Sex and murder, sports, pot and, of course, our quality of life in growing Colorado. These were the headlines that shook us, made us laugh, made us cringe and made us cry in 2015. In between, there were plenty of other strange but true tales, many of which you can find on our blog this week. But when it came to the stories that Westword readers were most interested in, they ranged from the tragic stories of local crime to Ashley Madison cheaters to marijuana. Here are the ten most-read News stories of the year.
10. Gary Ridgeway, America's Most Prolific Serial Killer Out of Colorado
"Earlier this year, we told you about Gary Ridgway, widely thought to be America's most prolific serial killer, being moved from Washington state, where the so-called Green River Killer committed most of his known crimes, to Colorado; see our previous coverage below. Now, Ridgway is back in Washington after complaints from the loved ones of his victims. Meanwhile, an incident that recently involved Aurora theater shooter James Holmes hints at the reasons Ridgway was moved in the first place. As noted last month by Washington's KIRO-TV, the person at the center of the protests against Ridgway's relocation was Mary Marrero, sister of Becky Marrero. In 2011, Ridgway pleaded guilty to killing Becky, his 49th victim by the official law enforcement estimate."
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9. Ten Suggestions for Front Range Places to Have Sex Outdoors
"Post a question on the Internet and you'll get answers. Lots of answers. Take this vintage thread kicked off by someone looking for the best places to have sex outdoors along the Front Range. Plenty of people weighed in with advice. And while we can't personally vouch for any of the spots, we feel confident the suggestions came from experience, as it were. Here are ten photo-illustrated tips for those of you looking to get back to nature."
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8. Update Ashley Madison Hackers Dump Data on Up To 70,000 Denver Cheaters
"Last month, we reported that hackers of AshleyMadison.com, a website that promotes extramarital hookups (slogan: "Life is Short. Have an Affair"), threatened to expose the financial and personal data of users, including what the company had previously estimated as 70,000 people in the Denver area alone. See our previous coverage below. An empty threat? Not so much. Now, Wired is reporting that 9.7 gigabytes of data "was posted on Tuesday to the dark web using an Onion address accessible only through the Tor browser. 'The files appear to include account details and log-ins for some 32 million users of the social networking site,' the magazine's piece continues. 'Seven years worth of credit card and other payment transaction details are also part of the dump, going back to 2007.'"
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7. Here's How To Find Out Which Cheaters Were Unmasked in Ashley Madison Hack
"As we've reported, the still-unknown individuals who hacked Ashley Madison, a website that promotes extramarital hookups, dumped personal and financial data on an estimated 3.2 million users. According to an Ashley Madison estimate shared with us earlier this year, that total could include more than 70,000 people in the metro Denver area. Curious if your spouse is among them? Numerous websites have popped up in recent days that allow you to find out."
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6. Richard Darling Accused of "Filleting", Dismembering Body of Victim Rey Pesina
"The murder took place on Halloween night. And police accounts of what happened are genuinely horrifying — so much so that we need to issue an advance warning. Some readers (make that most readers) will find the details to be disturbing. Richard Darling, 34, is accused of murdering Rey Pesina, then dismembering and "filleting" his body before putting it in a barrel and setting it ablaze."
5. Top Ten Best Places to live in Colorado According to Movoto
"There are plenty of amazing places to call home in Colorado — but which of them stand above the others? The Movoto blog came up with its list of the top ten. Count down the photo-illustrated top ten below, complete with excerpts from Movoto text and information about methodology."
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4. RIP Rachel Aboytes aka Baby Smiley Rap Artist
"The Denver coroner's office has now identified the woman who lost her life as Rachel Aboytes, 21, an aspiring rapper from Longmont who used the stage name Baby Smiley. And while the Denver Police Department has not yet formally confirmed that the same shooter or shooters were responsible for both crimes, we now know that Aboytes and the thus-far-unidentified woman who was injured alongside her were together shortly before gunfire rang out. Aboytes's Facebook page is filled with photos and graphics related to her hip-hop dreams."
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3. Top 12 Tweets From F*cking Pissed Chiefs Fans About Broncos Win
"Broncos fans who bailed out on last night's game against the Kansas City Chiefs in the middle of the second quarter no doubt woke up shocked this morning. Early on, Denver's offense looked horrific once again, with the line allowing one pass rusher after another to abuse Peyton Manning. He seemed ready to shatter like a six-feet, five-inch piece of crockery. By the time the score was 14-0 Kansas City, the contest seemed over. But no: The Broncos managed to get even by halftime, and in the final minutes, the squad scored two touchdowns in nine seconds, with the clinching TD coming off Bradley Roby's return of a fumble by the Chiefs' Jamal Charles in a play call immediately questioned by the absolutely horror-struck Kansas City faithful. Final score: Denver 31, KC 24."
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2. Number of Denver Trick-or-Treaters Dosed With Pot Edibles on Halloween- Zero, Again
"Last year, the Denver Police Department and Smart Colorado, an organization concerned about youth access to marijuana, hyped up the possibility of pot edibles being handed out to Halloween trick-or-treaters. Afterward, as we pointed out, the number of reports about such issues topped out at zero — meaning that there were no incidents of individuals passing out THC-enfused sweets to random kids."
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1. Angry Denver Craigslist Post
"Over the years, we've stumbled upon plenty of strange stuff in the Denver Craigslist Rants & Raves section. But we were still surprised by the manifesto entitled 'Dear 'New' Coloradans: Here is a Beginner's Guide to Help You Out!' Not that the post offers tips about the best local dive bars, the quickest commutes across town or the DMVs with the shortest lines. Instead, the anonymous author vents in numerical order about dumb things newcomers to Colorado do, from disrespecting the mountains to assuming that every Latino must speak Spanish. In addition, he hurls random jeremiads at people who let their kids run wild, fail to use their turn signal, overload their backpacks or dare to wear fleece vests — pet peeves he illustrates with the memes on view below. We predict a wide variety of reactions to what follows. Many items will inspire hallelujahs. Others (like the assertion that real Coloradans use the 'N' word 'when it's called for') probably won't. But one thing's certain: This 'Beginner's Guide' is among the most memorable rants we've found."
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