University of Nebraska Press
Date of this Version
Hailing from suburban Los Angeles, raised by supportive parents, and educated at a boys-only parochial school, Darryl Henley had it all. He earned a history degree from UCLA, became a first-team All American for the Bruins in 1988, and was a rising star as the starting cornerback for the LA Rams in the early nineties. How Henley, in the space of three short years, went from golden NFL role model to federal inmate is one of the most bizarre stories in the annals of sport-stars-turned-criminal.
The product of eight years of investigative research and over one hundred interviews, Intercepted has all the dark corners and unexpected twists of the most sophisticated legal thrillers. Michael McKnight takes us into Henley’s fourth season in the NFL, when he met a Rams cheerleader named Tracy Donaho and bumped into a boyhood friend named Willie McGowan—a onetime youth-league standout who had since turned to drug trafficking. The tale devolves from there, as Henley, Donaho, and McGowan embark on a scheme to transport cocaine that lands Henley in federal prison, where he attempts to arrange a Mafia hit on the sentencing judge and the star witness against him: Donaho. Detailing how one of the best and brightest of our professional athletes destroyed himself through temptation, arrogance, and anger at a justice system that he felt had failed him, Intercepted is also a cautionary tale about American culture, as disturbing as it is impossible to ignore.
© 2012 by Michael McKnight Map courtesy of Shawn Ryan