Posted: 10:57 a.m. Thursday, December 29, 2016
The controversial and historic presidential election that resulted in billionaire businessman and reality television star, Republican Donald Trump, winning the presidency dominated the 2016 news headlines.
Trump’s victory over the nation’s first female major party nominee, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was a roller coaster of emotions leading up to the surprise ending on election night.
Several stories shocked us in 2016 — Wright State University pulling out the presidential debate or the terrorist attack at Ohio State University — but none compared to the killings of eight people in rural Pike County that still remain unsolved.
Before we begin 2017 with a new slate, we took a look at some of the top Ohio stories from last year (in random order):
Pike County killings
The still unsolved execution-style slayings of eight people in rural Pike County in April mystified law enforcement and the Appalachian community where members of the Rhoden family were killed. The only survivors were three small children.
“This is an old fashioned, cold-blooded, calculated massacre of eight human beings,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said in April.
Authorities found marijuana grow operations at two of four properties where the killings took place and initially speculated that Mexican drug cartels could be involved in the killings. But in October Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader told WCPO-TV that he believed the killers could be from the Pike County area.
The victims were 40-year-old Christopher Rhoden; his ex-wife, 37-year-old Dana Rhoden; their three children, 20-year-old Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 16-year-old Christopher Jr., and 19-year-old Hanna; Frankie Rhoden’s fiancée, 20-year-old Hannah Gilley; Christopher Rhoden Sr.’s brother, 44-year-old Kenneth Rhoden; and a cousin, 38-year-old Gary Rhoden.