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



Missing in the US desert: finding the migrants dying on the trail north

Last year, 322 deaths were recorded along the US border with Mexico. The real number could be a lot higher. Alex Hannaford joins volunteers searching for the lost
The Guardian Link to Story

Inside Houston, the City Is Running Out of Sleep, Fuel, and Lives to Save

As darkness fell over Houston on Tuesday evening, three military helicopters circled above Tidwell Road, while near its intersection with the Sam Houston Tollway, a huge dump truck plowed through the water toward the highway carrying at least seven children to safety in its giant hopper. But Tidwell Road isn't technically a road at all: Since the weekend, it’s become a vast river snaking into the distance.
The Daily Beast Link to Story

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

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

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 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

The trade in stolen dinosaur fossils - Telegraph

Last year, a man was caught trying to sell a stolen Tyrannosaurus skeleton for $1m. But how many more illicit fossils are on the market? And where does Nicolas Cage fit in?
Sunday Telegraph magazine Link to Story


Duncan Williams, 32, an amateur climber from Southampton, was killed by a massive avalanche on a frozen Himalayan mountainside. Here, his friend Alex Hannaford retraces his final steps and asks, why are so many young men dying on the roof of the world?
Independent on Sunday Link to Story

Trust me, I'm a doctor: the case of the rogue spinal surgeon

It didn’t take long for Richard Kaul’s spine surgery practice in the middle-class New Jersey suburb of Pompton Lakes to turn a profit. The Indian-born, British-raised doctor had been performing procedures in small surgeries for a number of years before he opened his own place in 2011. By 2012, he owned a $2m home in New Jersey, a Manhattan penthouse and an $8.3m brownstone on New York’s Upper West Side, which boasted a soundproof media room, three terraces and nine fireplaces.
The Guardian 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

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


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