Philadelphia is the most murder-plagued big city in the country; the nation’s other big cities – New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston – are seeing their murder numbers fall, says the Philadelphia Daily News. There seems to be no single factor to pinpoint and blame for the City of Brotherly Love’s ongoing violence epidemic. As of yesterday, 60 people had been slain in the city of about 1.4 million, compared with 49 at this same point last year. In New York – a city of 8 million – the homicide total has fallen 43 percent from last year, from 90 victims to 51.
Investigators have noticed a dramatic increase in indoor slayings – 32 so far this year, compared with 15 at this point last year. Initially, the cold weather seemed to have a suppression effect [on homicides],” said Lawrence W. Sherman, director of the Jerry Lee Center of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania. “Nobody got shot because they were outside bumping into each other. But [the weather] also caused more interactions indoors, which may have been increasing stress among people crowded in small spaces.”