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April 28, 2006
New York Killers, and Those Killed, by Numbers
By JO CRAVEN McGINTY
New York Times

The oldest killer was 88; he murdered his wife. The youngest was 9; she stabbed her friend. The women were more than twice as likely as men to murder a current spouse or lover. But once the romance was over, only the men killed their exes. The deadliest day was on July 10, 2004, when eight people died in separate homicides.

Five people eliminated a boss; 10 others murdered co-workers. Males who killed favored firearms, while women and girls chose knives as often as guns. More homicides occurred in Brooklyn than in any other borough. More happened on Saturday. And roughly a third are unsolved.

At the end of each year, the New York Police Department reports the number of killings — there were 540 in 2005. Typically, much is made of how the number has fallen in recent years — to totals not seen since the early 1960's. But beyond summarizing the overarching trends, the police spend little time compiling the individual details.

The New York Times obtained the basic records for every murder in the city over the last three years, and while the events make for disturbing reading, the numbers can hint at trends, occasionally solve a mystery and in at least some straightforward way answer for the city the questions of who kills and who is killed in the five boroughs.

From 2003 through 2005, 1,662 murders were committed in New York. No information, beyond an occasional physical description, is available on the killers in the unsolved cases.

Of the rest, men and boys were responsible for 93 percent of the murders; they killed with guns about two-thirds of the time; their victims tended to be other men and boys; and in more than half the cases, the killer and the victim knew each other.

The police said they were more interested in disrupting crime patterns. "We're looking for things with operational implications — time of day, day of the week — to see that we deploy officers at the right times and in sufficient numbers," said Michael J. Farrell, deputy commissioner for strategic initiatives.

The offender and victim were of the same race in more than three-quarters of the killings. And according to Mr. Farrell, they often had something else in common: More than 90 percent of the killers had criminal records; and of those who wound up killed, more than half had them.

"If the average New Yorker is concerned about being murdered in a random crime, the odds of that happening are really remote," Mr. Farrell said. "If you are living apart from a life of crime, your risk is negligible."

Criminologists confirm that assessment. "People will be shocked to see how safe it is to live in New York City," said Andrew Karmen, a sociology professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and an expert on victimology. "Victims and offenders are pretty much pulled from the same background. Very often, young victims have young killers. Very often, the victim and killer knew each other."

But plenty of times, events diverge from the norm.

At least a quarter of the city's murders in these three years, were committed by strangers, and in those instances, most were the result of a dispute. Stranger homicides now happen at almost twice the rate of 50 years ago, when, according to a classic study by Marvin Wolfgang, a criminologist, about 14 percent of murders were committed by strangers.

"Homicide used to be regarded as an acquaintance phenomenon with relatively rare incidents involving strangers," said Steven F. Messner, a homicide expert and a professor of sociology at the State University of New York at Albany. "It's still characteristically an acquaintance event. But the stranger homicides are now nontrivial."

After four years as commander of the Brooklyn North homicide squad, Lt. John Cornicello said the murders in his section of the borough had begun to run together. Yet from memory, he rolled off the details of several: The good Samaritan shot for his Lincoln Navigator after offering a ride to a group of stranded people. The ".40-caliber killer," a serial murderer who shot and killed but did not rob four shopkeepers because he believed they were Middle Eastern.

"More and more, they seem to be the result of stupidity," Lieutenant Cornicello said. "Take the Potato Wedge Killer."

In that recent case, a customer at a KFC restaurant became incensed when he did not receive enough starch with his fried chicken order. After demanding both a refund and an order of potato wedges, he later confronted the cashier with whom he had argued and stabbed him to death.

Among all the city's victims, the oldest was 91; she died during a robbery. Whites and Asians, who seldom murdered, were also infrequently killed: Together, they represented 75 or fewer victims each year. Most homicides occurred outdoors. The deadliest hour was 1 to 2 a.m.

