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The year that was

From the suicide of the Craigslist killer to the Mattapan massacre, it was an eventful year for Boston area news.

Craigslist killer
Philip Markoff cut his throat and wrists and put a bag over his head in his Nashua Street Jail cell Aug. 15 and killed himself. The suicide of the accused Craigslist killer and former BU medical student sparked messages of reform from the Suffolk County sheriff who defended prison officials from the criticism of their failure to properly care for inmates.

Murder rate up
Boston’s murder rate spiked to 72 this year as of Dec. 23, according to police data. It was an increase over last year’s homicide total of 50. Thirteen of the victims were teenagers. The youngest victim was 2-year-old Amani Smith, shot in Mattapan.

Terror raids
Brookline seemed to be the epicenter of Homeland Security in May when FBI agents descended on a pair of gas stations in search of evidence connected to the attempted Times Square car bombing.

Two newly hired gas station employees allegedly helped plot the failed attack.

In the early hours of the raid, the reputation of the gas station’s owner, Alias Audy, was in jeopardy before the community ultimately and literally rallied around him a few days later.

Water, water
Coffee never tasted so good after the May 1 water main break that shut off clean water to two million households and businesses in Eastern Massachu-setts. The 10-foot wide pipe that broke in Weston was repaired within days, but no clean water meant a rush on bottles of the suddenly liquid gold. Some residents of Boston walked across the Charles River to Cambridge to get their morning caffeine fix.

We went Loko
The obsession with Four?Loko began after after dozens landed in the hospital from drinking it. Once doctors voiced concern about the high amounts of caffeine and alcohol in the drink, the 24-ounce cans were being snatched up by partying college students all over Boston.

It wasn’t long before adults caught on and the drink, known as “black out in a can,” was banned.

Texting banned
State legislators finally made good on a promise to pass a statewide texting while driving ban. Dozens of other states had already implemented bans as Massachusetts’ went into effect Sept. 30. Illegal texters received $100 fines. However, police have had a hard time enforcing the ban.

T gets an app
Boston doesn’t always beat New York, especially in October. But when it came to real-time transportation apps, Beantown bounced the Big Apple this year. When the MBTA released real-time subway data on Oct. 1, the MTA still only had real-time bus apps, a service we had for months.

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