LA homicide
February 14, 2007 5:02 PM   Subscribe

The Homicide Report, by Jill Leovy: An L.A. Times blog built on the list of homicide victims reported to the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office each week.
posted by docgonzo (12 comments total)
From the blog's "About" page:

The Report seeks to reverse an age-old paradox of big-city crime reporting, which dictates that only the most unusual and statistically marginal homicide cases receive press coverage, while those cases at the very eye of the storm -- those which best expose the true statistical dimensions of the problem of deadly violence -- remain hidden...

With the Homicide Report, however, the Times seeks to exploit the advantages of the web to eliminate selectivity in homicide coverage, and give readers a more complete picture of who dies from homicide, where, and why - thus conveying both the personal story and the statistical story with greater accuracy.
posted by docgonzo at 5:03 PM on February 14, 2007

Nice idea, and a good post. Thanks.
posted by languagehat at 5:57 PM on February 14, 2007

Wow, that is bleak.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 6:01 PM on February 14, 2007

Baltimore City Paper has been running a very similar regular feature for a while now. Murder Ink.
posted by zoinks at 6:10 PM on February 14, 2007

posted by Urban Hermit at 6:10 PM on February 14, 2007

As an RSS subscriber of about a week, I'm disappointed with the Homicide Report so far. The entries are mainly so terse as to leave the reader jaded, when to truly resonate they ought each to break our hearts. I wish her editors would let Leovy put more into her reportage, though I guess as a gauge of rising gang tensions in the 'hood, it serves some use.
posted by Scram at 6:54 PM on February 14, 2007

Damn, this is some bleak reading. Just on the first page, it seemed most of the victims were young Latinos. But maybe I'm picking up on that more because their ages shock me.
posted by Kloryne at 6:59 PM on February 14, 2007

Not quite as detailed, but the Chicago Tribune ran a series a few years ago Homicides in Chicago: Scourge of a City, ran a list of all 593 people killed in the city in 2003, and before that, a series of 2002 editorials looked at the issue. Actual stories require free registration, alas.
posted by dhartung at 7:12 PM on February 14, 2007

Teddy sniffing glue, he was 12 years old
Fell from the roof on East Two-nine
Cathy was 11 when she pulled the plug
On 26 reds and a bottle of wine
Bobby got leukemia, 14 years old
He looked like 65 when he died
He was a friend of mine

Those are people who died, died

posted by doctor_negative at 9:55 PM on February 14, 2007

Does anyone else remember seeing a piece in the mid 1990s about how if you took the West Bank or Northern Ireland or Kosovo at the height of the daily homicides and transported the city to the U.S. that they would immediately become the 19th safest city in America, or something similar? The point of the piece being that while car bombings & suicide attacks get attention, the "average of 3 murders per day" in every major metropolitan community in the U.S. (stat taken from the linked blog - and lord knows that Los Angeles is far from the murder capital of the U.S.) is so much worse, but we're innured to it by a variety of factors (suburbs, race, the individual vs mass nature of the killings, etc).
posted by jonson at 10:48 PM on February 14, 2007

That's a really interesting idea. Great post, doc.
posted by dreamsign at 1:19 AM on February 15, 2007

Very depressing, and way, way too much gang violence. One of these is listed as a "dispute over tagging territory," and the victim and shooter had known each other all their lives, living 2 blocks apart.

Tagging territory. As in, where you can graffiti spray-paint your street name. This is something that calls for cold-blooded murder of a neighbor?

WTF, people... that's just completely unconscionable.
posted by zoogleplex at 10:36 AM on February 15, 2007

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