I have compiled what I believe to the 10 most captivating local crime stories of the last year. These are the stories that got our readership talking.
“Steve and Gene”
Smoke from a forest fire aboard Camp Lejeune clouded U.S. 17 on an early morning in mid-June 2008. Motorists wrecked and authorities responded. Everything was routine.
Then the unimaginable happened: An 18-wheeler emerged from the smoke and struck a deputy and a firefighter.
Volunteer Verona Assistant Fire Chief Gene Thomas and Onslow County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Boehm died.
Both men died doing their job, but there are not very many jobs out there where doing your job makes you a hero everyday. Did their lives matter? Did they make a difference?
Ask Rachel Ritchie.
In 2003, Boehm saved her 3-year-old daughter’s life by performing CPR after the girl had swallowed cleaning fluid.
“Deputy Boehm’s a hero,” Ritchie told me. “He saved (my) daughter’s life.”