A Los Angeles Times analysis shows that the LAPD has for years assigned more detectives per homicide in safer, more affluent parts of the city than in Central and South L.A., where the murder problem is most acute.
People killed in the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods over the last 12 years have gotten less attention from LAPD investigators, on average, than those killed in West Los Angeles or the San Fernando Valley.
This disparity has helped create a backlog of unsolved killings – nearly 5,500 – concentrated mostly south of the Santa Monica Freeway.
Hundreds of blocks in the hardest-hit neighborhoods have three or more unsolved homicides each. Those who live near these murder scenes know the killers may still be at large – perhaps close by. Residents talk of fear and an atmosphere of lawlessness. No region of the Valley or West L.A. has a similar concentration of unsolved homicides.