The Washington Post Reveals Where American Homicides Go Unsolved

The Washington Post identified 50 of America’s largest cities where violent crime is widespread, but the vast majority of homicides go unsolved — without any arrests. These areas of decaying inner cities were identified by examining up to a decade of homicide arrest data from the nation’s largest cities. The report provides the most in-depth analysis of 52,000 unsolved homicides on a block by block basis where law enforcement agencies across the country have failed to catch killers.

According to the report, the overall homicide arrest rate in the 50 cities is 49 percent, but in some areas where violent crime is out of control, law enforcement agencies made arrests less than 33 percent of the time.

The Post points out the troubling low-arrest rate is occurring during a significant decline in violence across the country with “34 of the 50 cities have a lower homicide arrest rate now than a decade ago.”

In violent crime-plagued cities, such as decaying Baltimore and Chicago, law enforcement agencies solve very few homicides in entire neighborhoods “stretching for miles…with virtually no arrests,” said The Post.

Oddly enough, in places such as Atlanta, law enforcement personnel have a high-arrest rate in the city’s most violent neighborhoods.

Law enforcement agencies attribute the failure to solve homicides in these violent neighborhoods “on insufficient resources and poor relationships with residents, especially in areas that grapple with drug and gang activity where potential witnesses fear retaliation,” said The Post.

Families of those killed, and even some law enforcement personnel interviewed by The Post, overwhelmingly said the responsibility rests with law enforcement agencies who are not proactive in their communities. All agree that unsolved homicides increase violent crimes in low-arrest areas.

Detectives and criminal investigators said the probability of solving a homicide is low without community cooperation, which distrust of law enforcement agencies makes it virtually impossible to close cases.

“If these cases go unsolved, it has the potential to send the message to our community that we don’t care,” said Oakland police Capt. Roland Holmgren, who leads the department’s criminal investigation division. That city has two no-go zones where unsolved homicides are clustered.

The in-depth data analysis, which The Post claims is more accurate than the national homicide data published yearly by the FBI, allows researchers to view America’s unsolved homicides on a block by block basis via maps.

With little arrests and homicides soaring, there are 17 out of 50 cities from The Post’s list that are in serious trouble.

One happens to be Indianapolis, where only 64 of the 155 criminal homicides in 2017 resulted in an arrest. The city has four no-go zones with a high concentration of violent crime and unsolved murders.

The Post noted that community members in low-arrest areas fear retaliation from gangs if they communicate with law enforcement.

Indianapolis law enforcement officials told The Post that local gangs posted a video on social media titled “Ain’t no tellin,” filmed at a cemetery. In the video, gang members went full Hollywood acting out a scene in which a man was killed — likely because he spoke with detectives.

In Omaha, Nebraska, law enforcement made an arrest in 60 percent of homicides across the city; however, there is a 12-block no-go area where an arrest is made in just 15 percent of its homicides.

“It’s one of the best indicators of how well a police department and a community work together,” said Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer. “If a police department can’t solve the greatest crime, the most egregious crime affecting society, what faith would you have in that police department?”

In Los Angeles, law enforcement officials told The Post that homicides have declined annually, and a little more than 50 percent of the 2,200 homicides since 2010 have led to an arrest.

The reoccurring theme with all of the 50 cities, is that troubled neighborhoods tend to have the most unsolved homicides.

Charles Wellford, a University of Maryland criminologist, said, ” some types of homicide — gang violence, drive-by shootings, stranger-on-stranger killings — can be especially challenging to solve.”

“But with the right resources and a little luck, almost any homicide can lead to an arrest,” Wellford said, adding, “Almost all of the variation in clearance can be attributed to the way in which a department approaches clearing homicide.”

Out of 52,179 homicides in 50 cities from 2011 to 2017, 51 percent did not result in an arrest. Here are some of the cities across the United States with the lowest arrest rates for homicides: 


From 2011 to 2017, 45 percent of the 914 homicides in Phoenix resulted in an arrest, which means 55 percent of the homicides went unsolved. 

Oakland, California 

From 2008 to 2017, 46 percent of the 947 homicides in Oakland resulted in an arrest, which means 54 percent of the homicides went unsolved. 

New Orleans

From 2010 to 2017, 35 percent of the 1,434 homicides in New Orleans resulted in an arrest, which means 65 percent of the homicides went unsolved. 


