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Longo was arrested at a beachfront cabana, where he'd been drinking beer, smoking dope, and sleeping with a young woman who had aspirations of becoming a professional photographer. Christian Longo entered my life at a moment of extreme weakness for me.
The woman thought she was sleeping with a fellow journalist — a writer who just happened to need a photographer for an article about Mayan ruins. And he told everyone he met that he was a writer for The New York Times. At the same time I learned that Longo had become Michael Finkel of The New York Times — I mean the exact day — I was officially no longer Michael Finkel of The New York Times.
Tied to her right ankle was a flower-patterned pillowcase. Also in the water was a second pillowcase containing another rock — Zachery's body had slipped free and risen to the surface.
The reason he wanted to die, he said, was fairly simple.
After half a decade spent sealed inside a white concrete box for more than twenty-one hours a day, with only other murderers as neighbors and with no hope of ever again seeing the outside world, he'd had enough.
Longo had always dreamed of becoming a roving journalist, and while in Mexico he attempted to fulfill that fantasy. I'd been fired by the paper because I fabricated an article I wrote about child labor in West Africa, combining quotations from several individual laborers into one fictitious composite character.
A local aid agency uncovered my lie, and after it was reported to my editors, my career there was finished.