ICYMI: The last hours of the Montrose vet accused in a murder-for-hire plot

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BC-TX--Murder-For-Hire Charges A Houston veterinarian and her boyfriend are charged with trying to hire a hitman to kill their exes. Valerie McDaniel, who runs the Montrose Veterinary Clinic, and Leon Jacob, made their first appearance in court Monday, March 13, 2017. Cell phone photos. Best available. Photo: Brian Rogers / Houston Chronicle

Photo: Brian Rogers

BC-TX–Murder-For-Hire Charges A Houston veterinarian and her boyfriend are charged with trying to hire a hitman to kill their exes. Valerie McDaniel, who runs the Montrose Veterinary Clinic, and Leon Jacob, made their first appearance in court Monday, March 13, 2017. Cell phone photos. Best available.

The death of a veterinarian accused in a murder-for-hire plot, a former punk-rocker’s bid for federal office and a months-long investigation into an accused rapist who targeted homeless and mentally ill women – all in this week’s in-depth and investigative reporting.

Murder-for-hire suspect likened to ‘angel on Earth’ after death by suicide
By Mike Tolson

A prominent Montrose veterinarian accused of making an intricate murder-for-hire plot to kill her ex-husband killed herself Monday morning by jumping from her seventh-floor condo in west Houston, authorities said. But just who was Valerie McDaniel?


Beto O’Rourke to take on Ted Cruz in 2018
By Kevin Diaz and Bill Lambrecht
@DiazChron and @BLambrecht

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat and ex-punk rocker who pulled an upset to win his House seat six years ago, is set to challenge Ted Cruz for his Senate seat, Democratic sources in Texas told the Chronicle days before the news was officially announced. But can the punk-rock upstart unseat the Tea Party-backed conservative?

In Jackson County, a fight between oil and water
By Ryan Handy
@ryanmhandy

“Our property’s worthless if the water goes bad,” said cattle rancher Johnny Dugger. “I always thought that the Railroad Commission was supposed to protect us from them.”

But after a large corporation got approval to inject millions of gallons of chemical-laced saltwater and carbon dioxide into the ground to recover oil from a nearby field, locals were disappointed to see the state Railroad Commission reject a request for independent groundwater monitoring. Did campaign donations play a role in the controversial decision?

Ex-congressman Stockman headed complex criminal conspiracy, feds allege
By Lise Olsen
@chrondigger

Steve Stockman covers his face while entering the United States District Courthouse Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in Houston. Photo: Godofredo A. Vasquez, Houston Chronicle / Stratford Booster Club

Photo: Godofredo A. Vasquez, Houston Chronicle

Steve Stockman covers his face while entering the United States District Courthouse Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in Houston.

Steve Stockman was soon to board a plane for the United Arab Emirates this month when his unorthodox life took a sudden detour. The outspoken two-time former congressman from Houston was met at the airport by federal agents holding an arrest warrant. Here’s a look at how the former U.S. Rep from Texas ended up facing a 28-count federal indictment. 

How failures in the criminal justice system allowed a Houston serial rapist to go free
By Anita Hassan
@anitasnews

Over the weekend, the Houston Chronicle launched “Serial Indifference,” months-long investigation into a jailed rape victim named Jenny, whose case became a national scandal and dominated the District Attorney’s race last year after she filed a federal lawsuit claiming that her jailing amounted to being “re-raped.” Read the full investigation on our subscriber website, HoustonChronicle.com


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