Getting Away With Murder

October 8, 2010

Tags: Kathryn Casey, cold cases, murder, Bridgette Gearen, true crime, crime authors, mysteries

by Kathryn Casey

We like to think that the bad guys get caught, and that when a murder takes place, the person responsible is held accountable and punished. Unfortunately, that often doesn't happen. One of the most disturbing headlines I've seen ran in the Houston Chronicle on a recent Sunday: People Are Getting Away with Murder.

Reading the piece, I learned that the national clearance rate on homicides is a dismal 64 percent. As the cause, the article cites a lack of money, manpower, too many murders and not enough folks in law enforcement investigating. It points out that in a city like Houston, with six million folks, there's more crime than cops to go around. In all, 120 Texas communities didn't even reach the national threshold, with clearance rates of 63 percent or lower. Take Galveston, for instance, where of the 32 murders committed in 2004, only seventeen were solved. That means that fifteen families are still waiting for justice. San Antonio is even worse, with a clearance rate of only 39 percent. The trend isn't new. One study showed that from 1980 to 1996, the national clearance rate (more…)