As 2011 winds down, Reading Patch will be counting the down the most viewed stories on the site this year. Today we're bringing you the 10 most popular articles of 2011.
So without further delay, here's the top 10.
The entire season, Ronan and his teammates lost just three games, and Ronan had the privilege of congratulating now-deceased RMHS hockey coach Peter Doherty on his 400th career victory. The 2007 "Pioneer," the high school’s yearbook, shows Ronan and teammates posing confidently for the camera.
9) Reading Alum Pleads Not Guilty to Killing Joe Ronan: John Burke, the Revere man accused of shooting and killing 22-year-old Joe Ronan of Reading, pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and unlicensed possession of a firearm at Woburn District Court in August. Burke, himself a RMHS graduate, was ordered held without bail by Judge Tim Jailey awaiting a pre-trial conference.
8) Reading’s Joe Ronan Murder: The Case So Far: A chronological summary of the Joe Ronan murder case, written about a week after the crime. The piece covers the first week of the investigation, from the discovery of the body at 3 Lawrence Road to the DA’s announcement the death was the result of a homicide and the Reading PD’s new tip-texting system.
7) The Reading Community Mourns for Quinlan Junta: Reading Patch continued our coverage of the tragic death of Quinlan Junta with a collection of memories and stories culled from Twitter and our own comment boards.
6) Prosecutor: Burke Texted Ronan Before Murder: John Burke, the Reading Memorial High School graduate accused of killing Joe Ronan, admitted to police that he had visited Ronan the day of the murder but claimed he had nothing to do with the crime. Assistant District Attorney Beth Dunigan told Judge Tim Jailey Monday in Woburn District Court that police spoke to John Burke early on the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 16, after he had been found at his girlfriend’s place in Revere.
5) A Smile and a Hockey Stick: A Portrait of Joe Ronan: A little more than 24 hours after someone shot and killed Joe Ronan at his home at 3 Lawrence Road, a clearer picture of who he was has taken shape. In high school, Ronan served the town as a strong hockey player, co-captaining his team in his senior year to a season that included just three losses and a Middlesex League title. He and his teammates even had the privilege of congratulating now-departed coach Peter Doherty on his 400th career win.
4) Confirmed: A Man Was Shot Dead in Reading Monday: Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone’s office confirmed that a man had been shot in Reading today and said they are in the early stages of their investigation. “We can confirm we responded this afternoon with Reading police to a fatal shooting of a male decedent,” said Middlesex DA Communications Director Jessica Venezia Pastore. “It has been characterized as a suspicious shooting.” The department later named the shooting victim as 22-year-old Joe Ronan.
3) District Attorney Names Shooting Victim: 22-Year-Old Joe Ronan: Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone and Reading Police Chief James Cormier named the victim of an August 15 homicide at 3 Lawrence Road: 22-year-old Joe Ronan. An RMHS grad, Ronan was discovered dead of multiple gunshot wounds after police responded to reports of gunfire at the home.
2) Report: Revere Man Arrested on Ronan Murder Charge: A Revere man was arrested and charged with the murder of 22-year-old Joe Ronan on Lawrence Road in Reading. John Burke, 25, was arrested in Reading and faces charges of first degree murder and illegal possession of a firearm. Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone alleges that Burke shot Ronan multiple times over a drug-related dispute. Burke was arraigned in Woburn District Court.
1) Quinlan Junta Confirmed Dead: Reading High alumnus and standout hockey player Quinlan Junta was found dead in his home in October. A woman who answered the phone at the Junta residence confirmed that he had died, but did not give her name or offer any further information. Cara O'Brien, a spokesperson for District Attorney Gerard Leone's office, said the office was not called to the scene of the death as it was a medical call.
Reading Patch’s coverage of this tragic event was the most viewed story of 2011.