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Santa Monica Patch's Top 11 Stories of 2011

A look at the top stories of the year.

Drum roll, please! Based on the number of clicks received, here are 11 of this year's most read stories:

11. 

An approximately 250-pound pipe bomb filled with gun powder and concrete exploded the morning of April 7 in the parking lot of the Chabad House Lubavitch. A .

10.  and No. 9. 

Twenty-three-year-old Santa Monica resident Anupam Sanyal was killed Feb. 12 in a car race near 20th Street and Wilshire Boulevard. Sanyal reportedly lost control of his car, which then struck a palm tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

8. 

A painter working at a house was injured when a single-engine Cessna piloted by a student crashed Aug. 29 near 21st and Navy.

7. 

Rain pummeled runners of the 26th annual Los Angeles Marathon, at which an American sumo wrestler weighing 400 pounds, became the heaviest person to ever finish a marathon.

6. 

Melissa Del-Aguila, a 24-year-old UCLA graduate, was killed by a taxi after running across Wilshire Boulevard near  early in the morning June 22. 

5. 

Patch published photos of Santa Monica locations that have appeared in Curb Your Enthusiasm over the course of its eight seasons. 

4. 

Nearly 70 years after unidentified flying objects were spotted in the skies above  and Redondo Beach, experts debated in Santa Monica the incident, which spurred U.S. military to fire 1,400 shells at the objects. 

3. 

Notorious gangster James Bugler was one of the FBI's most wanted when he was arrested in Santa Monica in June. The arrest made headlines across the country. Bulger had lived for years hiding under an alias in the Princess Eugenia apartment complex in Santa Monica along with longtime companion, Catherine Greig.

2. 

Somali pirates shot and killed four U.S. hostages in February, including Jean and Scott Adam, who were parishioners at . Eleven pirates tied to the kidnapping and slayings pleaded guilty; six of them were sentenced to life behind bars. 

1.  

In the wake of a magnitude 8.8 earthquake that rocked the east coast of Honshu, Japan mid-march, onlookers gathered along Santa Monica's beaches waiting for a tsunami. In the end, the biggest waves to hit Santa Monica measured just 2.8 feet tall.

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