Kansas City police have solved fewer homicides this year than any year in recent memory, reports the city’s Star. The year’s clearance rate stands at about 40 percent, down from 50 percent last year. Twenty years ago, detectives solved 70 to 80 percent of homicides. The percentage has declined steadily since then, reaching 56 percent at the end of 2008 and 2009.
Kansas City isn't alone. National studies have shown steady declines from 90 percent in the 1960s to 65 percent in recent years, despite an overall decrease in the number of homicides and improvements in DNA and other technologies. National experts blame the drop in part on the changing nature of homicides, with more killers having little or no traceable connection to victims. Killings involving drugs, gangs and botched robberies can be among the toughest to solve, especially compared to those involving domestic disputes, bar fights and child abuse.