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A Look Back at Every Homicide in LA County

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Photo by tanakawho via Flickr

There have been 59 homicides in Los Angeles County so far this 2008. 2007 saw 845 (though, that can change). Of those 845 homicides, LA Times reporter Jill Leovy wrote about every one of them "in a straightforward, comprehensive way" in The Homicide Report, a genius creation that will go down in bloging history.

Leovy is pretty much done with the blog while Ruben Vives begins to take over the heavy task. In today's California section, Column One feature, Leovy writes an in-depth personal narrative about her observations, some of it, honestly critiquing the media.

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The more the killings stacked up on the blog, the more absurd the old media criteria for selecting one homicide over another seemed. Thirteen-year-old boys nearly always made the headlines of The Times' print edition, but 14-year-olds were a tossup. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds were more likely to make the cut if they were girls.
The March stabbing death of 17-year-old Alex Contreras-Rodriquez was big news because it happened on the campus of Washington High School, but two double homicides committed a few feet from school grounds were not.
She also let us in on the shocking nature of how often and who.
Two or three homicides occurred in the county per day, on average. mostly of young Latinos and, most disproportionately, of young black men. [...]

When I first presented a list of victims to the state Department of Motor Vehicles for photos, the clerks were baffled. Twenty young people every week? "What is this?" one asked. "Did a plane crash?"

The Homicide Report tells of four murders this weekend, all in the city limits of Los Angeles: one in Country Club Park (get to know this neighborhood through our Neighborhood Project), one in Hyde Park and a double homicide at Park La Brea.

Previously on LAist:
- Changes at The Homicide Report (Jan 2, 2008)
- Homicide Rate May Hit All-Time Low in 37 Years (Dec 23,2007)

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