Reporting Texas
News and features from UT-Austin's School of Journalism

Before QAnon, Satanic Panic Gripped Central Texas

Thirty years ago, Oak Hill daycare owners Dan and Fran Keller were convicted and sentenced to 48 years in jail — a likely death sentence for Dan, 50 at the time, and Fran, then 42. Their supposed crime: sexually abusing children during satanic rituals. The Kellers were accused of forcing children to drink blood-laced Kool-Aid and to watch Dan and Fran dismember people with a chainsaw. Today, the claims are believed to have been false memories planted in children’s minds by the suggestive questioning of parents, law enforcement and therapists. But the damage was done.

The Kellers’ case is not new. Theories about satanic conspiracies have erupted periodically through American history starting with the Salem Witch Trials in the 1690s. A new satanic witch hunt — the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon — has gained steam in the last few years. Once again, fear and anxiety over a rapidly changing world have expressed themselves in what looks like a delusion.

After Initially Settling in Texas, Buhtanese Refugees Increasingly Leaving the State

About 85% of the more than 100,000 displaced Bhutanese refugees came to the U.S. since 2006, with Pennsylvania and Texas receiving the largest shares, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  But Bhutanese refugees and their advocates say many of them are leaving Texas due to lack of access to affordable health care, affordable housing and limited job advancement opportunities.

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Foster Parents: Texas Child Welfare System Remains Broken

Black Mothers in Central Texas Helping Others Deal With Postpartum Depression

Black mothers in Central Texas are rising up to support women coping with postpartum depression, which disproportionately affects Black women.

Visually Impaired People Face Difficulties Throughout Pandemic

Some visually impaired people in Central Texas have struggled to schedule vaccines and faced other COVID-19-related challenges that might not occur to sighted people.

Texas Lawmakers Want to Make Single Eyewitness Testimony No Longer Grounds for Death Penalty

Austin Sumo Wrestlers Prepare for National Competition

TreeFolks’s Carbon Credit Program Taking Root

Homeless People Face Waitlist for Services at Downtown Austin Community Court