Top 12 crime stories of 2012


These major crime stories made national headlines in 2012.

12. Toddler's body found buried in yard In
(Credit: Facebook ; Ed Betz)

12. Toddler's body found buried in yard
In a routine child neglect investigation in October, authorities discovered a toddler's body buried in the yard of Heather Kowalczik and Robert Rodriguez in Farmingdale. The body of the couple's 17-month-old child had been there for more than two years, officials said, and is being considered a homicide as investigators pursue the facts behind the case. The couple, who care for their two developmentally disabled children, reportedly had a troubled relationship. READ MORE

PHOTOS: Body found in Farmingdale yard | VIDEO: Authorities discover toddler's body

11. Hempstead Town Clerk faces misconduct chargeHempstead Town
(Credit: Howard Schnapp)

11. Hempstead Town Clerk faces misconduct charge
Hempstead Town Clerk Mark Bonilla, facing sexual harassment accusations from three female staff members, was charged with two counts of official misconduct, coercion and attempted petty larceny when he allegedly sought to silence one of his accusers by trying to obtain photos of her from a subordinate. READ MORE

VIDEO: Bonilla considered $10,000 payoff | Bonilla back in court

10. Federal Reserve Bank bombing plotQuazi Mohammad Rezwanul
(Credit: AFP PHOTO / TWITTER ; Getty Images)

10. Federal Reserve Bank bombing plot
Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, a Bangladeshi student living in Queens who said he wanted to "destroy America", was arrested in a sting operation after planting and trying to detonate what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb in front of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York, officials said. He was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaida for planting fake bomb in a van near the building, according to the FBI. READ MORE

PHOTOS: Federal Reserve Bank bomb plot | Thwarted terror plots
VIDEO: Suspect's neighbors react


9. 'Cannibal' cop Gilberto Valle, 28, an NYPD
(Credit: Handout, 2012)

9. 'Cannibal' cop
Gilberto Valle, 28, an NYPD officer, was indicted on charges of conspiring to kidnap, torture and cook women, and unlawfully accessing a National Criminal Information System computer database, which federal prosecutors said he used to compile dossiers on women and swap details about them with online "co-conspirators." He faces up to life in prison if convicted. READ MORE, including the criminal complaint

MORE: Criminal complaint against Valle

8. Portland Mall shooting A gunman opened fire
(Credit: AP, 2012)

8. Portland Mall shooting
A gunman opened fire in a suburban Portland shopping mall on Dec. 11, killing three people, including himself, and wounding another, authorities said. Witnesses described a scene of chaos and disbelief as a gunman -- who authorities identified as Jacob Tyler Roberts, 22 -- wearing camouflage and a white mask shot at people as they did their Christmas shopping. READ MORE

PHOTOS: Clackamas Town Center mall shooting
VIDEO: Deadly mall shooting | Tentative ID on gunman

7. Miami 'face-chewing' attack On May 26, a
(Credit: AP, 2012)

7. Miami 'face-chewing' attack
On May 26, a naked Florida man identified as Rudy Eugene attacked a 65-year-old homeless man, Richard Poppo, chewing off much of his face, authorities said. A police officer who arrived on the scene shot and killed Eugene after being unable to restrain him. Poppo, who survived the attack, is still recovering from his injuries in Miami, and no motive has surfaced despite initial suspicion that the attack was fueled by bath salts, later disproved by lab tests. READ MORE

VIDEO: Girlfriend: Face-chewing attacker was religious

6. Jovan Belcher murder-suicideKansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan
(Credit: Facebook; Getty Images, 2012)

6. Jovan Belcher murder-suicide
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, pictured right, a former high school football star in West Babylon, shot his girlfriend to death on Dec. 1 at their home and then killed himself in front of three team officials at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, police said. Belcher, 25, and his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins, 22, had a 3-month-old daughter who is now in the custody of Belcher's mother, who witnessed the first shooting and called 911, authorities said. READ MORE

PHOTOS: Remembering Belcher, Perkins | Chiefs win after Belcher's death
VIDEO: Teacher remembers Jovan Belcher

5. The case of the missing swimmerOn July
(Credit: Howard Schnapp)

5. The case of the missing swimmer
On July 28, Massapequa man Raymond Roth, 47, faked his drowning while out swimming at Jones Beach. Roth enlisted his son Jonathan to call the police and report the disappearance while his father went to start a new life in Florida, leaving behind a questionable will intended to allow his son and wife to collect on life insurance benefits. READ MORE

PHOTOS: Raymond Roth case | VIDEO: Roth arrested again


5. Wisconsin Sikh Temple shootingsOn Aug. 5, Wade
(Credit: AP, 2012)

5. Wisconsin Sikh Temple shootings
On Aug. 5, Wade Michael Page entered the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin outside of Milwaukee with a 9mm handgun and several magazines of ammunition, opening fire on worshipers there and killing six before committing suicide. Before Page's deadly attack, officials say that the 40-year-old Army veteran, who trained in psychological warfare, played in white supremacist heavy metal bands with names such as Definite Hate and End Apathy. READ MORE

PHOTOS: Sikh Temple shooting | VIDEO: 911 calls

3. Trayvon Martin Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American
(Credit: AP, 2012)

3. Trayvon Martin
Trayvon Martin, an unarmed African-American teenager, was returning to the home of his father's fiancee from a convenience store in Sanford, Fla., when George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch member, followed him. The two allegedly fought before Zimmerman shot and killed Martin, igniting a controversy over perceived racial profiling and the state's "stand your ground" law. Zimmerman, currently awaiting a criminal trial, is claiming self-defense under the law. READ MORE

PHOTOS: Trayvon Martin case | Timeline of events

2. 'Dark Knight' massacre In the early hours
(Credit: AP, 2012)

2. 'Dark Knight' massacre
In the early hours of July 20, authorities say, James Holmes opened fire on a theater full of moviegoers attending the midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colo. Holmes, who was armed with two .40-caliber Glock handguns, a Remington 870 single-barrel pump shotgun, a Smith & Wesson AR-15 assault-style rifle and as many as 6,000 rounds of ammunition, killed 12 people and left 58 others injured. Holmes also booby-trapped his home, presumably to ambush authorities who would search his apartment. READ MORE

PHOTOS: Dark Knight shooting | MORE: Complete coverage

1. Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting On Dec.
(Credit: Newtown Bee/Shannon Hicks, 2012)

1. Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting
On Dec. 14, authorities say, Adam Lanza, a 20-year old from Newtown, Conn., murdered his mother in their suburban home before driving to the nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School where she was a teacher and forcing his way into the school. Armed with three guns, officials say that Lanza shot his way through two first-grade classrooms, killing 20 children and six adults before turning the gun on himself. The age of the victims in the shootings -- the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history after the massacre at Virginia Tech in 2007-- set off a national debate over gun control. READ MORE

PHOTOS: Newtown shooting leaves 27 dead | Sandy Hook victims

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