In the deadliest homicide case in Memphis’s modern history, police said Jessie Dotson, 33, killed six people — including his brother, two nephews, and two women last month. The incident was classified as domestic homicide because of the intimate relationship between the killer and the victims, says the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Domestic violence spawns other crimes, from burglary and abduction to murder. Children who witness domestic violence, and often also are abused, are likely to become batterers. Prosecutors say that in 2005 about 56 percent of violent crimes in Shelby County, including more than 15 percent of the homicides, were related to domestic violence. A program called “Operation: Safe Community” lays out strategies aimed at making the Memphis area on the nation’s safest of its size by 2011. Reducing domestic violence is one of the hot spots on this crime-fighting map. “When you look at the raw numbers, domestic violence is our number one violent crime. In terms of cases that are coming through our system, it’s about 4,000 a year,” said Shelby County prosecutor Bill Gibbons.