Most Murder Victims in Big Cities Have Criminal Records

Michael Thompson, WND, March 4, 2013

A review of murder statistics across America shows that in many large cities, up to 90 percent of the victims have criminal records.

WND previously reported that gun murders in the U.S. are concentrated in big cities that typically have the strictest gun-control regulations.

The gun-murder rates in those cities are comparable to the rates in some of the deadliest Third World countries, the report said.

Now a WND review of a number of cities with high gun-murder rates shows a clear majority of the victims had criminal arrest histories. In some cities, it’s as high as 91 percent.

The 2011 Milwaukee Homicide Review Commission is a review of police data compiled from Wisconsin’s largest city.

Milwaukee, with a population of just less than 600,000, is 40 percent African-American and 37 percent white. The 2011 Homicide Review Commission reports there were 86 homicides that year, with 93 percent of the suspects black males.

Overall, the homicide rate was 14.5 per 100,000 residents, and the nonfatal shooting rate was 79.5 per 100,000 residents. However, when broken down by race, “the homicide rate per black residents is 27.9 per 100,000 compared to 9.7 per 100,000 Latino residents and 1.7 per 100,000 White residents.”

The report concludes that “of the 2011 homicide victims, 77 percent (66) had a least one prior arrest and of the known 2011 homicide suspects 90 percent (74) had at least one prior arrest.”

Similar trends were found for nonfatal shooting victims and suspects.


In 2011, there were 199 murders in New Orleans. Of the victims, the New Orleans Times- Picayune reported, 64 percent had a prior record.

In early 2012, after pressure put on the police by murder victims’ families in New Orleans, the police department stopped revealing whether or not the murder victim had a prior record.

“Crime in New Orleans: Analyzing Crime Trends and New Orleans’ Responses to Crime,” an examination of 200 criminal homicides in New Orleans from April 18, 2009, to May 11, 2010 by Charles Wellford, Brenda Bond and Sean Goodison, showed that 90 percent of the homicides were committed with a firearm.

Of the 200 victims, 91.5 percent were black, 5 percent were white and 2 percent were Hispanic. Only 51 percent of the homicides—102—were solved by the police, with 97.1 percent of the known first offenders being black.

Though data is no longer published in Baltimore, USA Today reported in 2007 that 91 percent of the then-205 murder victims in the city between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31, 2007, had criminal records.

A WND review of the Philadelphia Police Department Murder and Shooting Analysis for 2011 shows a similar pattern to that of other large cities in America—a majority of the murder victims have prior records.

In Philadelphia in 2011, of 324 murders, 81 percent (263) of the victims had at least one prior arrest; 62 percent (164) had been arrested for a violent crime prior to their murder.

Seventy-nine percent (242) of the murder victims were black. Of the cases solved (176), 82 percent of the murder offenders were black.

In Newark, N.J., long considered one of America’s most dangerous cities, 85 percent of the 165 murder victims between 2009 and 2010 had serious arrest histories.

Anthony Braga, a professor with the Rutgers-Newark School of Criminal Justice, told the Newark Star-Ledger that 85 percent of 165 murder victims in Newark between 2009 and 2010 had been arrested at least once before they were killed.

Those victims, he said, had, on average, 10 prior arrests on their criminal records.

A WND review of the Chicago Police Department Murder Analysis reports from 2003 to 2011 provides a statistical breakdown of the demographics of both the victims and offenders in the 4,265 murders in Chicago over that time period.

Of the victims of murder in Chicago from 2003 to 2011, an average of 77 percent had a prior arrest history, with a high of 79 percent of the 436 murdered in Chicago in 2010 having arrest histories.

For the same 2003-2011 period, blacks were the victims of 75 percent of 4,265 murders. Blacks also were the offenders in 75 percent of the murders.


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