The Baltimore Banner’s Best 2022: Most-read of 2022

Published 12/31/2022 6:00 a.m. EST, Updated 2/13/2023 10:41 a.m. EST

Reading digital stories off tablet.

Since launching in June, The Baltimore Banner has brought our readers community stories, investigative pieces, arts and culture articles and interesting reads.

Based on readership data, here are some of our most-read stories from this year.

‘Remove the shackles from Mr. Syed, please’: Adnan Syed walks free after Baltimore judge throws out his murder conviction

Adnan Syed emerges from the courthouse and after Baltimore Judge Melissa Phinn threw out Syed's murder conviction in light of new evidence that someone else could have strangled Hae Min Lee, ordered the release of  Syed.

Published: Sept. 19, 2022

In September 2022, a judge overturned the conviction of Adnan Syed after new evidence that someone else could have murdered his ex-girlfriend and Woodlawn High School classmate Hae Min Lee in 1999.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys told the judge that evidence had been withheld from Syed’s lawyers over the years.

For the first time in 23 years, Syed walked free.

Read the coverage here.

Maryland AG’s investigation of ‘pervasive’ Catholic Church abuse documents 158 priests, more than 600 victims

Photo collage of a tower of the Baltimore Basilica, boy holding rosary, man holding photo of teen boy from 70s, Archbishop Keogh High School sign, Sister Catherine Cesnik, and Archbishop William H. Keeler.

Published: Nov. 17, 2022

“Investigators told the courts they uncovered a history of ‘pervasive’ sexual abuse by the priesthood of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, as well as a cover-up and ‘complicit silence’ by church leaders.”

Reporters Tim Prudente and Liz Bowie broke down the report and investigation in this piece.

Six Baltimore cheesesteaks that are better than almost anything in Philly

Published: June 14, 2022

Yes, you read that headline correctly. In this story, Taji Burris boldly writes: “For reasons unknown to me, Philadelphia has become everybody’s go-to for cheesesteaks, despite how disappointing they taste. People stand in line for hours to get one. It makes no sense to me, since Baltimore hands-down has a better cheesesteak game.”

Philadelphians took this piece to heart. Let us — Taji — know what you think about it.

Check out the Taji’s takes here.

When a ‘predator’ holds the keys: How a ranger accused of rape ran a state park without scrutiny

Collage of Gunpowder Falls park sign, ranger's house, ranger seen from behind, and woman in front of window

Published: Oct. 25, 2022

The longtime manager of Gunpowder Falls State Park wielded so much power that it was called “The Kingdom.” More than a dozen current and former employees described a reign marked by bullying, intimidation, harassment and favoritism.

Reporter Julie Scharper spoke with those employees. Read the story here.

When opportunity flips: Why a firm promising profits from vacants faces so many lawsuits

Published: Nov. 1, 2022

Justin Fenton wrote this story about ABC Capital, a company that was selling distressed property to foreign investors.

For months, Justin visited hundreds of properties across Baltimore City owned by ABC investors and found that, for a model that guarantees rent, too many were vacant, and even more were simply in poor shape and/or empty.

Read the story here.

Where to find the creepiest places in Baltimore

Elijah Bond's Ouija board grave in
Green Mount Cemetery.

Published: June 21, 2022

“Luckily, Baltimore is one of the coolest places for a creep like me. There is no want of the macabre in the city that birthed the Ouija board and Edgar Allan Poe’s most seminal work, where grave robbery once ran so rampant cemetery caretakers were forced to fortify defenses.”

In this story, reporter Taylor DeVille owns her creepiness and lists her favorite places in Baltimore City.

View the list here.

The Baltimore dance move that’s all over TikTok

Screenshots of TikTok videos of people dancing the Bunkey Jr. Strut

Published: Oct. 5, 2022

It’s a dance that has become a global sensation. The Bunkey Jr. Strut had everyone from children to news anchors trying it — even some Baltimore Banner staff members.

Taji talked with Bunkey Jr. about the dance and its popularity.

Read more here.


@Strut King 👑 taught us how to do the #bunkeyjrstrut #bunkeyjr #parkheightsstrut baltimore@djzayy

♬ dance(256762) - TimTaj

The mystery of Mathilda Lorenz: Empty wooden coffin appears on the banks of Stony Run

Published: July 15, 2022

“The casket, a little more than five feet long, was made of weathered wood. A lid, also made of wood, lay shattered next to it. A small metal plaque adorned the casket. In a mix of old-fashioned fonts it read: ‘Mathilda Lorenz; Died July 26, 1882; Aged 18 years, 2 months and 1 day.’ ”

How did the casket of Mathilda Lorenz, who died in 1882, end up in Stony Run? Julie Scharper covered the mystery.

What makes a Baltimorean a Baltimorean?

Crowds mill around the National Aquarium in the Inner Harbor.

Published: June 17, 2022

What does make Baltimorean a Baltimorean? Do you have to be born here? Is it determined by which high school you went to? Are Baltimore County residents considered Baltimoreans?

Community reporter Jasmine Vaughn-Hall explored all these questions and criteria and brought them together in this piece.

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