Three stories about the breathtakingly heinous gang rape, torture and burning of Oksana Makar — an 18-year-old Mykolaiv woman who died from her injuries in March — took the No. 1, No. 4 and No. 5 spots.
The unusual senselessness and brutality of the crime — she was choked, burned alive and dumped in a construction site — left humanity shocked and horrified. Three men were convicted of the crime and sentenced to long prison terms, but not life in prison.
The story was gripping for many reasons, including the mindlessness of the convicted murderers. It was captured in a video in which one of the suspects describes picking up Makar in a bar and inviting her the apartment of one of the men. She was gang-raped during a night of drinking, then assaulted further in an attempt to cover-up the crime. The suspect’s videotaped confession to police — leaked and posted on the Internet — was marked by lack of emotion and lack of intelligence.