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Faces of Ferguson collage

Five years ago, their faces and voices were everywhere.

As events in and around Ferguson made international news, protesters and police, shop owners and clergy wound up in the limelight. But what became of them once the furor faded?

The impact runs the gamut, in big ways and small.

A Missouri Highway Patrol captain, treated as a rock star of sorts on the streets of Ferguson, has since retired. He wrote a book about his experience.

One protester committed suicide. Another was found shot to death inside a burned car, his murder unsolved.

A woman whose store selling keepsakes burned to the ground during the unrest has rebuilt her shop — but acknowledges she still struggles for customers.

One civil rights leader during the Ferguson unrest ended up teaching at Harvard.

A politician tried to parlay his popularity in the spotlight into a run for mayor of St. Louis, but fell short. The events in and around Ferguson also spurred others to get involved in politics. 

An arsonist who set fire to a QuikTrip has three years left in his prison sentence and is hoping for clemency.

Post-Dispatch reporters caught up with some of the people who made headlines in 2014. Some didn't want to talk; others couldn't be located. But many were eager to share what they had learned from the events in Ferguson and how it had changed their lives.

Some of the headliners have moved away. One pastor left for Ohio, where he now shares lessons of Ferguson with police when race issues surface there. Others happily stayed put, using their experience as a springboard to more social activism.

But as one lawyer who helped defend activists put it: “It took a toll on a lot of us. People ended up in prison, all the hours put strains on personal relationships."

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Kim Bell is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.