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Top 9 WCPO news stories of 2019 show how our community handles challenges and how we see ourselves

Det. Bill Brewer
Posted at 5:00 AM, Dec 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-31 19:01:59-05

CINCINNATI — When we reflect on the year that’s closing, there’s a theme to the most popular stories viewed on

2019 was a challenging year.

It challenged what we see and believe as fact and truth. It challenged us across every divide as a society - party, race, class, ethnicity, gender - any status at all. It challenged how we view some of our neighbors, and taught us not to judge them so quickly. It challenged our hearts as we lost heroes and watched people in power fall from grace.

We witnessed video proof that there’s always another angle - and sometimes things aren't always as they first appear. Just ask local teen Nick Sandmann about the combustible power and mob mentality of social media.

We watched public opinion shift as previously unheard facts came to light during a tragic trial. The charges against local teen Brooke Skylar Richardson made her an international villain, but she walked out of court vindicated of the worst of them.

In Williamsburg, a community was challenged by the line of duty death of a county deputy and high school standout athlete - at the hands of a young man with deep family ties to the small town.

Many of these stories challenged our newsroom, too. They challenged our reporting process, our deadlines and our hearts as we tried to comfort our community while digging for answers and solutions. And truth.

Below are the most-read stories on in 2019. See for yourself how these stories challenged you, your beliefs and your community:

No. 1: Jacob Walter charged with rape

No. 2: Anti-Trump protester assaulted

No. 3: Brooke Skylar Richardson

No. 4: Details emerge in controversial Covington Catholic video

No. 5: Timmothy Pitzen

No. 6: Kenwood Hampton Inn shooting

No. 7: Det. Bill Brewer

No. 8: Tracie Hunter

No. 9: Church standoff

NOTE: We removed weather articles, John Matarese “Don’t Waste Your Money” articles, and stories that weren’t local from this list in order to focus on local news.