Top Ten Crime Stories of 2015
Deciding which stories to include on my Crime Stories of the Year list was difficult. But the following stories would probably make nearly everyone’s list. The stories are in no particular order.
1. Laquan McDonald is shot sixteen times by a Chicago police officer. When the dashboard video becomes public over a year after the fact, the police chief is fired and officer Jason Van Dyke is charged with 1st degree murder.
2. Bill Cosby, “America’s Dad,” is charged with a 2004 sexual assault. Over 50 women come forward claiming Cosby drugged and raped them.
3. The Baltimore PD arrest Freddie Gray for possessing what they allege is an illegal switchblade. While being transported in a police van, Gray falls into a coma and is taken to a trauma center where he dies. His death is attributed to injuries to his spinal cord and is ruled a homicide. Criminal charges are brought against six Baltimore police officers. The first trial for William Porter, one of the indicted officers, ends in a hung jury.
4. David Sweat and Richard Matt escape from a correctional facility in New York by digging a hole in the wall of their cell and escaping through a pipe just like Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) in the Shawshank Redemption. They are on the run for nearly three weeks before Matt is shot and killed. Sweat is captured two days later.
5. Christopher Harper-Mercer, a 26-year-old enrolled at Umpqua Community College near Roseburg, Oregon, fatally shoots an assistant professor and eight students in a classroom. Nine others are injured. Roseburg police detectives responding to the incident engage Harper-Mercer in a shootout. After being wounded, he commits suicide by shooting himself in the head.
6. Dylann Roof murders nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof later confesses that he committed the murders in hopes of igniting a race war.
7. Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik murder fourteen people and seriously injure twenty-one others in a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California before they are shot and killed.
8. Robert Lewis Dear enters a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado and starts firing, murdering three people before surrendering.
9. Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez opens fire on two military centers killing four Marines and a Navy sailor before he is killed.
10. Jared Fogle, the Subway Guy, agrees to plead guilty in federal court to possessing child pornography and traveling to pay for sex with minors. He is sentenced to serve fifteen years and eight months in federal prison with a minimum of thirteen years.