Max McCoy

Max McCoy

Max McCoy is an award-winning author and journalist. A native Kansan, he started his career at the Pittsburg Morning Sun and was soon writing for national magazines. His investigative stories on unsolved murders, serial killers and hate groups earned him first-place awards from the Associated Press Managing Editors and other organizations. McCoy has also written more than 20 books, the most recent of which is "Elevations: A Personal Exploration of the Arkansas River," named a Kansas Notable Book by the state library. "Elevations" also won the National Outdoor Book Award, in the history/biography category. Max teaches journalism at Emporia State University.


Speaking of white supremacists, remember these boys who did not make Kansas proud

By: - October 4, 2020

First exhibit Here is a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Topeka against one Jarrett William Smith, a private first class at Fort Riley who was sentenced in August to a minimum of 30 months in prison for distributing information on making bombs and napalm via social media. The complaint is crisp and […]


Kansas’ Confederate flag fliers say, ‘Honk if you love hate’

By: - September 20, 2020

There’s a guy in town who drives around with a Confederate battle flag fluttering from the back of his pickup. Here’s what I’d like to tell him: Congratulations. Just when I thought things can’t get any worse, you’ve found a way to show me what worse looks like. You drive from one end of town […]


This pandemic Labor Day, it’s still a ‘Jungle’ in Kansas

By: - September 6, 2020

Grilling this Labor Day weekend? Then take a moment to reflect on the meatpacking workers who have made your barbecue feast possible. You see, the history of Labor Day has a surprising connection to the Sunflower State, and it’s a legacy that is still playing out in meatpacking plants today. As a society we continue […]


In solidarity with protesters, Kansas cops should surrender military hand-me-downs

By: - August 23, 2020

The problem with the militarization of the police isn’t the gear. It’s the mindset. The Fort Hays State University Police Department, a few years ago, received 14 rifles, including nine M-16s and two sniper rifles, that the U.S. Department of Defense no longer needed. Fort Hays is one of 117 campuses across the nation that […]


Kansas lawmakers’ reliance on ‘personal responsibility’ poisons well of public health

By: - August 9, 2020

Imagine a well in the middle of town pumping out contaminated water that’s making people sick. There are other wells in town, but nobody is sure which one is the source of the disease, which has reached epidemic proportions. People are dying and doctors are desperate to locate and stop the source of the infection. […]


We need to see more names and faces of Kansans lost to COVID-19

By: - July 26, 2020

When Fern Chester Meek, a 22-year-old former high school teacher from Coffey County, Kansas, succumbed to the pandemic, the pain his community felt was heartbreaking. A local paper reported that the last time Meek had visited Lebo, he’d umpired a baseball game. Another piece recalled that he’d been active in debate in high school and […]