Which New Orleans neighborhoods had the highest concentration of murders in 2008?

Jan 26, 2009 by

HumidCity will now be helping to the best of our ability with the New Orleans Crime Watch and with the push to Implement NolaStat. If you live in New Orleans then you are in danger of catching a bullet, this does concern you.

As an initial step in this direction  would like to share the latest update from Citizen Crime Watch with you, our readers:

  1. Which New Orleans neighborhoods had the highest concentration of murders in 2008?
  2. The New Orleans City Council passes a NolaStat resolution.
  3. Once upon a time in New Orleans, City Hall had a monopoly on king cakes.

Which neighborhoods had the highest concentration of murders in New Orleans?

  1. 7th Ward: 17 murders
  2. Central City: 15 murders
  3. St. Roch:13 [Editor’s Note- these numbers are corrected. There was a typo in them prior to now. Apologies. -Loki Founder and Curator of HumidCity]

These three neighborhoods accounted for a total of 37 homicides in 2008, representing 20 percent of the total 179 murders for the year.

These neighborhoods are followed in the murder ranking for 2008 by Treme/Lafitte (9), St. Claude (7), Viavant/Venetian Isles (7), Berhman (6), Leonidas (6), Little Woods (6), and Mid-City (6).

Fifty-two of the 73 neighborhoods in New Orleans had at least one homicide in 2008. Twenty-one neighborhoods had none.

New Orleans Citizen Crime Watch produced a map of homicides in 2008 by neighborhood after a completing a comprehensive review of all homicide incidents.

You can view the map of 2008 homicides on the New Orleans Citizen Crime Watch blog:


It’s already been argued by critics that the production of a murder map for New Orleans is going to hurt these named neighborhoods. My answer to that is, those neighborhoods are already hurting. Obviously, neighborhoods aren’t uniform in their problems — especially in a place like New Orleans — and many parts of those named neighborhoods show great promise. If nobody identifies a problem, however, how will it ever be addressed, and who will we hold accountable for finding solutions to the problem? I, for one, would like to see those proud historic neighborhoods become safer places. {Curator’s Note: I concur wholehearted with Mr. Denzer here. The idea that keeping problems from the light of day for fear of “hurting” the situation is assinine. To be perfecetly frank, those property values dropping a bit in the short term is less important to me that preventing a death. It should be a no-brainer. -Loki}

Coincidentally, the New Orleans Citizen Crime Watch homicide map was ready to publish on the same day that The Times-Picayune printed a story by Laura Maggi, Brendan McCarthy and Brian Thevenot, “New Orleans breeds bold killers.”

The New Orleans City Council passes a NolaStat resolution

By a 5-0 vote this past Thursday — just one week after the NolaStat presentation to the Governmental Affairs Committee (video) — the New Orleans City Council passed a resolution supporting the open records NolaStat concept, and requesting that Chief Technology Officer Harrison Boyd meet with representatives of the NolaStat process to discuss its implementation.

By no means does this resolution guarantee that NolaStat will be implemented. It’s merely a good first step toward engaging Nagin officials to discuss a workable solution.

Council members Carter, Clarkson, Fielkow, Head, and Midura, all deserve our gratitude for their interest, and their swift action in support of NolaStat. Council Members Carter, Clarkson, Fielkow, Head, and Midura, all deserve our gratitude for their interest, and their swift action in support of NolaStat. Council Members Hedge-Morrell and Willard-Lewis were reportedly still in D.C. for the inauguration.

Once upon a time in New Orleans, City Hall had a monopoly on king cakes

For those who may not understand what NolaStat is, here’s a little fairy tale which might help.

Imagine if New Orleans City Hall controlled the supply of king cakes by retaining monopoly control over the plastic king cake baby factory.

Year after year, City Hall awarded a few contracts to a handful of favored patrons to manage the factory, and to bake king cakes for carnival. Every year, citizens complained that the city’s king cake contractors produced horrid king cake that made them sick. The king cake contractors promised over and over again that they were working on a better recipe, but said they had to get paid more money to experiment with the recipe. Each time they produced a new version, it was just as bad as the last.

A few independent bakers got tired of eating rotten king cake. Of course, you can’t bake king cake without the tradition of inserting a little plastic baby in each cake, so the bakers started collecting little plastic babies from those rotten City Hall king cakes — one at a time — so that they could experiment with a recipe themselves. Some of those bakers soon discovered that the king cakes they made were very popular — more popular, in fact, than City Hall’s king cakes. Soon the entire city was clamoring for the king cakes from the best bakers, but the independent bakers couldn’t get enough plastic king cake babies to adequately serve the entire city.

Citizens then revolted, demanding that City Hall drop its monopoly on plastic king cake babies, and that it allow independent bakers to compete with those favored contractors. They argued that their tax dollars were used to produce those plastic king cake babies, so they have a right to them just as much as any contractor does.

Of course, the contractors didn’t like the way this was going, because they knew that they might lose their subsidy from City Hall, and would have to compete with all of those independent bakers. The contractors were mad, and still they promised that they could make a better king cake.

Fortunately, City Hall finally recognized that the best solution for everyone would be obtained when citizens had a right to freely choose who they wanted to buy their king cakes from.

The king cake baby monopoly was broken, and everyone was eating sweet, spungy, delicious king cake.

Harmony reigned throughout the land. City Hall let citizens eat their cake, and carnival season was never better.

The end.

The moral of the story, taking NolaStat into consideration, is that monopoly control over City Hall’s records by a few connected contractors is something which is making us sick, and we can’t answer that problem by paying the same contractors who promise that they’ll come up with better Web-based applications — king cakes — if only we pay them more money. Incidentally, we don’t know how much money we’re paying those contractors. We need to be allowed to bake our own king cakes. In the brave new world of the internet, with Google-like mashup technologies that are easy to use to map, chart, and otherwise analyze all kinds of information, we need to be able to design Web-based applications that are less-expensive and more useful than what we’ve been promised.

We need access to the records — i.e., plastic king cake babies — so that independent programmers can make better applications — i.e., better king cakes — which serve our needs.

Years from now, I hope we really will be able to look back on our post-Katrina recovery experience as a fairy tale with a happy ending, but at the rate things are going so far, the fairy tale might become a small novela before we reach that happy ending.

Brian Denzer
Founder/Executive Director
New Orleans Citizen Crime Watch

How can you get involved to help Citizen Crime Watch? See if there’s something in the list of needs which you can help with.

This letter was posted on the Citizen Crime Watch blog under the heading, “Which New Orleans neighborhoods had the highest concentration of murders in 2008?”

Related: “Barack the data!”

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