How many murders go unsolved each year in the U.S.?

 Science, Society  Comments Off on How many murders go unsolved each year in the U.S.?
Jun 042006

DNA. Carpet fibers. Fingerprints. Given the wealth of forensic information, you’d think police would solve each and every murder. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in 2004, 62.6% of homicides were “cleared,” leaving a substantial portion of murder cases unresolved.The FBI’s official site says a crime is cleared when either an arrest is made or “elements beyond the control of law enforcement prevent the agency from arresting and formally charging the offender, by exceptional means.” We assume this refers to rare cases when, for example, suspects die before they can be charged.

In 2004, there were 16,137 cases of murder or nonnegligent manslaughter in the United States. Because 37.4% of these cases went uncleared, around 6,035 people “got away with murder” that year. Of course, this assumes each offender murdered only one person, which very likely isn’t true, but seeing as the cases are unsolved, this is our best guess. Anyway, while that number is disturbingly high, there is some good news. From 2003 to 2004, the number of murders fell 2.4% and violent crime in general is on a downswing.

War On Terror Over; Gonzalez Pursues Porn

 Crime, Politics, The Courts  Comments Off on War On Terror Over; Gonzalez Pursues Porn
Sep 212005

Taking his cues from former Attorney General John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzalez has decided to make the War on Porn "one of the top priorities" of the AG’s office.  In early August, the FBI’s Washington Field Office sent around a job listing to recruit eight federal agents, a supervisor and support staff to take on "manufacturers and purveyors" of pornography. The squad will focus its efforts on those who produce pornography depicting consenting adults.  Such porn profiteers include Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., General Motors Corp., Time Warner, and several major hotel chains.  The conservative Family Research Council endorsed the move, saying it gave them "a growing sense of confidence in our new attorney general."  Some FBI agents were not so pleased.  As one anonymous agent put it sarcastically: "I guess this means we’ve won the war on terror. We must not need any more resources for espionage."

Hope you feel safer?