SPOKANE, Wash. - Stolen computers, World of Warcraft, thousands of credit cards hacked, Shell 77, Chanin Starbuck, Josie Freier, Mackenzie Mott and Delbert Belton. These were among the top 10 stories of 2013 on KXLY.com.
Delbert "Shorty" Belton, a WWII Army veteran who survived being wounded in the Battle of Okinawa, was beaten and left for dead in his car outside the Eagles Ice Arena in August. Within days two teens, Demetrius Glenn and Kenan Adams Kinard, were arrested for the veteran's death.
Hundreds of people, many of them people who never met Belton, turned out to pay their respects to Belton at his funeral.
In July, a 62-year-old man was found lying naked in the middle of a road in Clarkston with his genitalia severed.
At the time, the Asotin County Sheriff's Office said the incident was not an accident but there was no threat or danger to the community.
In September two teens were arrested after they attempted to assault the mother of one of the juveniles with knives and a sword with the intent to eat her liver.
"Yeah, this is strange," Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Chamberlin said. "The 13-year-old talked to deputies on the scene and said it was their complete intent to kill the mother, initially they were going to stab her with the two knives we located at the crime scene and then choose to use the handle of the sword."
Chanin Starbuck, 42, was found murdered in her Deer Park home in December 2011. As detectives investigated her killing they zeroed in on the prime suspect in the case: Her ex-husband Clay. Clay was later arrested and charged with her murder and, in May, on the second day of the trial, prosecutors presented to the court dozens of crime scene photos, showing the jury Chanin had been beaten from head to toe, strangled and was posed after her death to further degrade her.
Clay Starbuck was later found guilty of killing his ex-wife and sentenced to life in prison.
In early May, a KC-135 flying outbound from the Transit Center at Manas broke apart in mid-air while on an aerial refueling mission. The aircraft wreckage showed the tanker belonged to a McConnell AFB aerial refueling squadron, but KXLY sources in Wichita, Kan. and in Spokane confirmed the crew aboard the tanker was actually from Fairchild Air Force Base.
Fairchild officials would later confirm that Capt. Mark Voss, 27, of Colorado Springs, Capt. Victoria Pinckney, 27, of Palmdale, Calif. and Tech Sgt. Herman Mackey III, 30, of Bakersfield, Calif., all assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron based at Fairchild, were killed in the crash.
At the height of Thanksgiving grocery shopping, dozens of local groceries stores asked customers to pay cash or check because the URM-run computer network that processes credit and debit card transactions has been compromised by hacking for at least two months.
Last December, Christopher Schwanke, a would-be burglar realized belatedly he tried to break into the wrong house when he was confronted by the homeowner's son, Alex Pohle, 22-year-old Marine infantryman home on leave from Afghanistan. In the official report from the Spokane County Sheriff's Office, Pohle was said to have "escorted Schwanke to the ground."
"When I took him to the ground, it kinda kicked in … to put him in a headlock and blood choke and I put my knee on his head, everything kicked in," Pohle said.
Schwanke was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries, and then was booked into the Spokane County Jail.
In October, the mother of three boys helped sheriff's deputies crack the case of who stole 58 Apple MacBook Air laptops from Evergreen Elementary School.
Initially her kids denied to deputies about having a role in the theft of the computers, but mom called deputies back to her house a short time later and her kids reversed their stories and admitted to the theft.
On a Saturday evening in early October, three teens were driving at high speed down a road in Spokane Valley when the driver lost control, hit a curb and the car smashed into a tree. Two of the teens, University High students Josie Freier and McKenzie Mott, were killed in the crash, devastating the community.
While other local high schools rallied to show their support for U-High, thousands of people donated gifts to Josie Freier's favorite charity, Toys 4 Tots, in her memory.
In October the Idaho Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court decision to remove custody of three children from a woman who focused more on accomplishing group objectives in "World of Warcraft" than taking care of her own kids in the real world.
NOTE: The stories chosen for this list was based on the number of pageviews each received between Jan. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2013.
- Driver arrested after Spokane Valley crash injures four juveniles
- Lawmakers don't want pot billboards to be appealing to kids
- Thousands of pennies to help nonprofit school
- Hundreds 'March for Science' in Spokane
- Pink Ribbon Run will raise funds for local breast cancer patients
- STA one step closer to Central City Line