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Weekends are a Killer in LA County: A Closer Look at the Los Angeles Times' Homicide Report
Weekends are a killer in Los Angeles County.
LAist closely examined the Los Angeles Times’ Homicide Report and its companion interactive Google map this weekend. Despite the fact the last post told readers that the blog was on vacation until Sept. 1, we still found some interesting items to ponder. And while the whole notion of keeping tabs on county killings may seem a bit macabre, the blog does a good job at bringing the cold, hard facts about murder home. Literally.
According to its latest statistics (updated Aug. 12), there have been at least 535 homicides in 2007. The Lord’s Day clocks in with the most kills, with128 deaths, followed behind by Saturdays (80 deaths). Guns are by far LA County’s weapons of choice, claiming nearly 433 of the deaths. Stabbing comes in at a distant second, with 54 deaths.
Think about it a little, and those statistics make total sense, because when you mix, say, a little Jim Beam and guns, the outcome generally isn’t a good one.
The Times blog is much more than just a crime blotter. Crime reporter Jill Leovy compiles the death list of death using information from the Los Angeles County Coroner, local law enforcement agencies and the Times. She provides names, races, locations and maybe even a little background about each victim and the crime. Some of the posts include grainy photos from security cameras asking the public’s help in finding the perps.
The site allows for comments – which are sometimes heartbreaking:
I extend my deepest condolence to you and your family. I know this is no conselation for your loss, but what is helping me after losing a young loved one to violence, is remembering the healthy, positive and loving times spent. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. God bless you!!!
- Lamar on the killing of Dovon Harris, 16, in Watts on June 15
And others are sometimes more charged:
Poverty is no excuse for the actions of these animals. They make a choice to become the menaces that corrode our communities. I have no compassion for them whatsoever. If it were up to me they would all be rounded up and placed on an island and left for dead. Let them kill each other off without involving innocent human beings. Send these bastards to Iraq. The would be a better place without them. They don't even deserve the air that we breath. And yes, I am black, I live in the Willowbrook area, and I hate these gangbangers.
These are just two homicide stories. There are 533 more -- so far.