Minneapolis, MN, July 29 – The origin of a homicide cluster in North Minneapolis dates back to the early 1960s, say researchers at the Center for Homicide Research. This finding, discovered through an epidemiological approach, will direct upcoming research into community history and the development of interventions to prevent future homicides.
There is general agreement that homicide is an epidemic, both on a broad scale and within specific communities. Since lethal violence first became viewed as a public health problem, Center researchers began applying principles of epidemiology, a method commonly used in public health research. They used this to identify an original cluster of homicides in North Minneapolis. The application of this new tool to investigate an old problem allowed the Center to focus in on the area’s first case occurring in July of 1961. Researchers were then able to identify the next twelve cases for closer analysis. They will build on this information to explore how cases at the origin may be connected, one to another. Identifying these linkages might be a key to preventing future homicides.
There is still much more work to be done now that the initial phase is complete. The next step is to work closely with the community to obtain firsthand historical knowledge of neighborhood conditions and community relations in North Minneapolis in the 1960s. Going back to the past will aid in a better understanding of events today. Center researchers will be interviewing North Minneapolis community members who can describe 1960s community conditions, or who may remember any of these killings. This information will help the Center to identify resiliency factors and prevention strategies.
Those who would like to share information about life and community conditions in North Minneapolis in the 1960s can contact the Center directly. For inquiries or to provide information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (612) 331-4820.
Joe Hafften, Researcher
Dallas Drake, Principal Researcher