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Today’s number: 435

Posted in:

* Oy

Chicago surpassed last year’s 435 homicides Monday when a man died after being shot in the 7900 block of South Escanaba Avenue, authorities said.

* Context

Chicago’s homicide count has seen a general decline over the years. There were more than 900 murders a year in the early 1990s, and the city saw 601 murders in 2003.

It fell sharply to 453 in 2004 and has remained below 500 ever since with the exception of one year — 2008. There were 459 in 2009, 436 in 2010 and 435 in 2011.

This year threatens to be more than a minor spike in the statistics, though. The city got 2012 off to a bloody start with a 66 percent rise in homicides during the first three months of the year compared with the same time period in 2011.

posted by Rich Miller
Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 10:54 am


  1. So sad. The only thing that seems clear is that whatever preventive measures the city is taking isn’t working.

    Comment by lincolnlover Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 11:23 am

  2. Hmmm. 2008 and 2012 were both years Obama was on the ballot. 435 is also the number of members of Congress. That must mean that if Obama is reelected, he’ll murder Congress.

    I can’t believe Drudge isn’t on top of this story.

    Comment by 47th Ward Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 11:23 am

  3. This is a very discouraging picture. Several of the latest reported deaths have been older men who have apparently only been trying to protect their own property, family, and the immediate block from the increased encroachment of thieves, gangbangers and thugs. It’s heartbreaking to consider how despairing and frightening it must be for the decent people to try to live and survive amid this exploding warfare.

    Comment by Responsa Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 11:24 am

  4. We are spending unheard of amounts of money on garbage adds. Both sides should take a hard look at what a waste if money this is.

    Lets all pray for the East Coast of our country.

    Comment by mokenavince Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 11:29 am

  5. this is so sad. much of it is the result of a big shake up in the gang structure. when will that sort itself out?

    Comment by amalia Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 11:31 am

  6. I grew up no far from 79th and Escanaba, it used to be as safe as Canada.

    Comment by mokenavince Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 11:32 am

  7. A word of advice to el rahmbo might be to heed the words once learned by a city pol who botched his first go at major politics and was told “all politics is local”. Enough with the tom friedman wooing, spend a solid month without leaving the city and do your job.

    Those of you who have backed this jesse jackson charade with the point that congress is on vacation, the murders in his city have not gone on vacation while he’s been “recovering”.

    Comment by shore Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 11:43 am

  8. Good job Rahm! And the olympics were almost here. Safer in Rio.

    Comment by Anonymous Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 11:55 am

  9. ===Safer in Rio. ===

    Don’t be an idiot.

    ===There were 374 murders in Rio de Janeiro state in March [of 2011]===

    That’s almost as many murders in a month as Chicago had all year.

    Comment by Rich Miller Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 12:01 pm

  10. If the numbers top 500, will Rahm have McCarthy “resign”?.

    Comment by Wensicia Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 12:09 pm

  11. when will the “if we had conceal and carry” arguement start to raise it’s head???

    Comment by Anonymous Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 12:23 pm

  12. 47th Ward @ 11:23 am:

    The national media has been starting to notice what is going on in Chicago. I don’t watch that much TV but I noticed, I think, a Nightline report on the other night.

    Comment by RNUG Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 12:35 pm

  13. Shore, what exactly would Trips have done about the murder rate in Chicago if he was on active duty in DC?

    Comment by Arthur Andersen Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 1:06 pm

  14. Prohibition causes more damage than it prevents. This war on Americans who use some drugs has failed and its past time for a new approach like we had to do after alcohol prohibition failed.

    Comment by Jeff Trigg Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 1:09 pm

  15. It’s a national disgrace.

    Worried about terrorists in Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Africa, to the tune of about $7 billion a month?

    What are you willing to spend to combat terrorists in Austin and Englewood?

    There are sections of the South and West Sides where decent working people (and yes, they do work; ride the el in the morning and you’ll see them) are subject to the rule of drug lord terrorists.

    I live six blocks west of Columbus Park in Oak Park. On the other side of Austin, it’s a different world. White heroin and crack users from all over the suburbs and the Midwest come to Austin to cop.

    It’s big business and it’s bloody.

    I have no doubt in my mind that if open-air drug markets, shootings and murders were rampant in my neighborhood that the National Guard would be on my street.

    I have no doubt that if they were happening in Wilmette that the 82nd Airborne would be on the ground.

    If a tourist gets mugged in River North, it’s front-page news for days. Murders on the South and West sides are treated like baseball box scores.

    There’s a widespread chronic racism and contempt for the poor that accepts this. I’m reminded of one of the Dons in the sitdown scene in The Godfather: “They’re animals anyway. Let them lose their souls.”

    Too many are content to just let it happen, in “those” neighborhoods.

    Comment by wordslinger Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 1:13 pm

  16. =Don’t be an idiot.=

    Rich is right. I don’t know if it’s still the case, but years ago, ex-pats were advised to blow stop lights while travelling in the middle of the night, if possible, to avoid being robbed in their cars while waiting for the light to turn.

