CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Homicide Rates Surge Across the Country From Cincinnati to Orlando and Houston to Columbus, Ohio, cities across the country are witnessing a rise in homicides, prompting police and other officials to take a hard look at what is fueling the bloodshed.
"I know misery loves company, and you guys in Indianapolis have lots of company with other cities that are experiencing the same surge in homicide," said James Alan Fox, a criminal justice professor at Northeastern University in Boston, where the number of homicides jumped from 64 in 2004 to 75 last year.
Nationally, the FBI reported a 4.8 percent spike in homicides from 2004 to 2005 -- the largest percentage increase in 15 years -- and the trend seems to have continued into 2006.
Marion County tallied 95 homicides from Jan. 1 through Friday afternoon, a clip that could make this the deadliest year since 162 people were slain in 1998.
Among other cities:
  • Cincinnati, with a population of about 308,000, logged 53 homicides as of Wednesday, putting it on pace to push past last year's total of 79. In 2004, there were 64 killings in that city.
  • Columbus, Ohio, had 102 murders last year, compared to 88 in 2004, and the problem isn't getting better. The city of 730,000 has seen at least 66 homicides since January -- three more than during the same time last year.
  • Houston, with more than 2 million people, had 201 homicides during the first half of the year, up more than 26 percent compared to the first six months of 2005.
  • Charleston, S.C., home to about 107,000 people, notched 13 killings as of Wednesday, surpassing its 2005 total of 11 with several months left in the year.

Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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There have been much more than 66 murders so far this year in Columbus. The local media used to count the homicides and tell us on reports. I honestly think it stopped around late August or early September when the city started to experience a rash of murders. Last I heard, in mid Sept, the rate was about 80 (There have been at least 15-20 more in the last month and a half, but like I said, the media are no longer stating the count when they report on local homicides). I honestly think the "chief" here is hushing local media to make the city seem safer than it is. Columbus portrays itself as a lowcrime big city with a smalltown feel (as in "cowtown"), but I can tell you, as an east coast native, it is a smallish big city with a crime problem. True, crime was higher in the early 90s, but there is definitly has been an upsurge,especially in homicides, over the last 5 years. There were 67 homicides in 2000, something like a 20-year low. In 2001 and 2002 there were 82 or so each year. 2003 was particulary bloody, with 110 reported homicides. 2004 was a little better with 88, and like I said, though the media nor the police department are broadcasting it, by my estimate we have to be close to 100 and this is early November. Bloodiest year in Columbus was 1991, which was, along with 1990 and 1992, among the most violent years for many American cities. In 1991 Columbus had 139 homicides, and 150 in Franklin county.

Posted by: P. | Nov 5, 2006 7:43:53 AM

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