And a small but unsettling number of children were among the victims, including 21 infants and 32 children ages 1 to 10, most of whom died at the hands of a parent.

According to Professor Karmen, 10 is the safest age. "You're too old to be abused or neglected as a child," he said, "and you're not old enough to be out on the streets."

An interesting, though uncommon, group of murders that made it into the police accounting in these years involved a handful of victims who died of injuries they had first suffered in crimes committed one or more years before.

Stabbed, shot, beaten or burned, they survived long enough to be counted as murder victims in another calendar year.

Sixty-nine victims fit this description.

In some instances, they were injured decades ago. The medical examiner alerts the police when such deaths occur, according to Sgt. Edward Yee of the Police Department's crime analysis unit, and the police add the victims to that year's murder tally.

For example, 21 deaths that were counted as murders in 2005 resulted from injuries that occurred in earlier years.

The oldest involved a shooting in 1975, when a man attacked his brother in a domestic dispute. That raised the murder toll to 540, the lowest figure recorded by the city in four decades, but only 519 murders were committed last year.

Subtracting these belated deaths makes the recent decline in the number of homicides — which has grabbed headlines — seem even more stunning. But for the purpose of generating the annual murder tally, the police do not distinguish between fresh and delayed murders.

"No one does," Mr. Farrell said, referring to other police departments.

Within the city, 40 percent of the murders occurred in Brooklyn. The 75th Precinct, with 90, had the most of any precinct, but there were hot spots scattered throughout the city, in Brooklyn's 73rd, 79th and 83rd Precincts, for example, and in the 44th and 46th Precincts in the Bronx. In and around the 32nd Precinct in Harlem could be dangerous, too.

No one is certain what explains the recent decreases in the overall number of homicides, but many criminologists believe social factors may help explain why, and where, most murders continue to occur.

"The problem of crime and violence is rooted in neighborhood conditions — high rates of poverty, family disruption, failing schools, lack of recreational opportunities, active recruitment by street gangs, drug markets," Professor Karmen said. "People forced to reside under those conditions are at a greater risk of getting caught up in violence, as victims or as perpetrators."

The police are generally unimpressed by such theories, as well as the minutiae surrounding the deaths.

"Crime is concentrated," Mr. Farrell said. "Who knows why? We're looking at what we can affect."

The roughly one-third of the homicides that remain unsolved create one of the larger categories of murder. Typically, 50 to 55 percent of murders are solved in the same calendar year in which the crime is committed, according to Paul J. Browne, a deputy police commissioner in New York.

The police clear an additional number of murders from previous years, for an overall annual clearance rate of about 70 percent. That beats the national average, which is closer to 62 percent, according to F.B.I. statistics.

In New York, several things may contribute to the number of open cases, according to the police and criminologists. A significant number may have been stranger murders, which are particularly hard to solve. It can take months to collect witness statements.

And sometimes, detectives just cannot get the right person to talk.

"The big secret of detective work," Lieutenant Cornicello said, "is that you've got to get somebody else to tell you what happened."
 

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I don't mind articles, when it's about buildings, etc.
But in this case, when it's just a copy-paste of an article about murders, in the main page, it's just non-sense. And I've seen his threads, he runs the entire aviation forum by himself, making threads about food catering to small Eastern European low-cost airlines. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I like to scan for important issues and post them here. I was in a discussion earlier about New York's falling crime rate. This would complement that discussion.

Having information is the first step to a discussion. Everyone can easily access information nowadays online, but not everyone has the time or ability to discover some lesser known, yet relevant, information buried in the newswires. I will bring that.

I would question why a well-written article would constitute spam, especially since crime is certainly an important issue to New Yorkers. It's much more meaningful and productive to post information than to stir up a discussion based on nothing.
 

