200,000 Unsolved Homicides Since 1960

by Ryu

200,000 unsolved homicides – that’s 200,000 chances to learn how things really work in this world.

There’s alot of interesting material out there. Crime is less likely to be solved in mino-cities. The “clearance rates” are lower there.

There is no legal revolution. Therefore, certain areas favor political change and others do not. A free society needs crime and risk.

The remainder of this article is from a variety of sources. We focus on homicide because it is the most serious crime and the most heavily investigated:

“Homicide detectives say the public doesn’t realize that clearing murders has become harder in recent decades. Vernon Geberth, a retired, self-described NYPD “murder cop” who wrote the definitive manual on solving homicides, says standards for charging someone are higher now — too high, in his opinion.

He thinks prosecutors nowadays demand that police deliver “open-and-shut cases” that will lead to quick plea bargains. He says new tools such as DNA analysis have helped, but that’s been offset by worsening relationships between police and the public.

“If there is a distrust of the police themselves and the system, all of these scientific advances are not going to help us,” he says.

Since at least the 1980s, police have complained about a growing “no snitch” culture, especially in minority communities. They say the reluctance of potential witnesses makes it hard to identify suspects.

But some experts say that explanation may be too pat. University of Maryland criminologist Charles Wellford points out that police are still very effective at clearing certain kinds of murders.

“Take, for example, homicides of police officers in the course of their duty,” he says. On paper, they’re the kind of homicide that’s hardest to solve — “they’re frequently done in communities that generally have low clearance rates. … They’re stranger-to-stranger homicides; they [have] high potential of retaliation [for] witnesses.” And yet, Wellford says, they’re almost always cleared.

What that tells Wellford is that clearance rates are a matter of priorities.

” We’ve concluded that the major factor is the amount of resources police departments place on homicide clearances and the priority they give to homicide clearances,’ said University of Maryland criminologist Charles Wellford, who led a landmark study into how police can improve murder investigations.”

Al Tompkins: What surprised you most when you crunched the numbers?

Tom Hargrove: The astonishing and disturbing pattern in the FBI data set is the variation in how often murders get solved. There are places in America where it is statistically unlikely for a killer to be caught. If you want to get away with murder, go to places like Detroit, Phoenix, Chicago or New Orleans. If you want to get caught, kill somebody in Denver, San Diego or Philadelphia.

Hargrove: In our study, the police department that had the most dramatic improvement in murder clearance was Durham, N.C., where clearance rates went from about 40 percent in the 1990s to nearly 80 percent in recent years. “This doesn’t happen in a vacuum,” Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez told us in the course of our reporting. “We will canvass door to door to see what information we can get. If necessary, we’ll get up to 100 officers knocking on doors. It’s civilians, police, even elected officials who come out so we can get more witnesses … witnesses we otherwise would never have gotten. And that builds more trust throughout the neighborhoods.”

They call it “Community Response.” And it works. What also works is granting overtime to homicide detectives in hot pursuit of evidence, putting sufficient manpower on the ground in the critical first hours of a murder, and using new technology for sophisticated information-sharing between the narcotics unit, the intelligence and gang units and the homicide investigators.”

8 Comments to “200,000 Unsolved Homicides Since 1960”

  1. 200,000 unsolved murders? This is also known as “civil rights for n!ggers”…..

  2. That’s all?

    • Well, about 10K homicides per year times 60 years, is 600,000 total murders.

      The homicide clearance rate is about 66%. Thus, 200K unsolved.

  3. Police work for their immediate supervisors, who work for police upper management, who work for the police chief, who works for politicians. Police solve police homicides because it’s one of them. TPTB permit this because a police murder is very bad for morale, and an unsolved police murder is much worse.

    What would be nice to know is what kind of non-police murders are almost always solved. Anything involving somebody with juice, I guess, or anything that gets media attention.

    • Non-police murders that are almost always solved are when the suspect knows the vic, Thrashy. It is now very rare for such a man to get away with it. Whether by forensics, digital data or credit/banking, one doesn’t see it anymore.

      Some cases just can’t be solved. The evidence isn’t there, no wits and no one confesses.

  4. Is there an estimate of how many of these ‘solved cases’ were really some poor SOB who was easy to convict but didn’t really do it? Im sure cops will throw someone convenient under the bus to boost their clearance rates. How much do you think they fudge the figures? English cops got caught a few years ago massaging the numbers so that violent crimes suddenly disappeared under property crimes and such.

    Also, how long can they keep up their current clearance rate? As the US gets browner and browner, crime will go up and up and funds to pursue cases will go down and down. Then you have the inevitable obvious and ubiquitous corruption of the entire justice system like in third world societies. Its not like our system isn’t corrupt, but they like to keep up a pretense. You know, the occasional show trial so everyone can see ‘Truth,Justice and the American way` in glowing TV goodness.

    Also, did anyone catch the irony of the Durham NC police chief being Jose Lopez? Ill give you a guess where most of the crime probably comes from in Durham….

    • It is common practice to fudge crime statistics. There is something called CompStat, which is how many PDs measure their efficiency.

      I have studied many frame-ups by the police. It happens often enough, though I doubt you’d find any official stats.

  5. All these black communities are an independent “society” if you want to call it that.
    They are not part of the United States, or of the cities they live off.
    Hence the reduced police interest in their internal affairs.

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