The murder rate in New York City hit a new low this year—the lowest it's been in the 44 years reliable statistics have been kept, reports the New York Times. And if early analysis holds up, of the fewer than 500 murders this year, fewer than 100 will have been committed by strangers. Most assailants in the city of 8.5 million were friends, spouses, parents, boyfriends, rival drug crew members, and other acquaintances.
In 1990, the city counted a record 2,245 homicides. “Not only has the New York Police Department reduced murder by nearly 80%, it has changed the pattern of homicides," said a police historian. Criminologists also note that the pattern will make it tough to drive the murder rate any lower. “What are you going to do send cops to every house?” one asked.