Crime dominated online reading in 2013

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 1, 2014

By David Vitrano

LAPLACE – With another year in the books, L’Observateur has taken a look back at some of the stories that drew the most attention from readers in 2013.

The list contains a few surprises, mostly in that no story about proposed flood protection measures managed to crack the top 10. Instead, crime stories seemed to be on the minds of readers as crime-related articles dominated the list of most viewed articles on the newspaper’s online offerings. So, without further ado, here are the most viewed articles of 2013 on and its mobile counterpart:

10. The list opens with one of the few stories not related to crime in the River Parishes. A story from January on changes for the 2012 tax season drew readers in as they prepared to fill out their returns. Many modifications to the tax code made filing a little trickier than usual, and that fact coupled with a later-than-usual opening date made the story “Changes in store for 2012 tax filing season” the 10th most viewed story of the year. And look on page 3A for some information regarding the opening of the 2013 tax season.

9. Number nine on the list concerns the mysterious murder of a LaPlace man. In July, St. John the Baptist Parish sheriff’s deputies discovered the body of Johnathan Toussain in his Ellerslie Avenue home. Shortly afterward, three teenagers were charged in connection with the crime. But the case appeared to be no simple “robbery gone wrong” scenario when the victim’s wife was charged in connection with the crime in September.

8. The number eight story on the list concerns a crime that happened outside of the River Parishes. In June, LaPlace native Tajh Michael Thomas was killed while staying with his cousin, Trey Perrilloux, at a Kenner apartment complex. Investigators believed the crime to be drug related and arrested Perrilloux on narcotics charges.

7. A July story about a robbery arrest drew the seventh most views in 2013. Although the crime itself was not particularly unusual, what generated interest was probably the number of times the suspect has been arrested in St. John Parish. LaPlace man Todd Joseph Jr. has been arrested 73 times in the parish since August 2002. That’s nearly once every two months for 11 years.

6. The investigation into the disappearance of 17-year-old Mikivon Anderson of Garyville stretched across months and encompassed several articles, but the initial plea from the St. John Sheriff’s Office for help in the case drew the most views in 2013. Anderson’s body was eventually discovered in a wooded area near the train tracks in Mount Airy. One of the suspects in the murder, 18-year-old Brandon Braxton, was Anderson’s friend that had drawn the suspicion of the missing teen’s family following his disappearance.

5. The number five story concerned a theft of electronic equipment from Walmart in LaPlace. Three juveniles were charged in the crime, and each had a prior criminal record.

4. A LaPlace drug bust netted the fourth most views online in 2013. In November, deputies arrested Dexter Jackson of LaPlace after a large cache of heroin and marijuana as well as a shotgun and drug paraphernalia were discovered in his home thanks to tips from the public.

3. The highly-publicized and brutal murder of 15-year-old Taylor Adams returned to the headlines in May when her murderer, Earnest Joseph III, was finally sentenced. Joseph, who lived near Adams, was sentenced to 28 years of hard labor for the 2010 crime. Investigators used Adams’ Facebook activity to determine certain details of the crime.

2. The annual roundup of deadbeat dads in St. John the Baptist Parish garnered the second-most views in 2013.  In January, the St. John Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with the District Attorney’s Office rounded up a dozen men who owed more than $140,000 in back child support.

1. Given the nature of most of the stories on this list, the most viewed story of 2013, which beat its closest competitor by more than 3,000 views, showed a more compassionate side of the River Parishes. The story, “LaPlace family’s medical struggles bring uncertainty,” concerned 10-year-old Tyler Cambre and his struggle to beat brain cancer. The story told not only of his battle but the family’s emotional and financial struggles in dealing with the boy’s medical problems.