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Why we need Law & Order, SVU, Criminal Intent and CSI: New York
July 21, 2009 5:40 PM   Subscribe

Murder: New York City. A map pinpointing murders in the five boroughs of NYC from 2003-09. Broken down by time of day, weapon used, age, sex and ethnicity of both victim and perpetrator. Not surprisingly, in the heat of summer the body count rises.

Investigating homicides - a Q&A series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
posted by crossoverman (48 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Come to Jersey! The magic land where you won't get murdered!" Sheesh. I get the burough only thing but that map makes it look hilarious.

Oh yeah, and this is really interesting.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 5:46 PM on July 21, 2009


Glad to see there were none on my block or even a block or so away. I was surprised.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:51 PM on July 21, 2009


61% of the perpetrators were "black" and 61% of the victims were "black". The "white", "hispanic" and "asian" percentages were also almost (but not quite) one to one. I guess this means that people are more or less only murdering people of their own race. Makes ya think.
posted by Faze at 5:51 PM on July 21, 2009


I guess this means that people are more or less only murdering people of their own race.

People are more or less only murdering people who they know pretty well.
posted by dersins at 5:53 PM on July 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Related: The Philadelphia Inquirer's homicide map.
posted by mhum at 5:53 PM on July 21, 2009


I had four scary little dots next to my place. I ROLL HARD.
posted by functionequalsform at 5:54 PM on July 21, 2009


Four within a five minute walk. What do I win?
posted by mhz at 5:55 PM on July 21, 2009


So this was only a six year period and you've got almost 3,500 murders. Most buildings in NYC ar pretty old. Now what are the odds of your moving into an apartment where someone or other has been murdered sometime since the building was built? It would seem to me to be very likely, but you'd never know about it.
posted by Faze at 6:00 PM on July 21, 2009


Four within a five minute walk. What do I win?

Street cred or fear, depending on how you roll.
posted by davejay at 6:05 PM on July 21, 2009


Huh. My mother-in-law's apartment is in a big zone of no-murder, whereas when my wife was growing up there it wasn't safe to walk around the corner.
posted by davejay at 6:06 PM on July 21, 2009


Questions for NY'ers:

I've never explored Brooklyn, why the concentrated area of homocide in the middle surrounded by safer zones on edges? Are there any safe/good parts of Bronx? Is the area east of central park generally homicide free for a reason?
posted by stbalbach at 6:09 PM on July 21, 2009


I love the ones where the motive is given as 'dispute.' When was the last time anyone was killed out of general agreement? Anyways, three within a 10 minute walk.
posted by jonmc at 6:12 PM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


One right on my block. I didn't know about it until I looked at the map. It saddens me, because the murder-rate is so low in my neighborhood, it's supposedly big news when a murder happens. Yet I never heard about this one, and it happened a few dozen yards from my apartment. The victim was black, killed by another black guy.

Ten years ago, a white woman was murdered in my neighborhood. It was huge news.
posted by grumblebee at 6:19 PM on July 21, 2009


I've never explored Brooklyn, why the concentrated area of homocide in the middle surrounded by safer zones on edges?

The more desirable parts of Brooklyn tend to be those nearest Manhattan, e.g. Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Williamsburg.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:19 PM on July 21, 2009


Man! Staten Island sure is boring.
posted by grumblebee at 6:19 PM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love the ones where the motive is given as 'dispute.' When was the last time anyone was killed out of general agreement?

Sometimes.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 6:22 PM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you look at Queens, you'll see four quality Santana starts murdered by the Mets' muffled bats.
posted by Mister_A at 6:23 PM on July 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


The map will be updated as new information becomes available.

Damn, that's a pretty awesome commitment. Maps like this need to be publicly accessible—nice work by the NYT infographics department, once again.

Related: I really, really dig the interface for their one-in-8-million feature.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:35 PM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Huh - this is cool (in a morbid way). I was just looking for something like this for Boston. I found a few sites that seemed to have stalled during takeoff - nothing with an updated database.

Anyone know of something like that for other cities like Boston?
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:39 PM on July 21, 2009


Why we need Law & Order, SVU, Criminal Intent and CSI: New York

Because not enough white people are actually being murdered in Midtown Manhattan
posted by Flashman at 6:45 PM on July 21, 2009


"Clinton"...ugh.

Is the area east of central park generally homicide free for a reason?

The UES, Yorkville, and the environs are full of wealthy people, middle class families, yuppies, and the elderly. Mostly the elderly. Not many clubs, not too much of a party area. That's not scientific, just my observation.

I am happy to see that Chelsea and my old neighborhood in Astoria are relatively quite safe from murderers.

I would like to see a map like this with non-fatal assaults, though.
posted by kathrineg at 6:50 PM on July 21, 2009


Nine within a five minute walk of my place in Harlem. That said, it rarely feels like an unsafe neighborhood.

stbalbach: The Upper East Side, Manhattan east of Central Park, is wealthy. Very, very wealthy.

The murder pattern correlates well with, if not wealth precisely, some measure of financial security (e.g. the vast low murder swaths of Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx are also where home ownership rate is high).

The maps would be more useful if there were an overlay for land use and housing density. There are certain areas where there just aren't all that many people at night. The industrial and warehouse areas such as Newtown Creek and Hunts Point empty out at night so you don't have people hanging out, getting drunk and becoming violent.
posted by plastic_animals at 6:54 PM on July 21, 2009


Civil_Disobedient, thank you so much for the link to one-in-8-million. I'd never heard of it before, and it's fantastic.
posted by grumblebee at 7:07 PM on July 21, 2009 [8 favorites]


Apparently I live in the knife-death district.

