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December 1, 2011

November: Lowest homicide count since at least 1970

November in Baltimore saw the lowest number of homicides for that month in at least the past 40 years, with 10 people slain during the month.

The city has never seen fewer than 12 murders in the month of November since 1970. In recent years, 19 were killed in November 2010, 26 in November 2009, and 30 in November 2008. 

The relatively low total makes it possible that Baltimore could record less than 200 homicides for the year for the first time since the late 1970s, when the city also had 200,000 more residents.

Murders have been on a decline in Baltimore since late 2007, when Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III was appointed to his post. There were 282 people killed that year, which dropped to 234 the following year and 223 last year. Murder is down across the country, with many cities seeing their lowest totals since the 1960s.

November's victims include 67-year-old Shirley Tyler, who police say was killed by her grandson, and Lakeisha Player, a 26-year-old woman shot in the head in Northeast Baltimore by a man police say was her boyfriend. The boyfriend had previously been charged with taking the vehicle of a runaway teen from Virginia found dead in East Baltimore, and her family hopes the new charges might stimulate new information in their case.

Police also solved the killing of Tavon Toney, on Nov. 22, who they believe was fatally shot during a robbery. 

Posted by Justin Fenton at 11:11 AM | | Comments (7)


"The city has never seen less than 12 murders in the month of November.."

that would be 'fewer than'...not a modern english sophisticate, but we gotta get this one right...unless there are fractional murders!

I seem to have a mental block on this rule. Thanks. -JF

Annie McCann from Virginia was found in 2008 at Perkins Homes in the 200 block of South Spring Court, which is in the Southeast between downtown and Fells Point. East Baltimore might have its share of challenges but don't hang that one on them.

I am glad that it is going in the right direction, but someone getting murdered every 3 days is still unacceptable. Especially when a large percentage of the people getting murdered and doing the murdering have been arrested numerous times and have been let out with light sentences. This murder issue could be reduced drastically if the judges in Baltimore City kept the career criminals off the street.

I just wanted to commend the writer on the correction by him saying "Thanks." Have no worries JF they will corrupt you soon enough! :) It's like being a politician....Well done none-the-less.

Fractional murders? I die a little death inside every time I see a grammatical mistake.

This is truly a reason to be thankful. I did wonder, however, if Baltimore got lucky this month. Around my house alone, I think I counted six shootings this month alone & only one resulted in a homicide (the fatality at Yau's). Were shootings down in November as well as fatalities?

If so, I would like to know what policies Bealefeld and/or other city employees have enacted that have caused this. I am truly grateful when city employees do their jobs well. I would like to know to whom I should be grateful.

Wonderful, simply wonderful!

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About Peter Hermann
Peter Hermann started covering news for The Baltimore Sun in 1990, first in Anne Arundel County and, starting in 1994, reporting on the Baltimore Police Department. In 2001, he was assigned to Jerusalem as the Baltimore Sun's Middle East correspondent. He returned in 2005 as an assistant city editor overseeing crime coverage. In 2008, Peter returned to the beat as a daily reporter and blogger. A recent BBC report featured him in a segment on the harsh realities of covering crime in Baltimore.

Coverage will focus on crime trends, problems in neighborhoods in the city and elsewhere, profiles of victims and police officers and try to offer readers a fresh perspective on one of the most vexing issues facing Baltimore and its future.

Contributing to this blog is Justin Fenton, who joined The Sun in 2005 and has covered the Baltimore City Police Department and the criminal justice system since 2008. His work includes an investigation into Cal Ripken Jr.’s minor league baseball stadium deal with his hometown of Aberdeen, a three-part series chronicling a ruthless con woman, coverage of the killing of five Amish children at a schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., and a job swap with a British crime reporter to explore differences in crime-fighting. A special report looking into how city police handle rape cases led to sweeping reforms that changed the way sexual assaults are investigated in Baltimore. He was recognized as the best reporter in Baltimore by the City Paper in 2010 and by Baltimore Magazine in 2011.

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