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September 5th, 2006

100 Years Ago in New York

Murder was worse! (If I did my math correctly.)

One hundred years ago, in 1906, 255 people were murdered in New York City. The population of New York was 3,437,202 in 1900, and it was 8,085,742 as of 2003. At the 1906 murder rate, 600 people would be murdered this year. Murder has gone up so far this year, but the total last year was 540 — even with the current increase it should still come out under 600.

Interesting, no? In the good old days, we were not so good. 1913 was particularly bad. 326 people were murdered that year. What was going on in New York that year??

Based on what I was able to find out about clearance rates for the time period, I estimate that 84 of the murders in 1906 and 136 of the murders from 1913 were never solved.

(The picture is Orchard Street in 1906.)

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