I can't wait to email this map to my Mom.
posted by saladin at 7:14 PM on July 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


I showed this to my friend who's girlfriend lives in Washington Heights, I said it wasn't the best area and he said "well there's only been one murder since shes lived there.....that's good I guess." Which is weird to think about because we come from a small town in central MA and the last murder I can find for the town we live in is 1867. Its just weird for me to think that there are so many murders in such a small area.
posted by lilkeith07 at 7:18 PM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


There's this one for Oakland.
posted by ryaninoakland at 7:40 PM on July 21, 2009


So apparently, Central Park is the safest place in NY?
posted by signal at 7:50 PM on July 21, 2009


Or maybe they just don't have the info to geocode in the Park?
posted by signal at 7:55 PM on July 21, 2009


homocide

Is that where I cockslap someone to death?
posted by rodgerd at 8:03 PM on July 21, 2009




Don't forget Baltimore City Paper's Murder Ink, still diligently documenting murders in Baltimore.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:29 PM on July 21, 2009


Im happy to see that my little section of northwest oakland is relatively quite compared to all the surrounding areas. so basically I am stuck on a little island, in a sea of bad....helps!

srsly, I love my neighborhood, the good definitely outweighs the bad, and there has only been one violent fatality on my block in 2009. yeah!!!
posted by supermedusa at 8:34 PM on July 21, 2009


rodgerd: "homocide

Is that where I cockslap someone to death?
"

You see that -- I ain't stepped inside the joint yet and you called me a cocksucker already.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:39 PM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Civil_Disobedient, thank you so much for the link to one-in-8-million. I'd never heard of it before, and it's fantastic.

Wow. Seconding, that is great. Makes you wonder about the impending demise of the Times. If only they could find some way to make excellent stuff like that pay. Maybe they have.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 8:39 PM on July 21, 2009


Please no one show this to my mother.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:56 PM on July 21, 2009


Not surprisingly, in the heat of summer the body count rises.

"Did you know, Putnam, more people are murdered at ninety-two degrees Fahrenheit than any other temperature? I read an article once – lower temperatures people are easy-going, over ninety-two it’s too hot to move but just ninety-two, people get irritable!"
posted by dammitjim at 9:40 PM on July 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


3 murders within 3 blocks of where I lived in Brooklyn and I never heard of one of them
posted by any major dude at 9:56 PM on July 21, 2009


Faze: I guess this means that people are more or less only murdering people of their own race.

Not really. For example, if murder were completely and utterly uncorrelated with race, you'd get the same effect (both the attacker and victim percentages would match the population averages weighted by the distribution of murder locations).

Now, AIUI, people do tend to murder people of the same race. But you can't deduce that from the numbers you quoted.
posted by hattifattener at 9:58 PM on July 21, 2009


I'm having a lot of fun Googling the names of the victims and reading the stories.

Well... maybe not fun. But it's interesting, and sometimes a little heartbreaking.
posted by WalterMitty at 1:40 AM on July 22, 2009


From the article: Those who were killed — at least 73 women were in 2008 — were almost always murdered by someone they knew — boyfriends, husbands or relatives.

Is it just me, or did the Times just coyly sidestep the issue of prostitution, there?
posted by bettafish at 2:18 AM on July 22, 2009


I am also curious about non fatal attacks. I live in Brooklyn in an area where there are thankfully very few of the death dots (I will be renewing my lease!). I read the daily police blotter and there are muggings & assaults with guns in my neighbor which this map does not reflect. Is there any mention if the attacker catalogued by this map intended to kill the victim or if these were attacks were botched robberies etc. gone bad?
posted by tothemoon at 3:37 AM on July 22, 2009


Nice, big blue cluster right smack on the intersection I'm about to move to. Remind me to buy drugs on a different corner.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 7:10 AM on July 22, 2009


The first time I visited New York city, on the first day I was on a crowded sidewalk in the middle of Manhattan at lunchtime (approximately 5th ave and 50th st) and I walked right by two guys on the sidewalk wrestling, punching, and screaming at one another and all the pedestrians walking by like it was the most normal thing in the world.
posted by bukvich at 7:48 AM on July 22, 2009


I'm moving to JFK. No murders there.
posted by ymgve at 8:03 AM on July 22, 2009


color me surprised that staten island was lowest per-capita. I had always heard it was a dangerous borough.
posted by shmegegge at 8:46 AM on July 22, 2009


There's this one for Oakland.

Okay, that's really interesting. About 20 years ago I lived in Oakland and the crime has changed completely. Nearly NO drugs, nothing really of note in my old neighborhood.

When I lived there I'd have to ask the tranny prostitutes and drug dealers to please take their trade down the street, or at least out of our vestibule.

I have to say though, the neighborhoods north of Lake Merritt were lovely, and still are.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:23 AM on July 22, 2009


Why we need Law & Order, SVU, Criminal Intent and CSI: New York

Should be "Why Law & Order, SVU, Criminal Intent and CSI: New York needs New York City" since a lot of their scripts draw inspiration from actual criminal incidents.

Kill someone creatively; be famous.
posted by intelligentless at 12:58 PM on July 22, 2009


Not surprising that more murders happen when it's hot; more violent crimes occur as ambient temperature rises. Nonviolent crimes are apparently unaffected, though.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 2:55 PM on July 22, 2009


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