A new research initiative being undertaken at the Center for Homicide is showing that these perceptions are not correct. The number and locations of homicide incidents in the metropolitan area have changed over time, moved, and affected different populations and ethnic/racial communities over time. These findings are in stark contrast to widely held beliefs about homicide in the area. This special project aims to catalogue and analyze nearly four decades of homicide information using Minnesota Department of Health data, law enforcement resources, media archives and historical documents. Student interns and service learners from several area colleges and universities are involved in this effort.
Detailed homicide case files from the mid-1980s to the present have been developed. Archival information from the 1960’s and 1970s are being evaluated and interpreted. One aspect of this project is the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools to map these data over time to show the movement over time of these homicide incidents, as well as the characteristics of these crimes.