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January 16th, 2007

The Number of Unsolved Murders in New York City


There are now 9,082 unsolved murders in New York City going back to 1985. That figure is a moving target of course. They are adding to that number all the time. Roughly 150 – 200 or more murders go cold every year, and try as they might, they are not going back and solving that many each year (of the older, cold cases).

That picture was take at one of the Property Clerk warehouses. Those barrels contain homicide evidence.

Attention!  If you have a friend or loved one whose murder is still unsolved and you want to know what to do, please read this:

People ask repeatedly in the comments section about what to do or who to call about an unsolved murder. The answer to those questions are on the left under the heading, Getting Help – Contacting a Cold Case Squad. First read the document titled Before You Contact a Cold Case Squad. Then look up the number in the document Cold Case Squad and Other Organizations.

If you can’t find a number for your city or town, call your local police department and ask them if they have a cold case squad or a person in their homicide squad who specializes in cold cases. If they don’t then ask to speak to someone in their homicide squad. If you don’t get what you believe is a decent response, then go to the document on the left titled, Escalating Your Case.

If you have specific questions after reading through these instructions please ask here, but come back to see the answer!

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→ 656 CommentsTags: Homicide Facts ·

656 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Monica Cassaberry // Feb 8, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    What is the number of unsolved merder cases today 2/8/17?

  • 2 Stacy Horn // Feb 9, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Hi Monica. I no longer have access to those numbers, but the last estimate I was was in June, 2016, and based on the numbers of homicides and their clearance rates I estimated that the current number of unsolved murders since 1985 would be around 10,393.

  • 3 Kevin Sweetser // Feb 12, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Hi Stacy, you were nice enough to respond to an inquiry about cold cases a few years ago. I have read your book and was very impressed with it. I was just wondering if there is a cold case database for Manhattan and the Bronx or NYC that I can look up the status of cases. One was a dear friend who was murdered in Greenwich Village around 1974 and the other my dad, who was murdered in the Bronx at his job in 1977. Thank you.

  • 4 Stacy Horn // Feb 16, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Kevin: no, there isn’t a database (not for public use, in any case). If the cases went cold in the 70s then chances are they are still cold. I’m so sorry you lost both your father and a good friend this way. For an update, you could either call the precincts where the deaths occurred, or the Cold Case Squad, but they’d have to pull the cases, which could take a while. I’d need to know more specifically where murders happened to tell you which precinct and number to call. For the Village it’s probably the 6th Precinct, and the number is 212-741-4841.

  • 5 Peter Corbraiti // Feb 17, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Curious, a case in 1977 a young mother who was murdered. I was hoping to see if there is any possibilities of them reopening the case. The lady was my Mother and her Name was Martha Castro, she died a a couple of days before her birthday April 10, or the 12 of that year. Her birthday was the 18th of April she would have been 28. The murder happen in the Bronx. I guess you can say I am looking for closure is possible.

  • 6 Stacy Horn // Feb 21, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Peter, I’m so sorry about your mother. If no one was ever arrested for the murder of your mother the case would still be open. But unless new evidence or witnesses have come forward, then chances are nothing has been done for years. I would start by determining where the case was left. If no one in your family can tell you, you could contact the precinct where her death occurred. I would give you the number to call, but there are 12 precincts in the Bronx, so I would need the address of where this occurred in order to know which precinct has the case. That might be on her death certificate, which you can order online.

    I recently noticed that you can now also request medical reports when you order the death certificate, so you might want to get that as well. It will give you more information about her death, and may list the precinct which caught her case.

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