    Comment by Anonymous Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 1:15 pm

  17. The murders are the obvious part of the mess. And it’s happening in neighborhoods that used to be stable.
    We’re experiencing an outrageous number of burglaries in my neighborhood as well as violent hold-ups - one person got shot in the face after handing over their backpack. Not sure what is needed but lincolnlover is right that whatever they are trying, it is not working.

    Comment by Belle Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 2:08 pm

  18. “It’s a national disgrace.”

    And the Chicago Mayors continue to blather and talk politics. If the violence was near their homes, they would at least try to do something. It’s as insane as bowing to the gang territorial claims when talking about school violence.

    Comment by Plutocrat03 Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 2:22 pm

  19. ==There’s a widespread chronic racism and contempt for the poor that accepts this. I’m reminded of one of the Dons in the sitdown scene in The Godfather: “They’re animals anyway. Let them lose their souls.” Too many are content to just let it happen, in “those” neighborhoods.==

    Do you really believe it is mainly cold and calculated “racism” Wordslinger? Because if so, that inconveniently indicts the current and previous mayor, the city council and the several recent police chiefs. Oh, I think it is calculated all right–but in the form of raw political calculation–yeah the city leaders know the bloodshed is awful but don’t want to scare the tourists and businesses off–don’t want to have the national guard out in body armour to ruin the optics of the beautiful “city that works”. And don’t ignore that the few crackdowns in recent memory have often elicited charges of police brutality and “racism” from inside the ethnic communities including some of the famed west and south side pols.

    Belle is absolutely correct that the murders, burglaries and violent hold-ups are happening in neighborhoods all over the city including many that until recently were stable. Something needs to be done. The citizens of Chicago and the surrounding ‘burbs are not “accepting it”

    Comment by Responsa Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 3:08 pm

  20. Wordslinger you are so right.

    Comment by Proud Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 3:18 pm

  21. Wordslinger, that’s what I’ve been saying for quite some time. If it was Ravenswood instead of Englewood, we’d be seeing a very different response. Even putting the morality of the issue aside, Chicagoans need to realize that we ALL pay a real economic price for gun violence - wherever it happens.

    Comment by Hon. John Fritchey Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 3:26 pm

  22. Responsa, the phrase I used was “widespread, chronic racism and contempt for the poor.”

    That would include a lot of folks and institutions.

    Comment by wordslinger Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 3:29 pm

  23. C’mon guys, Rahm doesn’t have time for this, it’s more important that he gets his pick for the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority.

    Comment by Small Town Liberal Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 3:37 pm

  24. John Fritchey, as always it’s good to see you here. Can you share with us some specifics on what you think should be done that is not being done, what alternate approach you recommend that is immediately availble, and what ideas you may have tried to do or have suggested that are being ignored by your colleagues. (Obviously I am talking about short term tactical terms here to prevent more murders this year and next. The larger societal issues obviously will take a long time and great will to address properly.)

    Comment by Responsa Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 3:49 pm

  25. The Chicago Police Department is seriously understaffed and the gangs know it. Residents of the South and West sides do not cooperate with the police either for fear of gang retaliation or resentment towards tht police. Many veteran cops claim that they have to execute “perfect” arrests or make no arrests for fear of litigation. The City stopped backing up its police in the gang war ages ago. It is an impossible situation.

    I apologize for generalizing, but I do not see a simple solution for this murder epidemic.

    Comment by Esquire Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 4:26 pm

  26. The solution is to legalize drugs. Alas, the electorate, or most of it, has been convince that such a change would bring on the apocalypse and/or turn us into a nation of drug addicts. Just like the end of Prohibition…oh, wait…

    The stuff people take is cheap at the source, it’s the enormous risks associated with transporting and selling it that makes the price as high as it is, not to mention the enormous profits for the drug lords. At every level, those turf wars that get people shooting involve substantial profits.

    Given the circumstances, and the huge sums involved in the trade, the CPD is probably doing the best it can.

    Comment by cassandra Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 6:18 pm

  27. Stop the insane war on drugs. In the twenties people murdered each other to control the beer trade, today not so much. One of the most telling points was made in a recent and seriously under reported Chicago Tribune story that noted that 80% of those who survive shootings in Chicago refuse to cooperate with police to find and punish their shooters. People in the communities on the south and west sides know who the killers are but since they are someone’s son, brother or cousin no one will out them. Unfortunately the truth does not fit the construct of the problem favored by Father Pfleger, Reverend Jackson and the mayor who can’t politically put the responsibility for the problem where it belongs. Prohibition did not work in the twenties, and it does not work now, and the dead will pile up until we learn the lessons of the past.

    Comment by wishbone Tuesday, Oct 30, 12 @ 6:45 pm

  28. Legalize drugs, really. the do gooders on the east coast are outlawing soda and we are seriously going to talk about legalizing drugs. C’mon man.

    It is simple. People need guns to protect themselves. The criminals have guns and the efforts to get guns off the street has failed. The City’s efforts to protect people…failed. You can have your idealistic position on guns all you want, but if you can’t protect law abiding citizens you lose.

    About the 3rd or 4th time a burglar gets shot in a neighborhood by a well armed citizen the crime will stop. You either teach the criminals to behave, or eventually run out of them.

    Comment by the Patriot Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 8:26 am

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