Table of contents

The coldest case
Fifty years ago, this town was shaken by the death of popular football star Pat Akins. Early reports claimed the six-foot athlete had been dragged 12 miles under a tiny car, but even at the time, rumors swirled that the story just didn't make sense. Founding Hook editor Hawes Spencer digs deep and wide to offer new insight and gives the most complete account of this town's oldest unsolved mystery.

What a ride!
Twelve years, 600 issues, thousands of stories. From pot busts, police shootings and high-profile murders to the soaring thrill of Charlottesvillians finding local, national and international success, the Hook has covered the tales of this town. Take a trip down memory lane through our pages.

Learning to scoop
Regurgitating press releases is not the Hook way, and longtime reporter and Hook culture editor Dave McNair recalls the first story that taught him that even when it comes to playgrounds, there's usually more than first meets the eye.

Yays and nays
Were we passionate truth seekers or purveyors of yellow journalism? Opinions can differ— that's what makes life interesting— and we asked a range of Charlottesvillians to give us their honest thoughts about the role the Hook served.

On the cover(s) of this 56-page issue:
First cover photo by Tom Daly
Second cover photo by Jen Fariello; inset, Rock Hill Academy yearbook photo of Pat Akins; Red TR3 provided by John Pollock of Sports Car Rentals in Batesville.