January 5, 2014

“There are thousands of murderers walking around who haven’t been brought to justice.... It’s horrifying.”

Said Andy Rosenzweig, a former NYPD lieutenant, quoted in a NY Daily News article titled "Despite record-low murder rate, many homicide cases linger unsolved as families suffer."
The NYPD has won great praise for bringing crime down to historic lows. But lost amid the fanfare is a growing segment of New Yorkers like Rayside: Those waiting for justice in the murders of their loved ones. About 1,500 murders have gone unsolved over the last decade....

“The homicide squads are always pretty well staffed. As a matter of fact they do other things because the number of murders is way down,” [said Former Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.] “I think the clearance rate is going to remain at roughly 70%, give or take. That’s just the way it is. There are … certain homicides that will never be solved. We don’t necessarily want to make that public, but that’s just the way it is.”
Horrifying or just the way it is? Both!

31 comments:

madAsHell said...

Few homicides involve random killers, although I can't believe it is 30%

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Same shit as Boston.

Three dudes beheaded on Sept. 11, 2011 and the cops say "drugs are bad." They interview the victim's immigrant Muslim "friend" once or twice and forget all about him, so that he may kill again.

Weed spread around, $5000 cash sitting around the heads and the headless bodies, on Sept. 11, and the Top Men, real heros with great reputations (scariest part of the story) blame it on marijuana.

The answer according to Top Boston Cops is tell your kids to stay away from drugs and drug dealers.

EDH said...

Utopian Bruce Hornsby disagrees:

That's just the way it is
Some things will never change
That's just the way it is
But don't you believe them

Shouting Thomas said...

The potential for absolute anonymity is at once the best and worst thing about New York City.

St. George said...

In Bill Bryson's new book "1927," he tells the tell of a sensational NYC murder trial, noting that in those days on a small percent of murders were ever solved.

The more things change, the more....

southcentralpa said...

Well, I would still say it's better that they're categorized as murders rather than the Japanese system. In Japan, they categorize deaths they sense they won't be able to solve as something else. That's how they keep their clearance rate 95+%

bbkingfish said...

Increase in unsolved homicides is a national trend, not just NYC. The national rate in recent years has been around 35 percent, I believe.

betamax3000 said...

This Can't Be Right. I've Seen CSI and They Catch Everybody. Vegas, Miami, New York, it Doesn't Matter.

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...

It seems that a many if not most gang murders go unsolved.

southcentralpa said...

You mentioned hard cases make bad law the other day? What happens when the only weapon you have lawfully available is a truck? http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/tow-truck-driver-charged-with-murder-after-police-say-he-ran-down-man-who-robbed-him/2014/01/01/7ea33042-72ff-11e3-9389-09ef9944065e_story.html

Paul said...

In life I have learned:

1. Do treat everyone fairly. Do that and you have no enemies.

2. Do not mess with other peoples wives and girlfriends (but then you DO treat other people fairly, right?)

3. Don't flaunt your wealth for no one likes a snob.

4. Respect people. Respect labor. Anyone who has a honest job, no matter how small or big, should be welcome to your table.

5. Be polite and pack heat, for an armed society truly is a polite society. And know how to handle yourself in a fist fight.

6. Keep your head up and be aware of your surroundings and situation. It's not hard to do if you keep your eyes off the cell phone and other gadgets and enjoy the scenery.

If you watch ''The First 48' series you will see most, but not all, people who are murdered were doing something wrong. Selling dope, buying dope, ripping off people, etc...

But a few were actually true victims, but not many.

Kelly said...

Most killings in our city is drug and gang related, we had a record number of homicides this past year. I think it was fifty, most were young black men killing each other. The black community has a code of not cooperating with the police so it's no wonder the murders go unsolved.

The Drill SGT said...

Kelly beat me to it. I doubt that there are many witnesses to a murder at noon on the main street in Rayside...

bandmeeting said...

According to Garage,Scott Walker is one of them.

SteveR said...

Unsolved = not able to prosecute

Were the Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman's murders unsolved?

Alex said...

