Best of 2009

12 Most Shocking Moments of 2009

Michael Jackson's death, the Hudson River miracle crash, the Balloon Boy hoax and more of the year's jaw-dropping stories


His staff said he was "hiking the Appalachian Trail," but South Carolina governor Mark Sanford was actually in Buenos Aires, where he was having an affair with a "dear, dear friend from Argentina." In a tearful press conference June 24, Sanford apologized to wife Jenny, his four sons and his staff for misleading them. In the fallout, he resigned as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association and his wife eventually filed for divorce – but he retained his elected post.