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Ben Kothe / BuzzFeed News

16 True Crime Stories And Legal Dramas That Shocked Us In 2018

The true crime features and other gripping stories that shocked us in 2018.

Posted on December 21, 2018, at 12:57 p.m. ET

1. The Disturbing Secret Behind An Iconic Cartoon

BuzzFeed News; Photos Courtesy Rice and Byrd

Robyn Byrd and Katie Rice were teenage Ren & Stimpy fans who wanted to make cartoons. They say they were preyed upon by the creator of the show, John Kricfalusi, who admitted to having had a 16-year-old girlfriend when approached by BuzzFeed News. Read it here.

—Ariane Lange

2. A Coach Admitted To A Sex Crime On Tape. But When The Victim Died, He Walked Free.

Courtesy of the Morris family

Emilie Morris got her high school cross-country coach to admit to sex crimes on tape. But when she unexpectedly died at age 35, the criminal case she’d fought to bring against him died, too. Read it here.

—Jessica Testa

3. Women Say A School For Troubled Teens Punished Girls For Being Gay

Melissa Lyttle for BuzzFeed News; Provided

Former students and employees of the River View Christian Academy told BuzzFeed News that girls were disciplined if they even discussed the idea of being gay. "I didn't come out as queer for 10 years because of it." Read it here.

—Tyler Kingkade

When Anna said she was raped by two on-duty cops, she thought it would be a simple case. She had no idea she lived in one of 35 states where officers can claim a detainee consented. Read it here.

—Albert Samaha

5. He Counseled A Teen For Years, But She Says He Was Grooming Her For Sex

Kate Ferro for BuzzFeed News

A young woman filed a lawsuit and a police report accusing a Texas imam of sexual misconduct. Those who know her say it’s a landmark moment for Muslims saying #MeToo. Read it here.

—Hannah Allam

6. Child Marriage Is Legal In 48 States. These Women Are Asking Why.

Nicole Craine for BuzzFeed News

Over the past two years, at least 20 state legislatures have considered whether to ban marriage under 18. Only two have actually done it. Read it here.

—Jessica Testa

I went to Wisconsin’s Bad River Reservation to find out why 14-year-old Jason Pero was shot dead by a sheriff’s deputy. But tribal members didn’t only want to talk about the shooting: “You’ve heard about the women, right?” Read it here.

—John Stanton

8. She Thought She Was In Bed With Her Boyfriend, Until She Saw His Face

AJ Mast for BuzzFeed News

“I was like, ‘I feel violated. This feels wrong. But I don’t know if it’s illegal.’” This woman's case has exposed a loophole in rape laws. Read it here.

—David Mack

9. The Secret Of Miles City: How A Friend Request Shattered A Small Town’s Innocence

Ben Kothe / BuzzFeed News; Getty Images, Wikimedia Commons

A high school athletic trainer claimed his unorthodox treatments would change players’ lives. Dozens of victims say school officials, including one who’s now a state lawmaker, kept “Doc’s” secrets. Read it here.

—Tyler Kingkade

10. The Law Made These Women Pay Up To Get Out Of Their Abusive Marriages

Kate Ferro for BuzzFeed News

These women thought they could finally break free from their convicted abusers. They didn’t expect it’d come with a price tag. Read it here.

—Ariane Lange

11. A 16-Year-Old Told Police She Was Raped. Two Months Later, She Was Dead.

Rachel Woolf for BuzzFeed News

He got second chance after second chance. She didn’t. Read it here.

—Jessica Testa

The new allegations range from underage sexual abuse in the 1990s to holding a “brainwashed” woman in a “cult” today. Read it here.

—Jim DeRogatis and Marisa Carroll

13. State And Local Republican Officials Have Been Bashing Muslims. We Counted.

Joan Wong for BuzzFeed News

A BuzzFeed News analysis found that Republican officials in 49 states have openly attacked Muslims with words and proposed legislation since 2015, and few have faced repercussions. Read it here.

—Hannah Allam and Talal Ansari

14. The US Is Sending Its Addiction Problem Over The Border

Arlene Mejorado for BuzzFeed News

“They’re thinking they’ll get what they need over here,” said a doctor who’s treated Americans with drug addictions in Tijuana. Read it here.

—John Stanton

15. An Autistic Woman’s Family Says The State Exposed Her To Sexual Abuse

Jenny Riffle for BuzzFeed News

Residents in homes for people with developmental disabilities are rarely taught how to report abuse, despite being at high risk of experiencing it. Read it here.

—Ariane Lange

16. A Doctor Admitted To Sexually Abusing Patients And Then Walked Free

Ian MacLellan for BuzzFeed News

Prosecutors told Robert A. Hadden’s patients his guilty plea was a win for victims, but the #MeToo movement has some questioning the Manhattan district attorney’s motives. Read it here.

—Albert Samaha

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