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Baltimore: Murder Capital, USA

June 4, 2009
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Would this be considered sarcasm?

A couple of years ago, I spent nine blissful months living in Baltimore. If you, like me, are fascinated by a city’s seedy underbelly, Baltimore is paradise. The beleaguered port has a little something for everyone: heyron (aka heroin) for the fiends, fiends for the drug dealers, HIV and drug addiction for the public health experts, an aquarium for the tourists, and lots and lots of murders. I used to have a map of the city on my wall where I would mark each one with a pushpin. Ah, memories!

Although killings have fallen off in recent years (ever since Avon Barksdale stopped dropping bodies, no doubt), Baltimore is once again leading the nation. In 2008, the city had more killings per capita than any other large city in America.

Update: Apparently Detroit underreported the number of murders in 2008 when they submitted figures to the FBI. Instead of 306 murders, there were actually 339 . . . or more. That makes Detroit the murder capital of the US. Sorry, Baltimore. Maybe next year.

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