Chicago for Murder, Minneapolis for Burglary
America's Midwestern Crime Havens:
Chicago's Crime in the News
I just came across the following headline while searching for something unrelated: "Only 30 Percent of Last Year's [i.e., 2011] Murders Solved", as reported on the WBBM / CBS Chicago website. As you read the story here and ponder it's meaning for the residents of Chicago, IL USA, remember that what this news headline is basically saying: '70 percent of Chicago's 2011 Murderers were Not Arrested or Tried in Court'. While the article tries to reassure Chicagoans that the city's murder rate is also down, we are also told in this article - almost as an aside - that the city police department's 'Murders Solved' rate for 2011 is actually up from 2010! In 2010, Chicago's 'Murders Solved' rate was only 28 percent, so a shocking 72 percent of Chicago's 2010 murders were never solved by an arrest or court trial ! (No wonder there is no television series called, "CSI: Chicago" ...)
[ UPDATE FOR 2015: Mark Konkol at DNAinfo.com reports that for calendar year 2015, only 26% of Chicago's homicides were solved - and only 6% were "solved" by prosecutions for murder! Even worse, only 9.5% of Chicago's 2,021 non-fatal shootings were"cleared" by the Chicago Police Department. Read more (if you can stand it) by going to the DNAinfo.com link above. ]
Incidentally, according to the news story, back in 1991 the 'Murders Solved' rate was 80 percent, so only 20 percent of Chicago's killers got away with murder. But, by 2005, the 'Murders Solved' rate had plunged to 42 percent, meaning that 58 percent of Chicago's murderers had gotten away with it. Now, in 2011, Chicago's murderers were captured just 30 percent of the time, while 70 percent of the city's most homicidal residents were still free men (and women).
A person in Chicago has a better chance of getting away with murder, than that person has of winning money with an Illinois State Lottery Ticket!
The Chicago City Morgue, Etc.
In a possibly unrelated matter, the same WBBM / CBS Chicago has also reported here that the Chicago morgue has had at least 44 bodies piling up from ten months ago ... and now one of the morgue's coolers has stopped running! The smell is described as absolutely "horrendous" by a funeral home director who recently visited the Cook County Morgue. The Chief Medical Examiner - who herself earns over $200,000 per year - says the Morgue has no money to bring in a refrigeration repair technician to inspect and repair the broken cadaver cooler.
On top of everything else, how much is all of this biological contamination going to harm the City of Chicago's future criminal prosecutions for murder?
You'd think that Cook County's pathologists would pool some donations and hire a morgue cooler repairman, themselves. Wouldn't it be worth $50 or $100 apiece (they earn at least $50 per hour), so that the county's pathologists would no longer have to walk on a floor covered by decomposing body fluids ... or smell the odor of warming 10-month-old human cadavers?!
Is the Chicago morgue heading back to the 19th century?
My Minneapolis Memories of Property Crime
After reading the WBBM Chicago 'Murders Solved' article, I started to recall my years of investigating and adjusting property and casualty claims, during the 1980s and 1990s. I had a little experience with claims in the Chicago area, more experience in the Milwaukee, Janesville, Minneapolis and Duluth. (Property crimes were rarely taken very seriously, especially in the larger cities, but the city of Minneapolis was easily the worst, in my experience.)
Probably the real epitome of a bad experience with the police 'investigating' a property crime was in Minneapolis, back around 1996. I was assigned a burglary claim that had occurred just the weekend before at our policyholder's location, near downtown Minneapolis. Our policyholder owned a successful temporary employment agency that occupied the first floor and 'lower level' (basement) on the corner of a downtown block. I received a telephone call from a claim manager, informing me of our insured's property claim at about 11:00 a.m. and I drove to the insured's business by noon. After introductions, the agency owner led me into his basement office, where he showed me a small portable safe that that had evidently been torched open with a welding machine of some kind. The burglars (we assumed there were two burglars because of the size and weight of the welding equipment this would have required) apparently used the welder to enter through a locked steel basement door, that faced a dim side street, during the Saturday and/or Sunday just preceding. (The agency was only open Monday through Friday.) The lock and door handle had been torched off, allowing discrete entry by the burglars. The burglars had absconded with around $8,000 cash, as I recall.
When I arrived that day, I asked if our insured had called the police. I saw no police officers and no crime scene tape, fingerprint powder or other evidence of a crime scene investigation. The agency owner said he called '911' at 8:00 a.m. that morning, but police didn't show up until 9:30 a.m. It was two uniformed cops who checked out the crime scene - visually - then wrote up a police report on the burglary and asked our policyholder to sign it. They gave him some written case information, then started to walk away. He asked them if there would be any further investigation and they stated that a Crime Scene Investigator might stop by within the next day or two, to check for fingerprints, etc. Our insured felt they were being very leisurely about the whole thing and again asked them if anyone would do any further investigation? The two Minneapolis Police Department officers told him that the burglary would be thoroughly investigated by the agency owner's insurance company.
I think my jaw dropped before I replied, "I'm the only person from your insurance company who is going to investigate this burglary claim! I'm a claim adjuster, not a crime investigator. I won't be seeking out your burglars, that's not my job! I don't have a mandate to do that ... I don't have a weapon for self-defense from criminals ... and my company would fire me if they found me carrying a serious weapon. I don't even have arrest powers!"
I was amazed that a C.S.I. "might" come to this property crime scene within 48 hours, yet the two cops had made no effort to tape off the scene, nor had they even warned the insured and his office employees to avoid touching the safe, door knobs, light switches, door frame surfaces, etc.! In speaking to the insured a couple days later, the agency owner told me that no C.S.I. or police detective had ever shown up, to analyze the crime scene!
Later, I found out that the Minneapolis police rarely invested much effort into the investigation of property crimes. My police informant said, "The department feels that their officers should invest their time in more important criminal matters. Non-violent property crimes are usually relatively minor and property criminals can be difficult and tedious to track down and arrest. So, the Minneapolis police department doesn't try very hard on non-violent property crimes."
A burglar would have to be very unlucky - or very dumb - to be captured and arrested for a property crime in Minneapolis!
So, what have we learned?
(1) When you wish to commit a murder, do it in Chicago.
(2) When you wish to commit a property crime, do it in Minneapolis.
More by this Author
An experienced radio advertising and copy writing professional provides assistance to business and professional managers, to create effective radio advertising spots.
Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty portraying the infamous criminals, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow (but the actors are about three times more attractive). They coulda been the newest Bonnie and Clyde: Gage Turner and...
This is the story of how the Delta Smelt fish drove over 15,000 California farmers, ranchers and employees - plus a large number of the world's hungry people - into economic extinction (at the least)!