From 2007 to 2017, 40 percent of the 744 homicides in Miami resulted in an arrest, which means 60 percent of the homicides went unsolved. 


From 2010 to 2017, 41 percent of the 2,519 homicides in Detroit resulted in an arrest, which means 59 percent of the homicides went unsolved. 


From 2007 to 2017, 47 percent of the 631 homicides in Pittsburgh resulted in an arrest, which means 53 percent of the homicides went unsolved. 

San Bernardino, California 

From 2012 to 2017, 38 percent of the 275 homicides in San Bernardino resulted in an arrest, which means 62 percent of the homicides went unsolved. 

St. Louis 

From 2007 to 2017, 46 percent of the 1,677 homicides in St. Louis resulted in an arrest, which means 54 percent of the homicides went unsolved. 

Stockton, California 

From 2007 to 2016, 40 percent of the 444 homicides in Stockton resulted in an arrest, which means 60 percent of the homicides went unsolved. 


From 2007 to 2017, 35 percent of the 2,827 homicides in Baltimore resulted in an arrest, which means 65 percent of the homicides went unsolved. 

While The Post has undoubtedly delivered an in-depth, shocking reality to the unsolved homicides across many of America’s dying metropolises, it seems as Baltimore has tied New Orleans for number one in the nation for unsolved murders. With that being said, Baltimore law enforcement officials have desperately resorted to gunshot detection systems — strung out across many of these troubled neighborhoods, with the intent of catching the killers with technology. America is a mess.


lew1024 TBT or not TBT Thu, 06/07/2018 - 22:23 Permalink

My question is how many of the convictions are legitimate? There has been a rash of prosecutorial abuse revealed in recent years. What percentage of that total abuse has been revealed? 0.1%, maybe?

The system is busted, there is something wrong with this model of society, no large group of people with disparate interests stays honest for long.

We still need to do large things as a functioning civilization, we need a new large-scale organization, one that encourages honesty rather than dishonesty.

The nation state clearly does not accomplish that function, whatever style of government they have adopted.  It is failing in every element, and we are not raising the kind of adults who will reform and rebuild.

Dishonesty == failure. It is the only measure you need.


In reply to by TBT or not TBT

any_mouse Ex-Oligarch Fri, 06/08/2018 - 01:23 Permalink

Not going to waste time reading the article. Here is my summary:

Predominately the unsolved homicides have black victims, occurred in majority black neighborhoods, with no witnesses to the crimes coming forward.

The true story is that blacks cannot stop blacks from killing mostly other blacks. The black communities won't talk to police. Police cannot do anything. If a cop in the course of policing the neighborhood shoots a black person, then they be all up shouting and raising hell about black lives mattering.

To sum it up, it is the result of white male privilege.

In reply to by Ex-Oligarch

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In reply to by wadalt

rtb61 Mr. Universe Fri, 06/08/2018 - 03:40 Permalink

It appears to be a systemic failure of government and the ability to provide an effective police force. This county mounty stupidity has to end you need state based policing with uniform policing across the state and equal access to investigatory resources.

One police force for the entire state with officers and police branches located according to population. Then the city would be on the citizens side when challenging the police, rather than opposing the citizen because of legal risk ie the risk would all fall on the state instead and hence cities would favour citizens in reports of police corruption and violence.

County managed policing is a failure, a huge waste of administrative costs that provides no policing effort (instead of one police administration, hundreds and the state one on top again), prevent reasonable standards of policing being maintained across the state (localised corruption blocking change at a state level) and of course will hugely reduce property taxes (think of other countries that pay 1/10th of US property taxes as a percentage with state based policing). Then your county will bitch to the state about how bad policing is, rather than covering it up and screw you to save mayors next election.

In reply to by Mr. Universe

NoWayJose Thu, 06/07/2018 - 21:16 Permalink

I remember a story from Baltimore where a lady cop was killed because she was investigating a previous murder.  Too dangerous to ‘solve’ old murders.

Ms No Thu, 06/07/2018 - 21:23 Permalink

I heard an unpleasant story recently.  "I don't tell many people about this but one night I went out with neighbor and her friends for her birthday.  Everybody got drunk and they forgot me there.  This guy was sitting by us all night, seemed nice and offered to give me a ride.  

