Boston's top stories of crime in 2013 ranged from the trial and sentencing of Whitey Bulger to New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez being accused of murder. Below is a list, in no particular order, of Boston's top crime stories of the year. Other top stories will be posted before the New Year on Metro.
Where's Whitey? In jail for life
After decades of leading the Winter Hill Gang in robbery, murder and mayhem, and then spending 16 years on the run, James "Whitey" Bulger was found guilty and in November sentenced to life in prison. The 84-year-old's summertime trial was historic in itself, but it also featured some memorable moments including the day when Bulger and his former gang member Kevin Weeks swore at each other. There was also the day Bulger called his trial "a sham." While Bulger was found guilty, a jury found that the government couldn't prove all of the murders they accused him of, which angered some of the victim's families. Bulger, with nothing but time in a cell, is awaiting the outcome of his appeal and is currently in Oklahoma where he could face the death penalty as prosecutors there mull whether to seek murder charges against him for a 1981 killing.
Hot in Somerville
Firefighters in Somerville had their hands full this year as a string of arson fires broke out throughout the city during the summer. About a dozen arson fires torched buildings in the city over the summer. None of the fires resulted in any significant damage or injury, but police are still searching for the person or persons responsible. A reward of up to $15,000 was offered for information.
Ed Davis departs as city murder rate plummets
After more than seven years leading the Boston Police Department, Commissioner Ed Davis announced his resignation in September. Davis, known for his emphasis on community policing, was propelled into the national spotlight this year during the Boston Marathon bombings and manhunt. Meanwhile, the city was on pace to tally its fewest number of murders in the last 10 years. As of Dec. 23 there were 40 murders in Boston, the fewest since the city recorded 39 in 2003, according to law enforcement data. The next highest total was 50 in 2009.
Student accused of killing teacher
The Danvers community was rocked when it learned that not only was a beloved teacher killed, but that she allegedly died at the hands of one of her students. Philip Chism, 14, pleaded not guilty to robbing, raping and murdering Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer who was found dead behind the school in October. Chism is being held without bail and the case is due back in court in January for a pre-trial hearing.
Aaron Hernandez arrested on murder, gun charges
Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested on June 26 on murder and gun charges in connection with the death of a Dorchester man. Hernandez was released from his NFL contract that same day. The 24-year-old pleaded not guilty to shooting and killing Odin Lloyd, 27, whose bullet ridden body was found on June 17 in an industrial complex just a mile from Hernandez’s North Attleborough home. Prosecutors say Hernandez summoned Lloyd to his home, drove him to the isolated area, and shot Lloyd five times.Hernandez is being held in Bristol County Jail while awaiting trial. His fiancé, cousin and an associate were also indicted in connection with the investigation.
Woman's murder shakes South Boston
Edwin Alemany, 29, is accused of kidnapping, robbing and stabbing 24-year-old South Boston resident Amy Lord in the early morning hours of July 23. Her body was found in the Stony Brook Reservation later that day. Alemany was also charged with two non-fatal attacks on women that week; one just hours before Lord’s kidnapping, and another shortly after her death. Boston Police Detective Jerome Hall-Brewster was demoted after an internal probe revealed that he mishandled a September 2012 investigation of an assault on a woman in Roxbury. Hall-Brewster incorrectly concluded that he lacked probable cause to arrest Alemany in the case, even though Alemany’s wallet was found at the attack site.
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