Another case of toddlers stamping their feet and shouting "not fair". Life is like that, there never will be 100% clearance rates of anything.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

They know where the bodies, or at least pieces of them, were flushed. I believe Planned Parenthood maintains records of their advocacy. Since this is a state-sponsored enterprise, the government also records the executions carried out through lethal injection or dismemberment. I imagine the DNC would also be tracking the effectiveness of their policies and tracking their progress.

James Pawlak said...

Many would be murderers could be identified by the bullet holes or knife wounds left in them by their intended victims.
New York is acting in opposition to the best, current, research as demonstrates the benefits of armed citizens in suppressing crimes.

Tarrou said...

Fifteen hundred? Are we talking about a city or some rural backwater? Detroit passed ten thousand unsolved murders a couple years back. NY can suck it.

hombre said...

With the new mayor, crime rates will rise again, leaving little time to ponder the injustice of unsolved cases.

hombre said...

With the new mayor, crime rates will rise again, leaving little time to ponder the injustice of unsolved cases.

Darrell said...

"1. Do treat everyone fairly. Do that and you have no enemies."

Bullshit. What about the people that don't like your face? Or the color of your skin? Or think they know you when you never saw them before? During the 1980s I got a real nice black leather motorcycle jacket cheap. I stopped wearing it because it seemed to attract people wanting to fight. Anyone can be the victim of violence--all the way to murder.

Paul said...


"Bullshit. What about the people that don't like your face?Or the color of your skin? Or think they know you when you never saw them before?"

Few get attacked for that reason. Those are the rare innocent ones I mentioned.

"During the 1980s I got a real nice black leather motorcycle jacket cheap. I stopped wearing it because it seemed to attract people wanting to fight."

Bet it was gang colors. You attracted people to fight cause they thought YOU wanted to fight. And no doubt the jacket showed (to them) you didn't have any respect for them.

Fen said...

"Few die that way" is of little help when you are the few.

Kirk Parker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kirk Parker said...

SteveR,

There was a prosecution! Were you on a mission to Alpha Centauri or something at the time?

Vince said...

Where's Dexter when you need him?

Scott said...

Government entities usually justify expansion of surveillance by saying that it improves the chance of criminals getting caught; therefore crime is deterred by it. (Therefore you shouldn't defend yourself.)

Ray Kelly's admission that the NYPD only catches 70% of murderers is an admission that that justification is bullshit. Readers of the NY Daily News or the NY Post know that every year, a number of people are gunned down in broad daylight on the street in full view of surveillance cameras. We see the fuzzy pictures of the shooters. We seldom read about them getting caught. How comfortable can anyone be with those odds?

If you live in New York City, you have to accept that you could be the victim of a crime that you are not allowed to defend yourself from, and that will never be solved.

Matthew Sablan said...

If everyone likes you, you're doing something wrong. There are too many Not Nice people out there.

As to the unsolved murder rates: It may be callous to say it, but I'd rather we have more unsolved murders for lower net murders. I'm not sure where the breaking point on that trade IS, but if hundreds fewer are being killed, I'm OK with a few more killers walking if that's the trade we had to make for it.

It's a dirty, sordid trade, but it is the sort of trade off that is often the reality of policy making.

Math, wise, the sudden boost in clearance and then fall makes sense. They plucked low-hanging fruit, murders that were unsolved solely due to lack of manpower. Now, they're hitting the stuff where they're also lacking evidence. These are the hard cold cases, as opposed to the cold case with a plethora of leads that just has been sitting collecting dust.

The bigger point seems to be about whether affluence buys better police protection. I don't think the police are choosing not to investigate the murders of blacks in the city, or if it has to do with economic realities [they protect the nicer parts of town better], but the numbers are intriguing.

Andy Freeman said...

> But a few were actually true victims, but not many.

Supposedly the most popular last words are along the lines of daring someone to kill the speaker.

Four important facts about murder in the US are:
(0) Victims know their killer because acquaintance provides opportunity and motive. (Acquaintance doesn't imply affection.)
(1) The perps almost always have a significant record of violence. Many/most are committing their first murder, but they've been working up to it.
(2) The victims usually aren't that different.
(3) Domestic murders almost always happen in households that have a history of domestic violence.