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Counting the Dead

June 21, 2017

Oklahoma City homicide detectives survey a crime scene, Author/Source Oklahoma City Police Dept. (CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication)

The number of homicides is tracked in every major city in America.

  • Baltimore, Maryland   161 homicides in 2017 YTD [1]; 28 homicides in the last 30 days [2]
  • Philadelphia, PA   142 homicides in 2017 YTD (up 17%) [3]
  • Chicago, IL    762 homicides in 2016 (more than NYC and LA combined) [4A][5A]; 130 homicides (700 shootings) as of 4/1/17 [5B]
  • Houston, TX   302 homicides in 2016 [6][7]
  • Detroit, MI   302 homicides in 2016 [8A]
  • New York, NY   334 homicides in 2016 [4B]
  • New Orleans, LA   175 homicides in 2016 [9A]; 92 homicides 2017 YTD [9B]
  • Memphis, TN   214 homicides in 2016 [8B]
  • Los Angeles, CA   294 homicides in 2016 [4C]

Philadelphia provides a convenient interactive map.  You can outline your neighborhood, and find out how many were killed there in the past week, month, or 6 months.

Victims drive cars or vans, walk, or ride bicycles; frequent fast food joints, and abandoned buildings, back alleys, houses, and apartments.  They are talented artists, and former marines, rappers, homeless, and blind; teens, transgender, aged, and children.  Death plays no favorites.

Victims are shot, stabbed, or beaten to death singly, in pairs, by threes, fours, and more.  Death takes no vacations.  The frequency of death spikes in summer, the heat a catalyst.

Geography, however, is a factor.  Death prefers the ambience of certain neighborhoods.  Older neighborhoods, run down neighborhoods, long neglected, long red-lined.  Neighborhoods where children are not allowed to play outside, for their own safety.

Neighborhoods where 9 young people may be shot at a graduation party [10].

You shall not murder” (Ex. 20: 13).

Lord, we come before You at a loss how to solve the problem of violence in America.  To solve that problem would require that we solve the problem of sin, itself.

Open our eyes to what we are doing to ourselves, Lord.  Convict our hearts.

Whatever our race or ethnicity, whatever our background, You are the only true solution.  You died that we might live.  Help us to love one another as You love us.


[1]  Cham’s Page – Cham Green, Miscellaneous Posts, “2017 Baltimore City Homicides – List and Map”, 6/15/17,

[2]  Baltimore Sun, “Baltimore Homicides”, 6/20/17,

[3]  Philadelphia Police Force

[4A, 4B, 4C]  New York Daily News, “Chicago’s 762 homicides in 2016 is more than New York and Los Angeles combined” (Associated Press), 1/1/17,

[5A and 5B]  NBC News, “Chicago Trauma: Counting Broken Bodies, Not Broken Spirits” by Trymaine Lee, 4/1/17,

[6]  Click2Houston, “Houston 1 of 3 cities driving national murder rate higher, says report” by Joel Eisenbaum, 9/28/16,

[7]  Click2Houston, “Houston murder rate changes little in 2016” by Ashlynn Turner, 1/4/17,

[8A and 8B]  Detroit Free Press, “Crime in Detroit is down overall in 2016; homicides are up by 7” by Corey Williams (Associated Press),

[9A and 9B]  NOLA Times-Picayune, “New Orleans Murder Map 2017”,

[10], “On 9 shot at N. Philly party:  In Bensalem, it would be called a mass shooting” by Stephanie Farr and Chris Palmer, 5/28/17,


  1. There is no respecter of life anymore. It’s a sad world we live in.

  2. I think it is mostly drug related. There is a lot of money involved, perhaps it is fighting over territory, or a deal gone bad.

  3. Please Pray for our Judeo-Christian Nation United States of America and Israel-Yisrael Everyday!! “Pray Without Ceasing.” ( 1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV)!!

    God Bless all my Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and Your Families and Friends!!

    Love Always and Shalom ( Peace ), YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

  4. Indeed, may the Lord open our eyes and convict our hearts! :-/ 💜 Jackie@KWH

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