Shania Clifford, 17, shows her work at the SkillsUSA Ohio masonry competition in Columbus in late April. She was judged the winner by a large margin, but weeks later, she learned she had been bumped from advancing to a national competition with the explanation: "The scores were inappropriately put in."

Three days after the Rhoden family murders in April, 79-year-old Jim Brodess sat on a front porch and mentioned that the Pike County sheriff's office had never before had to deal with an investigation even close to this one. And then he noted that Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader - even before eight people from his county were executed by killers who still haven't been caught - already was locked in a dogfight to keep his job.