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Will L.A. Have Less than 300 Homicides in 2009?

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As noted last month, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck mentioned that we may have the first year in modern history where the city of LA dips below 300 homicides." As the end of the year approaches, the latest crime statistics, which go through December 5th, show 285 homicides, 20 more since November 7th. What it doesn't show is any murders between the 5th and today, including the murder of a woman and her unborn twins (does that count as 1 or 3 homicides?). Whatever the number ends up being, it's too high. However, even if the number of homicides tips 300 by one, that's 50 less than 2008.