It’s been almost six weeks since a homicide has been reported to Denver police, marking the longest stretch of such calm in the city since 1966, says the Rocky Mountain News. “There could never be an explanation for the lack of, or the increase, in homicides,” Denver police Detective Virginia Quiñones said. “You could go years without this type of criminal activity and then turn around and have a flurry of them due to the fact that it is a crime of emotion.”
Homicides in Denver over the past 10 years have fluctuated, with a high of 94 in 2004 and a low of 34 in 2000. Last year, detectives logged 62 homicides. Denver has a 70 percent clearance rate on homicides, which is higher than the national rate, Quiñones said. Detectives continually review past cases. “Homicide is one of the most unpredictable crimes as far as trends go,” said Mark Leone, a retired Denver police lieutenant now teaching criminal justice at Westwood College. “And this is because most homicides are committed by someone who knows the victim. It’s hard to know what sets people off.” Leone said factors such as better medical treatment could account for more aggravated assault cases and fewer homicides.