Monday, January 5, 2009

Twelve Months of Homicide

On the twelfth day of Christmas, I give you 12 months of homicides (if your twelfth day is the Epiphany, you can always read this tomorrow).

After a year of nearly daily clicking to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, San Bernardino Sun, Daily Bulletin, Riverside County Coroner, San Bernardino County Coroner, and occasionally the Pasadena Star, Whittier Daily News, and LA Times Homicide Report, I think I've accounted for just about all the reported homicides from San Bernardino to Pasadena. If I missed a few, you have my apologies and in the end, the FBI will ultimately decide what the true number should be anyway.

In our beautiful city of Pomona, the victims ranged in age from 2 to 71. Guns appear to be the primary weapon used, although the two youngest victims (2 and 5), reportedly died from neglect and intentionally drowning, respectively. Based on the initial newspaper report, at least six of the victims may have been killed by a family member or close acquaintance. And as for gender, males accounted for 16 of the 20 victims. I'll save you a trip to the US Department of Justice and let you know that over the last ten years, Pomona as averaged about 21 homicides a year.

Here's the breakdown by months: December (3), November (4), October (2), September (0), August (2), July (2), June (0), May (2), April (0), March (1), February (4), and January (0).

I don't see much of a pattern in the distribution, but I'm curious to hear your thoughts. Interestingly in 2007, Karesh Ave. was the focus of several newspaper articles, but in 2008 the area 'seems' to be safer. Perhaps a reader who is more informed about the efforts in that area of the city could shed some light on possible reasons for the 'apparent' improvement. Another area that appears to have shown improvement is the southern tip of the city. Of course, whether these two areas actually improved or whether we simply didn't see any homicides, I'm completely in the dark. And if the first Pomona homicide of 2009 is at all useful for making predictions, would you be surprised to find out that a woman murdered her husband on Jan. 1st in Phillips Ranch.

If you take a look at the map remember this one caveat, the blue dots west of I5 represent only the September homicides for that area. According to the LA Times Homicide Report (currently on hiatus), the actual number of homicides for LA County as of November was closing in on 600.

Total Homicides for 2008 (scroll to the bottom of the names for the second page).

This journey has vacillated from depressing to informative, so I haven't decided if I'm up for another twelve months, but here's a thanks to Meg for letting me post the 2008 numbers.


Pride in Garfield Park said...

Thank you, Ed, for your careful work on this project over the past year. Your data collection, synthesis, and interpretation efforts impress.

meg said...

You're most welcome, Ed -- thanks for doing it! My favorite thing about this blog is the multiple authorship, and I would love it if you *would* keep tracking our homicides.

[It seems like some joke about "Do it or I'll kill you" is either completely apropos or wildly inappropriate -- and possibly both.]

Ed said...

"Do it or I'll kill you"......perhaps 'typical Pomona' for those who don't live in Pomona, but you got me to chuckle for a bit.

Anduhrew said...

thanks ed. I got what seems like a circle around where I live. I credit my force field. (or maybe the cemetery)

Anonymous said...

Phillips Ranch = Pomona. I live near the house which had the New Year's eve homicide in Phillips Ranch. Gun in house + domestic problems don't mix.

Anonymous said...

You know, most of the homicides in Pomona generally are gang related. So they know who's shooting at who. Unfortunately, innocents DO get caught in the crossfires at times and it is sad. I personally dont feel so bad for thugs killing each other, in fact, it's like a city cleaning up itself. I know, its mean to say that, but I try to make light of it. And alot of people forget that a city of around 200,000 people will have some crime, so 21 homicides is really not that bad. A strange way of seeing a sad topic in the light. In fact, check out parts of Los Angeles, it is way out of line.

Anonymous said...

The clean up of Abbey-Karesh is in part due to the efforts of the weed and seed program and Pastor Rick DeBruyne's engagement along with the housing department and other agencies.

Ed said...

Thanks Anon for the Abbey-Karesh info. Can you (or anyone else) give some specifics? We hear so much negative news, its nice to toss out a few kudos.

The Phillips Ranch homicide is interesting in that the wife didn't turn herself in at Pomona PD, but instead went to a Sheriff's station. If we made the 71 a tunnel would the perception change?

K said...

Thanks so much for all of your hard work, Ed! It's wonderful to be able to look at actual data, rather than just scary headlines. Being able to visualize the locations is even better.