As of Dec. 26, there were 215 murders in Baltimore City in 2012, 18 more than in all of 2011. This is the first time there was an increase in homicides since 2009. Baltimore's murder rate continues to outstrip those of neighboring cities, with 35 murders per 100,000 residents, compared to 21 per 100,000 in Philadelphia and 14 per 100,000 in Washington, D.C. If Baltimore had Philadelphia's homicide rate, 132 people would have been murdered so far this year. If we had D.C.'s rate, the body count would be just 86, and if we had New York City's, it would be 31.
For the first time since Murder Ink started collecting data in 2004, Baltimore City Police retroactively added homicides to previous years. Two homicides were added to 2009, making that year's homicide number 240 instead of 238, and one was added to 2011, making that year's final tally 197 rather than 196.
Homicides occurred in 101 neighborhoods throughout the city in 2012. Oliver was the most murderous neighborhood in the city, with nine homicides. The neighborhood is six blocks by five blocks. There was only one homicide in Oliver in all of 2011. Berea, Central Park Heights, and Sandtown-Winchester all had seven and also saw significant increases. In 2011, there were five murders in Central Park Heights, three in Sandtown-Winchester, and zero in Berea. Frankford and Upton each had six. Three of the Upton murders occurred in the McCulloh Homes public-housing complex.
The Eastern Police District, which is the smallest police district in the city, had the most homicides, with 38 (11 more homicides than the district saw in all of 2011). The Southwestern was second, with 31, and the Northeastern third, with 28. While the Northern was only the sixth most murderous district out of nine, it did see a large increase, with nine more homicides than in all of 2011.
Twelve minors were murdered this year. Six were 5 years old or younger. In all of those six cases, one of the child's parents or the boyfriend of a parent has been charged with the murder. Twenty-eight teenagers were murdered. People in their 20s made up the largest portion of homicide victims, with 83, followed by people in their 30s, with 50. The oldest homicide victim of 2012 so far was 84 years old, the youngest was just 7 weeks old.
Two-hundred-and-two of the 215 homicides victims were African-American, making up 94 percent, despite the fact that African-Americans only making up 64 percent of the city's population. Eleven Caucasians were murdered, more than double the number murdered in all of 2011. There were far fewer Hispanics murdered in 2012-one, compared to six. Males made up the vast majority of homicide victims: 192. Twenty-two females were murdered, and one person was identified as transgendered. At least five of the women murdered appear to have been killed as a result of domestic violence; three were murdered by family members; and one was hit by a stray bullet.
Shootings took more lives in 2012 than any other form of homicide, with 179 or 83 percent. Stabbings were a distant second, with 19, followed by 11 beating deaths, several of which were small children. Twenty-eight percent of these homicides occurred during the day between 6 A.M. and 6 P.M. 47 percent occurred between 6 P.M. and midnight. Most homicides, 150, occurred outside, on the streets of the city.
Most Murderous Neighborhoods
Homicide Victims, By Age
Homicide Victims, By Gender
Central Park Heights: 7
West Forest Park: 5
Harlem Park: 4
New Northwood: 4
Penn North: 4
2 and under: 5
60 and above: 12
Homicide Victims, By Race
African- American: 202
Causes of Death
Blunt-Force Trauma/ Beatings: 11
Read More People Who Died
People Who Died | Patricia Cook-Ferguson | Clarence M. Mitchell III | Patrick "Scunny" McCusker | Donnie Andrews | Willie Alexander Harry | Chris Toll | Katherine A. Boyce | Art Modell | Chuck Brown | Dave Tedder | The Year In Murder