Via New York Times:
New York Killers, and Those Killed, by Numbers
By JO CRAVEN McGINTY
Published: April 28, 2006
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 [579 in 2006]. 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."
Photo: "Gathering Evidence" Michael Nagle New York Times
Via New York Sun:
Murder in a Safe City
by Otto Penzler
July 25, 2007
Sorry, America, but you're going to have to change your attitude. Vast numbers of people in the Heartland continue to think of New York City as a terrifying hotbed of crime, but in the latest report, it ranks as the fourth safest large city in the country, behind only San Jose, Honolulu, and El Paso.