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- January 18 - End of the Sierra Leone Civil War.
- February 8 - End of the Algerian Civil War.
- February 22 - UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi is killed by MPLA forces during a shootout in Moxico Province.
- March 20 - The Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization perpetrates a suicide bombing on an Egged bus which was passing through Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel, killing 7 people and injuring 27 others.
- March 27 - Nantere Massacre: Richard Durn kills 8 people and injures 30 others in the town hall in Nantere, France. He was apprehended the same day but committed suicide while in police custody the following day.
- March 27 - Hamas perpetrates a suicide bombing at the Park Hotel in Netanya, Israel, killing 30 people and injuring 140.
- March 29 to May 10 - Israel conducts Operation Defensive Shield in the Palestinian territories, lead by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
- April 4 - End of the Angolan Civil War.
- April 26 - The Erfut school massacre takes place when former student Robert Steinhäuser kills 16 people before committing suicide at Gutenberg Gymnasium secondary school in Erfut, Germany.
- April 27 - River Run Riot: A brawl breaks out between Mongols and Hell's Angels at Harrah's Casino in Laughlin, Nevada. Three die and at least a dozen are injured.
- May 27 - Viktor Orbán's first term as Prime Minister of Hungary comes to an end.
- June 5 - Brian David Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee kidnap 14-year old Elizabeth Smart from her home in Salt Lake City, Utah.
- June 7 - Michael Skakel is found guilty of the 1975 murder of Martha Moxley and is sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.
- June 29 - Robert William Fisher is placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.
- July 24 - Carla Harris murders her husband David Lynn Harris by running him over with her car.
- August 23 - 21-year-old Michelle Knight is kidnapped by Ariel Castro after leaving her cousin's house in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio.
- October 2 to 24 - The Beltway sniper attacks: John Allen Muhammed and Lee Boyd Malvo kill a total of 17 people in a series of sniper shootings in Washington D.C.
- October 4 - Trans woman Gwen Araujo is killed by four men in a transphobic hate crime.
- October 12 - The 2002 Bali bombings take place, leaving 202 people dead excluding the bombers and 209 injured. Islamic terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah claimed responsibity for the bombing.
- December - David Duke is convicted of felony fraud and sentenced to 15 months imprisonment.
- January 23 - Jessica Ridgeway
- June 26 - Tamir Rice
- July 18 - Zachary Turner
- October 25 - Luke Hoyer
- November 9 - Peter Wang
- December 28 - Kelsey Smith-Briggs
- January 24 - Elie Hobeika
- February 22 - Jonas Savimbi
- March 28 - Richard Durn
- April 26 - Robert Steinhäuser
- May 5 - Hugo Banzer
- May 28 - David Parker Ray & Napoleon Beazley
- June 10 - Maury Travis & John Gotti
- July 22 - Chuck Traynor
- September 24 - Robert Anthony Buell
- October 9 - Aileen Wuornos
- November 14 - Mir Aimal Kansi
- November 15 - Myra Hindley
- November 21 - Arturo Guzmán Decena
- December 5 - Ne Win
- January 9 - Ashley Pond
- February 1 - Daniel Pearl
- March 8 - Miranda Gaddis
- July 24 - David Lynn Harris
- October 4 - Gwen Araujo