Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, February 05, 2021

The Homicide Report is a crime-beat blog from the LA Times with a simple theme: Record every reported murder in Los Angeles County.

Reporter Jill Leovy handled those blogging duties until the end of 2007, and now provides some perspective on the act of online commemoration of some victims, and the need that fulfilled.

One could know the numbers in the abstract yet still be unprepared for the sheer volume, similarity and obscurity of the victims…

At a crime scene in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Newton Division, lifelong friends of a victim said they knew him only by a nickname. At another scene, a family had no recent photographs of their 19-year-old son. For some of those victims, a police mug shot was the only record of their presence in the world. A detective in Watts once asked me to run a photo of an elaborate norteño-style belt buckle, the only clue to the identity of a victim whose body had been burned.

Detectives routinely admitted that the names and ages they had recorded for victims were, at best, conjecture: Many victims, including illegal immigrants or career criminals, had lived entirely underground.

Ironic that a life in the shadows doesn’t get exposed to light until it ends.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 02/05/2021 11:09:52 PM
Category: Bloggin', Society, True Crime
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