Thursday, December 4, 2014

Law & Order: Gotham

You know, once upon a time when I was a nerd, I contemplated going through one entire season of each of the Law & Order incarnations, and totaling all the murders, and seeing how accurately it reflected the murder rate in New York City.

Shut up. I didn't actually do it.

But if there is anywhere on Earth that is more deadly than Dick Wolf's NYC, of course it is the hell-hole of Gotham City.

So just how deadly is Gotham City? In this week's Detective Comics #37, it's Christmas Eve, and Detective Harvey Bullock is contemplating the end of another year...

An actual number? 617 murders? That I can work with!! (Spoiler alert--there's at least one more before the issue is over, and the prospect of a whole bunch more by the end...)

So how does compare with the rest of America?

The most recent numbers we have in the real world cover 2013 murders (and perhaps more importantly, murder rates).

The cities with the most murders in 2013 were Chicago (412), New York (333) and Detroit (332). If you crunch the numbers, Gotham had well over double the average of the 10 U.S. cities with the most killings.

But we should note, 2013 was at the end (so far) of a huge drop in murders and murder rates over the past decade, so much so that America had one of it's lowest murder rates in 40 years.

If we back up to 2003, Chicago had 601 murders, New York had 597, and Los Angeles had 515. That makes Gotham look a little tamer in comparison.

Of course, if that same national trend held in Gotham City, then Gotham would have had something like 900+ murders in 2003.

And if we go back to Year Zero, the Riddler killed tens of thousands, so I'd imagine that year was right off the charts...probably the DC FBI has different charts for "Murders caused by super-villains or alien invasions."

1 comment:

The Mutt said...

The question is, has the murder rate declined because of better policing? Higher incarceration rates? Fewer people trying to kill each other?

Or is it because our emergency rooms and trauma centers are now staffed with doctors and EMTs who have 15 years of battlefield experience dealing with gunshot wounds?

If he doesn't die, it's not a murder.