Chicago

Chicago Bucking Murder Trend

Number of murders in 2012 already higher than in 2011

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With two months left in 2012, the number of homicides in Chicago has already surpassed the total count for all of 2011, a trend sharply at odds with other large US cities.

Deadly shootings over the weekend pushed the Chicago homicide total to 435, two more than the 2011 total of 433. Year-end homicide counts reached 436 in 2010 and 436 in 2009.

Most criminologists say murder rates need to be examined over a long time period to assess reasons for movement, whether up or down. In fact, the Chicago homicide rate is half of what it was in decades past. In 1991, for example, homicides in the city totaled 928.