We Remember: Four Years of Homicide Watch DC

For more than four years, the faces of those killed in the District have circled through the top of Homicide Watch DC. Children, teenagers, adults, the elderly. In photos they smile, or scowl. They’re pictured laughing, looking cool, or sometimes angry.

It can be too much to look at. To see who we’ve lost is to remember that each of them has family and friends, teachers, co-workers and neighbors. The community of people who’ve joined us here on Homicide Watch DC have opened their stories and the justice system for us in an incredible way.
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Proposals to Continue Homicide Watch D.C. Due Friday

This Friday is the deadline for proposals to take over Homicide Watch D.C. As we announced last month, this site will close at the end of the year, unless a new owner is found.

Our request for proposals is here.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please get in touch with any questions or concerns you have.

Proposals should include:

  1. A cover letter expressing their interest in working to continue Homicide Watch DC’s work. Let us know why you are interested and what you believe you and your team bring to the table.
  2. Bios of each of your team members, including previous work and other relevant experience.
  3. If relevant, a one-page statement of how you feel Homicide Watch DC is relevant to the work of your organization (if you are expressing interest on behalf of a news organization, university, nonprofit, or other organization or institution).
  4. A one-page proposal outlining your strategy for continuing community engagement with HWDC.

The full RFP is here. Thank you, all of you, again for all of your support.

Request for Proposals to Continue Homicide Watch D.C.

A week ago, we announced that we would close this site at the end of December, after covering the District of Columbia for more than four years.

Many of you asked how you could help keep the site going and offered your support. Your comments and emails have been overwhelming and gratifying, and we want to find a way for Homicide Watch D.C. to continue being the resource this community needs.

However, our situation hasn’t changed. We’re still in Boston, and we know that we cannot continue to hire, train and supervise reporters based in D.C. This community needs and deserves local ownership. We want to be clear on this: We believe the money can be raised to support this site’s editorial mission, but Laura and I cannot continue to be the primary owners of the site.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a request for proposals.

This is open to anyone willing to commit to continuing the work of Homicide Watch D.C., to report every murder in the District from crime to conviction.

The RFP is here. Thank you again for all of your support.

Special thanks to the Investigative News Network for help writing this RFP.

To Our Readers

Dear friends,

After covering every homicide in the District for more than four years, Homicide Watch D.C. will close January 1, 2015.

Chris and I launched Homicide Watch D.C. in September 2010 when we were D.C. residents. I ran the site, mostly out of D.C. Superior Court, for more than two years while I lived in D.C. For another two years, Chris and I have run the site from Boston.
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Police Investigating Shooting Death of 13-Year-Old Boy

MPD announced Wednesday that a 13-year-old boy was killed in a shooting in the 1400 block of Downing Street Northeast. Police say the cause and manner of his death is undetermined and the investigation is ongoing.

WJLA reports:

A 13-year-old boy who was shot while he and another child were playing with a loaded handgun has died, sources told ABC 7 Thursday morning.

The Washington Post writes:

Authorities have no one in custody at this time in connection with the teen’s Tuesday night death, said Gwendolyn Crump, a spokeswoman for the department.

Just after the 7:20 p.m. shooting, a police spokesman said investigators had one person in custody.

A press release from MPD is after the jump.
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Arrest in 18-year-old NW Homicide

UPDATE 6:11 p.m.

MPD announced Thurday that a second man has been arrested in connection with the case, 39 year-old Alexander Passee. A second press release has been added to the post.


MPD announced Thursday that police have closed a 1996 homicide case with the arrest of a Northwest D.C. man.

Michael Davy, 19, was found suffering from visible gunshot wounds in a residence on Feb. 19, 1996, at approximately 10:42 pm in the unit block of Rhode Island Avenue Northwest. He later died from his injuries.

On Wednesday, Curtis Farmer, 44, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree felony murder while armed in connection with the case.

A press release from MPD is below: Read more

The Perils of Eyewitness Identification

"Oppstilling-2" by Oslo police - Torgersen-sa. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Oppstilling-2” by Oslo police - Torgersen-sa. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

It’s a scene that has become a staple in modern pop culture.

A witness to a crime walks into a room, looks at a lineup of stone-faced suspects from behind a two-way mirror and dramatically points to the person they saw commit a crime.

From there, it usually only takes a few dramatic speeches from lawyers before that suspect is on his or her way to prison.

As it turns out, the reality of eyewitness identifications is much more complicated and much less reliable than it is presented in movies and television shows. Read more

Joe Barber Indicted on First-Degree Murder Charge in the Stabbing Death of Rachel Cox

Joe Anthony Barber, 55, pleaded innocent Monday to the charge of first-degree murder while armed, after being indicted in connection with the fatal stabbing of Rachel Cox 30 years ago.

On Jan. 1, 1984, 43-year-old Cox was stabbed in her apartment on the 3300 block of 6th Street Southeast, according to charging documents.

Twenty-nine years later, the DNA found on Cox’s body was entered into the Combined DNA Index System, documents say. A comparison with DNA profiles in the National DNA Database revealed a positive match to Joe Barber, a registered sex offender, which led to his arrest in November 2013.
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Tea Planned for Survivors and Victims of Homicide

On October 5, survivors and victims of homicides and violent crimes are invited to attend “A Mother’s Tea” at the Historic Willard Intercontinental Hotel.

If interested, people should RSVP by September 26 by calling one of three phone numbers available on the invitation at the bottom of the post. Rides are available from the Anacostia Metro Station.

The tea is made possible by an anonymous contributor and supported by ten organizations, including the Metropolitan Police Department and Forgiving Mothers.

More information is after the jump.
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Man Killed Early Sunday Morning in NE D.C. Shooting

An unidentified man was killed early Sunday morning in the unit block of N Street Northeast, according to MPD.

Police officers responding to a call for an unconscious person found the man at approximately 5:24 a.m. suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. Emergency medical services transported the man to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

A press release from MPD is after the jump.
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