The LA Times has an interactive Homicide Report (link to the report) that features the pictures (usually drivers’ license) of the victims, a map of where each person was murdered, a brief description of the crime from the police report, and a fully searchable database of information related to: age, gender, cause, day of the week, jurisdiction, neighborhood, race/ethnicity, circumstances and crime scene.
Readers can search for murders at a specific address or in a specific neighborhood. There are many neighborhoods I would not want to live in based on this information.
Readers can also comment about each person’s homicide. Some of the comments reflect the emotional upheaval of a society that no longer believes in the police force or the justice system. (Recent case in point completely unrelated to LA: The Casey Anthony‘s trial.)
- You hear about murder in the news all of the time. When you see the faces of the murdered, from a few months old (shot to death) to 91, you can’t help but grieve for what we have become.
- Most victims are shot to death, are Latino, are 18 years old, and are murdered on the weekends.
- If the statistics can be believed, the number of murders has dropped every year since the data has been reported in this project (2007).
- Several LA neighborhoods are violent beyond belief.
- When I first saw the project, indicating that 3,476 people have been murdered here since 1/1/2007, I was horrified and didn’t even want to go outside. But, trying to put this in perspective, if LA county has 11,000,000 people living in it, the 939 murders that took place in LA county in 2007 (the worst year) means that .0085 of 1% of the population was murdered that year.
- Violence is an outrage. Murder is unspeakable. So many people are deeply affected for the rest of their lives.
Even Manhattan Beach had a murder/suicide last year. A young woman broke up with her boyfriend. He killed her and then himself.
At any rate, every city should have a project like this. While the project’s focus is tragic and sad, it is informative.