While the 562 count is practically unbelievable, there is more to this story.
You see, the city has two categories for murders: homicides and suspicious deaths. Homicides are self-explanatory, but suspicious deaths are used for certain criteria. For example, if we find skeletal remains, it’s coded suspicious. Recently, the city has upped their game by claiming any murder where there are no witnesses is also considered suspicious.
Suspicious deaths are not recorded in the homicide category, so the murder numbers look better by comparison.
Yesterday, a homicide detective stopped by the division, so we asked him a few questions. First, there were 562 homicides in 2021. They apparently did not fudge the numbers like they did in 2020. However, the detective claimed there were 180 suspicious deaths in 2021, and as he said that, his eyes looked down, so that number is likely higher.
Let’s say the 180 number is correct. I’ll give the city the benefit of the doubt and say one-third of those were actual homicides. So we’re looking at 622 murders for 2021. We’ll never really know 2021’s actual murder count, but I guarantee we eclipsed 600.
The homicide detective thinks we’ll easily pass 562 this year. I wholeheartedly agree.