08.31.134:45 AM ET

The Week’s Best Longreads for August 31, 2013

From a harrowing story of captivity in Somalia to the decline of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

12 Minutes of Freedom in 460 Days of Captivity

Amanda Linhout, The New York Times Magazine

Her kidnapping in Somalia marked the moment when one life ended and another began.

The Gangster in the Huddle

Paul Solataroff with Ron Borges, Rolling Stone

Aaron Hernandez might have been one of the NFL’s all-time greats, but he could never escape drugs, guns and a life of violence.

Russia’s Lonely Leader

Evgenia Pismennaya and Irina Reznick, Bloomberg

After 14 years as president and premier, Vladimir Putin ended his 30-year marriage in June and his judo mentor died this month. He is again lonely, and too scared of what will happen to himself and the country to relax his grip on power.

The NYPD Division of Un-American Activities

Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman, New York

After 9/11, the NYPD Intelligence Division underwent a dramatic overhaul, bringing in CIA-trained operators to create a “demographics” department that acted like the CIA—and went further than even the FBI could stomach. But has it actually stopped any terror plots?

Bill de Who?

David Freedlander, Newsweek

After a sudden, meteoric rise in the polls, Bill de Blasio is on the brink of becoming New York's next mayor. Despite a history of savvy political tactics, he's been painted as a progressive purist. What does he really believe?

For more great longreads, visit our friends at Longreads.com.