I got out of the car and waved goodbye.  He eventually got out to follow me and forced his way in behind me.  He tied me up, stabbed me and mutilated every orifice with fork and knife.  Never was caught.  Had to get reconstructive surgery.  Neighbors remembered me next morning and found bloodbath and called me in dead"

Ms No. "Uhhhh.....stammering"

FGopher Thu, 06/07/2018 - 21:24 Permalink

If these cases go unsolved, it has the potential to send the message to our community that we don’t care,”

Yen Cross Thu, 06/07/2018 - 21:27 Permalink

 That explains all the "soft" brainwashing, from all the Libtard networks with their stupid, tiresome, CSI, FBI,NSA, CIA garbage programming every week.


franklin23 Thu, 06/07/2018 - 21:58 Permalink

This article seems to leave out whether a high arrest rate actually reduces the number of homicides to population! 🤷‍♂️🤷🏾‍♂️

Son of Captain Nemo Thu, 06/07/2018 - 22:17 Permalink

"The Washington Post identified 50 of America’s largest cities where violent crime is widespread, but the vast majority of homicides go unsolved — without any arrests"...

Because they make such great 'bearded" recruits in VBIEDs and wearing an IED vest CONUS/OCONUS!

I'd blame this behavior on the opioids but the "still waters run much deeper" in the psychology of the Zionist-inspired psychopathic mind!...

Now back to my "Call of Duty" video game!

ImGumbydmmt Thu, 06/07/2018 - 22:54 Permalink

When I saw the Atlanta and Richmond high arrest maps i thought, 

" Hmm looks like the Klan owned Police still grabs the nearest available "person of Color" with a prior record and throws him in jail every-time a crime is committed. They probably pick a VERY likely suspect, whether this particular murder was of his doing or not, they get another dirt-bag off the street."

Not saying its right or wrong, it just IS.


just the tip Thu, 06/07/2018 - 23:00 Permalink

But with the right resources and a little luck,

translation:  But with the fabrication of evidence,

bullshit article.  any article with this subject matter that does not include chicago is full of shit.

29 charged out of 215 homocides is right at 13%.  but not a mention in this article.

just as pathetic is, out of 1117 shootings, only 179 are homocides, which is about 16%.  range time is in order.

my personal favorite category is the shot-in-the-junk-o-meter which counts 10 thus far this year.

platyops Thu, 06/07/2018 - 23:25 Permalink

I live in Stockton. Even though we have a pretty good police force and sheriff's office, there are many areas where one just does not go at night. There are also some areas that one avoids even in daytime. Poverty and too many babies by women who are just stupid and I mean like a rock is the reason. There is no fixing this situation! It will forever be this way. Why do I stay? Because I am curious as to what will happen next.

Hmmm... platyops Fri, 06/08/2018 - 00:08 Permalink


" There is no fixing this situation"


Howdy my fellow cali 'zh' buddy!  Nice to meet cha'!  {smile}

Punky & I agree.  It's a tough one.  It will probably take generations for this be rectified too.  It's that deep.  A great deal of work had to be done in succession by tptb in order for things to have gotten to the place where they are now. ...and it shows.  Tptb have effectively destroyed so many lives on this many potential futures.  Vanished.  If Boomers like myself & others who are able to don't  make some kind of effort to help our young brothers & sisters in a meaningful way ...well there's no excuse if we don't.  We are all in this together and it does take a village.  We are the village & we need to act like it. 

This coming together on 'zh' is a start.

Have a great day everyone!  {smile}


In reply to by platyops

skinwalker Thu, 06/07/2018 - 23:28 Permalink

If one wanted to get away with murder, the solution is simple. Go to one of these neighborhoods and kill a complete stranger. 


An uncomfortable fact is that if you don’t care who it is you kill, you will almost certainly never be caught. 


Another uncomfortable fact is that a serial killer who can constantly change his MO and choice of victim will never get recognized as such. 

Hmmm... skinwalker Fri, 06/08/2018 - 00:18 Permalink


" a serial killer who can constantly change his MO and choice of victim will never get recognized as such.  "

Is there something that you think we should all know about Skin?  Should Punky & I be afraid?  Should Punky & I be v-e-r-y afraid??  {smile}  I'm just having fun with you Skin.  Just a little fun that's all! 

Thanks for the post,

It gave Punky & I a chance to speak.

Have a great day!


In reply to by skinwalker

Balance-Sheet Thu, 06/07/2018 - 23:29 Permalink

It is almost all criminals killing each other which is encouraged because the courts are not interested in pursuing certain sudden deaths. Think of it as a system of informal executions and woundings for reasons of cost.