It's that time of year again - time to look back at Salem Patch's top stories of 2012.
So, before you get settled in for the holidays and make plans to ring in 2013 - here are the 10 Stories That Shook Salem in 2012:
An Unthinkable Crime at Salem Heights
This year's top story, in terms of overall page views, was the initial post related to the horrific crime scene discovered by emergency crews who responded to a reported fire at a Salem Heights apartment in March. Tanicia Goodwin, 25, was charged with two counts of assault with intent to murder, two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and arson after she allegedly "slashed" the throats of her two young children before setting her apartment on fire.
Hurricane Sandy Arrives in Salem
The day Hurricane Sandy arrived in Salem produced the highest web traffic of any day in 2012. Although Salem residents were lucky to have been spared the kind of destruction that was seen in places like New York and New Jersey, the waves that rocked in Salem were impressive.
Danvers Teen Killed in Boston Street Crash
The alcohol-related car crash that claimed the life of a Danvers teen in June was another story that shook the city of Salem in 2012. A Salem woman ended up pleading guilty to a vehicular homicide charge after 19-year-old Dillon Renard was killed just before 4 a.m. on June 16, when the car he was traveling in hit a flat-bed tow truck at All Star Collision Center on Boston Street.
Salem Police Lieutenant Charged With Rape
In July, Salem Police Lt. Matthew Desmond, 41, of Salem, was arraigned on one count of rape. Desmond turned himself in to Salem Police after learning that he was accused of digitally raping a woman known to him in his home on June 20. The alleged victim was watching the defendant’s children, her own children and the children of a mutual friend as they used the defendant’s pool.
Bangkok Paradise Owner Netted in Drug Bust
In what ended up being October's top story, authorities arrested six local men during several drug raids across the North Shore. One of the men was later identified as the owner of Bangkok Paradise, Jesus Franco. Warrants were executed at 10 different locations in Lynn, Peabody, Salem and Danvers and police also seized thousands of oxycodone pills along with more than $50,000 in cash and a gun.
Four Weeks Four Armed Robberies in Downtown Salem
In a four-week period between November and December, Salem police detectives investigated four reported armed robberies in downtown Salem. They included armed stickups at 7-Eleven, Georgia's Pizza and GameZone. The sudden spike in crime prompted quite the conversation among our readers.
Train Collision Victim Identified as Salem Teen
In October, a Salem teen was identified as the victim of a fatal train accident that occured just after 10 p.m. near Ocean Avenue and Broadway. Dominic DeMartino, 18, of Salem was pronounced dead at Salem Hospital. The MBTA later indicated that alcohol was being investigated as a possible factor in the incident.
Grown Ups 2 Casting Calls, Star Sightings
It seemed any time we published a story about the upcoming Adam Sandler flick Grown Ups 2 being filmed in locations in Marblehead, Swampscott and Danvers - outrageous page view totals would follow. Sandler, Maya Rudolph, Andy Samberg, Will Forte and others were among the stars spotted around Salem while the cameras were rolling.
Firefighters Battle Blaze on Jefferson Avenue
In what ended up being February's top post, Salem firefighters responded to a two-alarm fire at 63 Jefferson Ave. — the site of Playful Paws Doggie Daycare and Allied Collision. Many pets were rescued from the building and transported from the scene and the blaze didn't result in any injuries.
Still Standing, Tierney Defeats Tisei
It was one of the most surprising wins of the 2012 election. Congressman John Tierney defeated Republican challenger Richard Tisei in an extremely tight race for Massachusetts 6th District congressional seat. We filmed this video at the culmination of what was a particularly high-profile congressional race due to a family scandal involving Tierney's wife, her brother and her brother’s illegal offshore gambling business.