Read about the top National Enquirer stories from the Whitney Houston casket photo to the John Edwards lovechild scandal.
The tabloid, which is often written off as only a purveyor of silly schlock like Elvis sightings and alien abductions, also has a history of big gets, and that heritage was only bolstered this week, when the magazine scored a major exclusive when it ran the first publicly-released photograph of Whitney Houston in her casket on its cover.
Here's a breakdown of the top National Enquirer stories of the past 15 years (in no particular order):
1. John Edwards Love Child: National Enquirer's highest-impact story came in 2007, when the periodical broke the news that former vice presidential candidate and then-presidential-candidate John Edwards had fathered a lovechild with a former aide. The paper undertook extensive measures to report on the story, which basically put the nail in Edwards' political career. The political establishment was forced to face up to the fact that outlets like the National Enquirer have the ability to hard-hitting reports that can impact the nation's future. This story is far and away the best story the National Enquirer has published in the past decade, and perhaps the hardest-hitting report the outlet ever released.
2. Whitney Houston Casket Photo: The National Enquirer was the lucky outlet this week that was able to run the only Whitney Houston casket photo yet to be released publicly right on its cover. The picture, which the mag says is the last photo of Whitney Houston, shows a woman with similar facial features to Whitney wearing a purple dress, a diamond broach and earrings. The National Enquirer reports that the jewelry Houston was buried in is supposedly worth $500,000. It also states that the photo was allegedly taken at the singer's private viewing. A controversy rages over just how the National Enquirer got the photo, but it can't be denied that this is one of the tabloid's biggest coups in recent years.
3. Bristol Palin Pregnancy: In 2007, the National Enquirer says it obtained an exclusive story about Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol being pregnant. When the National Enquirer informed her reps that it was going to release the news, she went ahead and announced the pregnancy in what the mag called a preemptive strike aimed at containing the story. It was a major crisis because Palin is a conservative Republican politician who was John McCain's vice-presidential candidate at the time, and it shined a major light on her family life.
4. Ennis Cosby's Murder: According to National Enquirer columnist Mike Walker, the tabloid found information that led the Los Angeles Police Department to be able to solve the 1997 murder case of Bill Cosby's son Ennis. Walke told the UK newspaper Metro that we solved the murder of Bill Cosby's son. The LA police chief had to get up at a press conference and say: 'We have just arrested a suspect for the murder of Ennis Cosby going on information we are very confident about and this is in great part due to help from the National Enquirer.' I was on the phone in a heartbeat to my editor to find out how we got them to say that. Turns out it was 'either say it or we will not lead you to where the gun is hidden in the woods wrapped in the famous knitted cap'.
5. Elvis Presley Casket Photo: The National Enquirer caused quite the controversy in 1977 when it published a photograph of Elvis Presley's dead body laying in his casket. This was to be just one in a long series of controversies that the National Enquirer would find itself embroiled in, the most recent of which was its choice to publish the Whitney Houston casket photo, following in its tradition that began with Elvis.