The Boston Police Department is carrying a grim ledger of 336 unsolved murder cases from the past 10 years, a period that saw the city consistently lagging behind the national average for cracking cases despite repeated changes in strategies and leadership, a Boston Herald review found. The stunning total of unsolved cases encompasses 2004 to 2013, when gun-toting gangbangers, thieves and trigger-happy teens, among others, killed 628 people across the dozen neighborhoods patrolled by Boston cops.
During those years, police arrested, charged or formally identified suspects in 47 percent of the homicides. Their success varied wildly according to the race, gender and neighborhood of the victim, even as they managed to lower the murder total dramatically in the process. Boston recorded only 40 homicides last year, a one-third drop from 2012. The review of year-by-year data shows that Black men were slain at 10 times the rate of white men. Of the city's 628 victims, 410 were black males and 38 were white males. Police solved only 38 percent of the murders of black males compared to 79 percent for the slayings of white men; Guns were killers' weapon of choice, used 469 times to commit, and often get away with, murder. Despite vast investments in technology, the shooter was caught only 37 percent of the time.