infamous when a 51-day standoff with the FBI resulted in more than 80 deaths. Twenty years later, he is preparing his flock for conflict on a different scale.
Sunday Times magazine Link to Story

Guards of death row

The worst part of Dave’s job as a death-row guard happened early morning on the day of an execution.
The Nation Link to Story

Alcatraz of the Rockies

The world’s most notorious terrorists — the Unabomber, the shoe bomber, soon to be joined by the underwear bomber — live side by side in America’s toughest prison. Yet they never meet. Alex Hannaford investigates life at Colorado’s supermaximum security jail
Sunday Times magazine Link to Story

The cult of the man they call Messiah

This solitary 17-year-old girl was at the centre of a sexual molestation case involving the leader of a dangerous cult, who is 68. But she can’t wait to turn 18 so that she can go back to him and his ‘ministry’. Alex Hannaford on the church of The Lord Our Righteousness.
Sunday Times magazine Link to Story

Living in a box

Think you could survive being isolated in a tiny, windowless, concrete cell, 23 hours a day? GQ prepares to experience lockdown...
GQ magazine Link to Story

What happened in Colonia? Inside a terrifying Nazi cult

The moment of the arrest was captured on camera: Men with PFA (Policia Federal Argentina) emblazoned in yellow on the backs of their flak jackets ran from a van and surrounded a single-storey villa in a rural a suburb south of Buenos Aires.
The Telegraph Link to Story

The Mysterious Vanishing Brains

How could 100 jars of human brains—taken from deceased patients of an Austin mental hospital—just disappear from their home at the University of Texas? Somewhere in a little-used room in the bowels of the Animal Resources Center on the University of Texas’s campus in Austin sit around 100 or so large glass jars.
The Atlantic Link to Story

‘Refugees Are Victims of the Very Thing You Are Afraid Of’

Despite an uncertain welcome in Texas, these Syrian families are trying to rebuild their lives after fleeing civil unrest and violence half a world away. The tapestry that hangs on the wall above the sofa in Iyad and Lina Al Afandi’s modest home just north of Dallas is the only physical reminder of the country they’ve left behind: a stitching that depicts a traditional Syrian house with tiled courtyard and fountain, and rugs draped from the balcony.
Texas Observer Link to Story

Love and rockets

How Kim Barker's warts-and-all account of covering the war in Afghanistan inspired Tina Fey's new comedy Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
The Telegraph Link to Story


Alex Hannaford

Alex was born in London in 1974 and spent his early childhood in Nigeria. He cut his teeth in journalism on the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong and the Lymington Times in England — at the time the last newspaper in the country to use hot metal printing. He worked as a feature writer and commissioning editor on the London Evening Standard before going freelance in 2003.

Alex has taught journalism at Kingston University in the UK and authored a biography (Last of the Rock Romantics) for Ebury Press, part of the Random House group. He has written about the death penalty, crime, harsh sentencing, religion, culture and human rights issues for the Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph magazines, The Guardian, GQ, Esquire, The Atlantic, The Nation, and the Texas Observer. A dual British-U.S. citizen , he divides his time between Texas and London.

Fellow, The Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma, Columbia University

Founder, Deadliners Club

Member, Investigative Reporters & Editors & NUJ