NBC10 Boston's Top 10 Stories of 2022: COVID, Crime, Marine Life and More

Separate stories about sharks and whales were among the most popular among our readers this year

It seems like every year has flown by since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with another blink 2022 has come and gone. For the second year running, the pandemic stole the spotlight on nbc10boston.com.

But it wasn't the only topic that got a lot of attention in 2022. Crime, ocean wildlife (both real and mythical) and, of course, snowstorms brought readers flocking to our site.

Here's a look at the 10 most-read local stories this year:

1. 'We Need to Be Prepared for This': COVID Nightmare Variant Spreading, Already in US

Our top stories included plenty related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as people learned to live with the virus and establish a "new normal" over the year.

Topping the chart was an article about the arrival of omicron subvariant XBB, which has recently taken over as the dominant strain in New England.

Top Boston doctors talk about rising COVID wastewater levels, the newly dominant XBB variant and whether Boston Public Schools should implement a temporary mask mandate during NBC10 Boston’s weekly “COVID Q&A” series.

Several other stories from NBC10 Boston's weekly "COVID Q&A" series also made the top of the list.

2. Where Is Michelle Carter Now? 'The Girl From Plainville' Story

The number two most-read story was about a Hulu series based on a local tragedy. "The Girl From Plainville" premiered in March and generated renewed interest in the Michelle Carter texting-suicide case.

Conrad Roy, 18, died by suicide in 2014. In a trial that received national attention, Carter, his girlfriend, was convicted on an involuntary manslaughter charge related to his death. Our article about the limited series that explores their relationship, starring Elle Fanning and Colton Ryan, was the website's runner-up after COVID-19.

Michelle Carter, the woman convicted of manslaughter for urging her suicidal boyfriend to kill himself in text messages was released from a Massachusetts jail Thursday.

3. 50-Foot Megalodon Sonar Figure Shocks Shark Researchers Off New England Coast

Sharks nose in at No. 3 on our most-read list, and it's a species that's making a habit of ending up on our year-end lists: the megalodon.

This story is about a team of shark experts who were shocked to see an image that appeared to be a 50-foot-long megalodon on sonar while on a research trip off New England’s coast. The shark experts said they tracked the massive figure for several minutes, only to find out it was a large school of Atlantic mackerel.

Researchers have created a 3D model of the Megalodon shark, the biggest predatory fish of all time, using fossil evidence. The model is helping researchers learn more clues about the shark's life, that is estimated to have lived 2.3 million to 2.6 million years ago. Dr. Tracy Fanara joins LX News to talk more about this discovery.

4. Timing, Expected Snowfall Totals From Saturday's Big Snowstorm & MAP: How Much Snow Did Mass. Get From the Blizzard

Two stories about the same blizzard take the No. 4 spot this year. The January storm dumped around two feet of snow across the region.

NBC10 Boston's First Alert Weather Team kept readers and app users up-to-date on the timing of the storm, making the weather blog our fourth most-read story of 2022.

5. Missing Mass. Hiker Found Dead on NH Mountain

The tragic death of a 19-year-old hiker last month was the fifth most-read story this year. Emily Sotelo of Westford, Massachusetts, went missing in New Hampshire in November. She was found dead on what would have been her 20th birthday, officials said.

6. Child Charged With Murdering Woman, Her 2 Kids in Northfield, NH

The sixth most-read story in 2022 was about a child who was accused of killing a mother and her two young children, who were found shot to death in Northfield, New Hampshire.

Authorities didn't share the suspect's name, age or other identifying information, citing legal restrictions on sharing information on children charged with crimes.

A suspect has been arrested in the death of a mother and her two sons in Northfield, New Hampshire.

7. Package Explodes at Northeastern University, Injuring Man. FBI Investigating

The package explosion at Northeastern University in September was the seventh most-read this year — as the situation unfolded and law enforcement descended on Boston, people kept looking for updates on what happened.

It later turned out to be a hoax, officials said. The Northeastern employee who said that he was injured when a package he was opening on the Boston campus exploded was indicted by a federal grand jury on three charges.

Jason Duhaime ,45, was arrested this morning near home in Texas. He faces one count of intentionally conveying false information related to an explosive device and another count of making materially false statements to a federal law enforcement agent.

8. Video Shows Whale Breaching Off Mass. Coast, Landing on Boat

This truly wild tale was the eighth top story of 2022. A humpback whale was caught on camera breaching the water and landing on top of a boat off the coast of Plymouth in July.

The 19-foot vessel sustained light damage to its bow but was shockingly still seaworthy. The boat was able to return to the boat ramp on its own power, and the boat operator fortunately reported there were no injuries.

Plymouth Harbormaster Chad Hunter told NBC10 Boston the close encounter occurred around 10 a.m. off the coast of White Horse Beach.

It was one of several encounters with whales in the area this summer, including close contact with a paddleboarder and a whale that bumped into a boat in about the same spot — authorities ending up warning boaters to keep away, for everyone's safety.

9. Coyotes in Mass. Town Prompt Police Call to Action

The ninth most-read story of 2022 came in August, when coyotes were cropping up in Wilmington, Massachusetts. Officials urged residents to do what they could to keep coyotes from eating human food.

Coyotes have been cropping up in Wilmington, Massachusetts, police said Monday, urging residents to do what they can to keep the coyotes from eating human food.

10. Newly Released Video Shows Moment BU Professor Fell Through Staircase to His Death

The tenth most-read story this year offered more information on the death of a Boston University professor who fell to his death through a rusted-out staircase near an MBTA train station in September 2021.

Surveillance video obtained by the NBC10 Investigators shows David K. Jones heading up the stairs, and the moment he falls through. NBC10 Boston edited the video of fall because it may be too graphic for some audiences.

Jones' death was ruled an accident.

David Jones, 40, of Milton, was out for a run when he fell to his death through a broken section of staircase near JFK Station. NBC10 Boston has edited the video of fall because it may be too graphic for some audiences.
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