A Closer Look At Murder In Chicago

As a follow up to my last post on where people get murdered in Chicago I decided to share a bit more information on the Chicago murder scene. The data set is a real gold mine of information and it actually provides a few insights into how to avoid getting killed here.

When People Get Murdered In Chicago

First of all it really is true that murders rise with the heat. Check out this graph of murders by month for the last 12 months and notice how August, the hottest month of the year, is also the peak in murders. Experts speculate that this happens because people get more irritable when they’re hot and also when it’s hot people are outside more and more people outside means more interactions – kind of like Brownian motion. And more interactions mean more murders.
The anomaly in this data is January. What the heck? That’s the coldest month of the year so why are murders so high in January? I don’t know. Maybe people like to start the new year by settling old scores?
Chicago murders by month
I also looked at murders by day of the week and as you would expect Saturday is a big day. But I decided that graph wasn’t interesting enough to show you. It wasn’t like a night and day difference.
And speaking of night and day, as you would expect, you are more likely to get murdered in the dead of night – no pun intended. The hours between 8 PM and midnight are the most popular times for killing each other and from 4 AM to 8 AM are the least popular. I can only speculate that all the troublemakers who stay out all night eventually have to go to sleep and some of them go to sleep around midnight and the rest go to sleep around 4 AM.
Interestingly, there appears to be a mini peak in murders from around 3 PM – 5 PM. Could it be because that’s when people are getting off of work? After a hard day’s work don’t you often feel like just killing someone?
Chicago murder by time of day

Do People Ever Get Arrested For Murdering Someone In Chicago?

One can only hope that these murders are actually solved – or at least the Chicago police come up with suspects and arrest someone. Unfortunately the facts are actually very disappointing. In total, from all the murders in this 12 month sample, only a tad more than 28% resulted in arrests. Whaaaaat?
So I figured that maybe since some of these murders are relatively new the police haven’t had enough time to arrest someone. Therefore, I threw out the last two months of data and recalculated the arrest rate. It only slightly improved to just under 31%. That’s not too impressive.

Other Resources On Murder In Chicago

Someone who read my last post pointed out that there is a Web site called HeyJackass that produces ongoing Chicago crime and murder stats. It’s my kind of Web site and it even goes into what part of people’s bodies are being shot.

How To Avoid Getting Killed In Chicago

So what do we do with this information? Can we use it to avoid getting murdered? Well, obviously you can’t totally eliminate this risk but let’s face it…there are certain high risk behaviors that you can avoid that will reduce the risk of an untimely death – and it all comes down to common sense. For instance, it’s probably not a good idea to be walking around in a dangerous neighborhood on a hot August Saturday night around 11 PM. And it’s also a function of something that the statistics don’t really go into but again is common sense: avoid associating with people who have tempers and guns or knives and like to walk around on hot August Saturday nights around 11 PM. This is one time where watching TV and eating ice cream can actually be good for you.
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