DC Milestone: On Track for Fewer Than 100 Murders
It would be first time since 1963
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 24, 2012 10:44 AM CST
This photo taken Nov. 20 shows Dr. Samuel Gordon during a group support session for gunshot survivors in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – The crack epidemic that began in the 1980s ushered in a wave of bloodletting in the nation's capital and a death toll that ticked upward daily. Dead bodies, sometimes several a night, had homicide detectives hustling between crime scenes and earned Washington unwelcome monikers such as the nation's "murder capital." At the time, some feared the murder rate might ascend to more frightening heights. But after approaching nearly 500 slayings a year in the early 1990s, the annual rate has gradually declined to the point that the city is now on the verge of a once-unthinkable milestone. The number of 2012 killings in the District of Columbia stands at 78 and is on pace to finish lower than 100 for the first time since 1963, police records show.

"It strikes me probably daily as I ride around the city, or sometimes when I'm sitting at home at night, and it's 10 o'clock and my phone's not ringing," says Police Chief Cathy Lanier, who joined the department amid violent 1991 street riots. The drop reflects a downward trend in violent crime nationwide and is in line with declining homicides in other big cities. Though killings have risen in Chicago, New York City officials say homicides dropped to 515 last year from more than 2,200 in 1990. Houston reported 198 homicides last year, down from 457 in 1985, while Los Angeles police reported fewer than 300 last year after ending 1992 with about 1,100. Across the country, violent crime reported by police to the FBI fell by 3.8% last year from 2010. Click for the full story.

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
homer57
Nov 25, 2012 8:29 AM CST
BUT...Just THINK: What "IF" there was Gun Control in this nation, and Guns were outlawed to the point that the only people who had guns were police, military and crooks...that's a thought for everyone being armed! makes a person think when they would stand a chance of beiong killed IF they tried to rob or rape etc....Gun control works IF you hit what you are aiming at......
homer57
Nov 25, 2012 8:23 AM CST
Aren't they proud: Let's do a comparison...Let's go back to 1963, ok...In 1963 there was Bible study and Prayer in school...look at the murder rate and the capitol crime rate. Now I don't have the stats but they are easy enough to get...see them. you will find that in 1963/64 the year these two subjects were removed from schools, the Crime rate the murder rate, the rate of all crimes shot up every year and not just gradually..expotentially! schools became crime senes and the problem of spit wads and taking in class became metal detectors and electronic wands, w/murder and rape etc being the problem now! The STUPID DUMB ASSES. who sought for, and allowed for the prayer and bible study to be removed from our schools ought to be ashamed of themselves....they were used, of the Devil, to REMOVE the "INTERNAL restraint that men and women,and children need to contain themselves from do what is natural for the natural man...EVIL!!! P.S. the worse thing of all of this is, ONE woman, ONE family decided they didn't want prayer in schools because her son didn't didn't want to pray, or rather she didn't think he should pray, and sooo the S/C agreed w/her...that's "APARTEID" (It's not right if it is done in S.Africa, but here in the states...who cared) and yet where were the Christians when this happened? SAD...
Drewzy
Nov 24, 2012 6:21 PM CST
Probably Obama's fault........