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You are completely right, articles are what make SSC turn, that's where we get almost all of our information.
But if it's to create 2 new threads a day, consisting of a blatant ripoff of the article, and doing this practically throughout the forum, it's just spam. Just look at the numbers of threads you've recently made that have gotten no activity, it's counterproductive.
Try organizing a little bit
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
NYC crime falls while nation's rate rises
By DEVLIN BARRETT
12 June 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) - New York City bucked a national trend of rising violent crime last year and continued to reduce its homicide rate, according to new figures from the FBI released Monday.

The FBI said that while homicides rose 4.8 percent nationwide last year, they fell 5.4 percent between 2004 and 2005 in New York City.

New York did see an uptick in robberies, which rose by 1.4 percent last year. The FBI said there was not sufficient data to compare arsons in the city between the two years.

Overall, violent crime in New York dropped 1.9 percent, according to the FBI, in a year when such crimes rose 2.5 percent nationwide. That was the largest percentage increase since 1991.

"The latest FBI report reaffirms the fact that our police officers are doing an outstanding job in suppressing crime through Operation Impact and related strategies," NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in a statement.

Operation Impact targets specific streets or areas to deploy large numbers of officers, aimed at rounding up gang members, drug dealers, and people wanted on old warrants.

After appearing at a City Council hearing, Kelly credited the work of the men and women in the NYPD.

"It doesn't just happen -- it happens as a result of a lot of hard work," he said.

The city accounts for the majority of the murders in the state -- but last year, it also accounted for the entire statewide decline of 2.6 percent in the murder rate. In the rest of the state, murders actually edged up 2.5 percent.

Even with the declines in New York City, violent crime rose statewide 1.2 percent, according to state figures.

New York City's homicide rate reached an all-time high of 2,245 in 1990, making it the murder capital of the nation. Since then, the rate has plummeted to levels not seen since the 1960's. The city saw 570 homicides in 2004, dropping to 539 in 2005.

The good numbers for New York come at a time when Mayor Michael Bloomberg is feuding with the federal government over the best way to further reduce homicides and other crime. Bloomberg has accused Congress of coddling criminals by blocking his efforts to trace the flow of illegal guns into cities from other states.

Bloomberg's efforts have been fiercely resisted by lawmakers who declare such measures would infringe upon the Second Amendment right to bear arms, and lobby groups like the National Rifle Association, which argues the government should better enforce existing laws.

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Associated Press Writer Sara Kugler in New York contributed to this report.
 

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3tmk said:
You are completely right, articles are what make SSC turn, that's where we get almost all of our information.
But if it's to create 2 new threads a day, consisting of a blatant ripoff of the article, and doing this practically throughout the forum, it's just spam. Just look at the numbers of threads you've recently made that have gotten no activity, it's counterproductive.
Try organizing a little bit
which is then answered with another article......
hkskyline i like your articles,
perhaps if enough people like hkskylines articles they should be in one thread
called hkskyline's articles.....

hkskyline we in the chicago forum wouldnt mind some articles....
i think :)
 

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Yeah, I usually read them too. Except for this one, I've seen it before. I think this article came with a cool little map that showed the location of every murder in the five boroughs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
mohammed wong said:
which is then answered with another article......
hkskyline i like your articles,
perhaps if enough people like hkskylines articles they should be in one thread
called hkskyline's articles.....

hkskyline we in the chicago forum wouldnt mind some articles....
i think :)
I've actually been talking about visiting Chicago for two years. I might finally be able to make it this summer, so I'll probably debut in that section with a lot of photos!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Murder rate up in NYC

(New York-AP, June 25, 2006) - The murder rate in New York is up nine percent from last year.

Police say 239 people have been killed so far this year, up from 219 last year. But major crime is down five percent across the five boroughs. And police spokesman Paul Browne says this year's murder number is the second-lowest over the last 40 years. He says only last year's was lower.

Despite the increase, things are a lot better in New York than they were in the 1980s and early '90s.

The city had more than twenty-two-hundred homicides in 1990 -- making it the country's undisputed homicide capital. But since then, the homicide rate has steadily declined.
 
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