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Hoax, Rackley, Election Make 2013’s Top 10

by Paul Bass | Dec 31, 2013 11:17 am

(3) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Paul Bass Photo An NRA instructor made one last public appeal for the Second Amendment before dying of a self-inflicted wound. A Brazilian journalist tasted Yale justice. A tortured Black Panther’s voice returned from the dead. And a 49-year-old mechanic’s bloodying sparked a viral racist smear.

Welcome to some of the most-read New Haven stories of 2013.

We didn’t come up with this list. Google Analytics did; a computer-generated tally shows the following stories were the most-read ones we published. Here’s to one last look at 2013, and a happy 2014!

Thomas MacMillan Photo 1. Hoaxer’s call spread panic through downtown New Haven. After a threatening anonymous phone call from a pay phone in the Hill, Yale police put out a report that a gunman was seen running through campus. Hours of lockdown and panic ensued. Here’s the first-day coverage; here’s the subsequent step-by-step recreation.

Paul Bass Photo Facebook 2. Yale professor dies in lock-up. Important questions remain unanswered about how Samuel See died in the police lock-up, where his death went unreported by authorities for four days; and how he got there. The story should continue into 2014. Here‘s the original news story. Here’s a story about a subsequent march through downtown streets to steps of the police station; a story about the police chief’s update to the community on the case; and a story about another prisoner who died in lock-up.

3. “Knockout game” spurs burst of downtown attacks. The fad came. It went. This story describes what happened; this one follows up on a possible (though not necessarily definite) subsequent incident. This one reports on cops’ arrests of the alleged perpetrators.

4. NRA instructor shoots himself in the foot. Sadly, Eugene Kenny later died of an injury stemming from this incident. He remained an eloquent defender of Second Amendment rights to his death.

5. Black Panther torture “trial” tape surfaces. Alex Rackley was the forgotten man in New Haven’s most infamous political murder and trial of the past century. His voice came back to life this year when a tape surfaced on his interrogation by New Haven Panthers who tied him up, poured boiling water over him, took a “confession,” then later drove him to a rural spot and shot him to death. Read all about that, and about the reemergence of the tape, here.

Paul Heriot Illustration 6. New Haven Advocate, 1975-2013. The altweekly was 38 years old. The cause of death was a changed media landscape combined with corporate cluelessness and cupidity. Read about its legacy here.

7. Yale flees Newhallville after prof’s mugging. The university halted a charitable home-building project on Lilac Street after the mugging of 83-year-old professor Paul Brouard. But then the community rallied: Neighborhood Housing Services finished the job, and neighbors continued working on a revival.

8. Yale arrests Brazilian journalist for showing up. We didn’t make this up; enough said.

Paul Bass Photo 9. New Haven Power Sports service tech bloodied. He was attacked while testing a scooter near Goffe Street Park. The photo told the tale. Original story here; follow-up here. The photo sparked a insidious racist lie spread by right-wing web sites, summarized here.

10. And—oh yeah—New Haven elected the first female mayor in its history, and its first new mayor in 20 years, after the liveliest election campaign in decades. Click here for an archive of 374 stories about this year’s mayoral election, from the issues to the personalities to the money to the controversies to the underlying political shifts in town to the significance of the event for black women. (Ten stories appear per page; then click at the bottom for the next ten.)

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posted by: BenBerkowitz on December 31, 2013  11:53am

I worked at the US census with Eugene when I was in college. He always had strong opinions. Many of which I disagreed with but I always considered him a friend.  Sad to see that he passed.

posted by: Charl on December 31, 2013  1:14pm

Perhaps 2014 will bring us an explanation and final chapter to the #1 and #2 stories.  What do you say, NHI?  Are you up to pressing the authorities for REAL answers, in a PROMPT timeframe?

(please say yes!!!)

posted by: CommonSense on January 1, 2014  1:24am

Can the NHI at least pretend to be an objective journalistic site that values factual reporting???  “The photo sparked a racist, insidious lie spread by right wing websites.”  I’m sorry…what was that???  The only “site” mentioned in the link was Reddit…neither a left or right wing site.

C’mon. I realize this is a left leaning paper, but at least give a token effort to being objective.

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