Temple of Doom

And Other Stories of Kids and Crime

by Mike Sager

Temple of Doom: And Other Stories of Kids and Crime, by the award-winning journalist Mike Sager, is a pocket collection of five true stories—first published in Rolling Stone, GQ, and Esquire—that illuminate the tragic intersection between underage kids and adult crimes. 

In the title story, police are baffled when eight Thai Buddhist monks and one nun are killed execution-style in a temple outside Phoenix—the worst mass murder in Arizona history. Nobody wants to believe the crime has been committed by a pair of gung-ho ROTC students from the local high school. 

In "The Death of a High School Narc," the fortunes of a small Texas town are changed inexorably when the city manager decides there is a drug problem at the high school. In "Raised in Captivity" we meet Gary Fannon, who lost years of his life to a trumped-up arrest, a crooked cop, and draconian drug-sentencing laws. The decade he spent in prison taught him lessons no man should ever have to learn. 

"Revenge of the Donut Boys" visits Newark, NJ, which once had the highest rate of car theft in the nation, 56 percent of which were perpetrated by teens and pre-teens. "Death in Venice Takes us to the barrio in Venice, CA, where the author embeds for six weeks with the once-proud Mexican American gang V-13 during the height of the crack epidemic. Life inside an L.A. gang.

In "Fact: Five out of Five Kids Who Kill Love Slayer," the author embeds at home and on tour with the thrash metal band Slayer, rumored to be "violent and heavy drug users who "worship Satan." Perception meets reality. 

Mike Sager

Mike Sager is a bestselling author and award-winning reporter. He’s been called “the Beat poet of American journalism.” For more than forty years, he has worked as a writer primarily for the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, GQ, and Esquire.  Sager has written a dozen books; a number of his stories have inspired movies and documentaries, including the classic Boogie Nights. He is the editor and publisher of, a content brand.

Mike Sager