More Men, Family Violence, in Domestic Violence Homicides this Year

Domestic violence experts in DC watched homicide reports closely this year, culling the details of every case to determine whether murder victims were also domestic violence victims.

Too often they have been, said Amy Loudermilk, a senior policy specialist with the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCCADV).

Of 108 reported homicides this year, 13 victims have been killed in domestic violence attacks, according to records kept by the DCCADV and DC SAFE. Twelve domestic violence homicides were reported in all of last year, in comparison. Though the increase is slight, domestic violence experts are worried.

It’s just alarming to me,” Loudermilk said. “We are not exactly sure what’s going on.”
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Hunger Strike, Spies, Iranian “Hits”: A Look Back from Georgetown Patch at the DC Murder that Made International Headlines

Albrecht Muth, 47, who claims to be an officially unofficial agent of the Iraqi military, will spend the new year at DC Jail, where he is on a hunger strike and awaiting indictment in Georgetown’s first murder in five years.

Muth is suspected in the August 2011 strangling death of his 91-year-old wife, Viola Drath, a German-born journalist known for entertaining high-ranking US officials—including Supreme Court justices—in her home.
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Homicides 2011: The Year in Charts

From Homicide Watch DC’s databases, the year in homicide, visualized:
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The Year in Comments

Family, friends and neighborhoods of homicide victims and suspects opened up their hearts and minds on Homicide Watch throughout the year. In their comments were words of grief, wisdom, loss and comfort. They helped all of us better understand the true human impact of violent crime and the humanity present in the most tragic of circumstances.

As 2011 closes we look back on some of the comments of the year.
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An Interview with United States Attorney Ronald Machen: Plea Deals, Prosecutions, and the Pursuit of Justice in DC

In a crowded H Street bar one evening this fall, US Attorney Ronald Machen answered question after question about public safety and the pursuit of justice in DC.

The community event was one of dozens he attended throughout the year, part of an intensive campaign to make the prosecution of crimes a community effort. The questions asked of Machen aren’t always easy. And from the back of the bar that night came one of the more difficult ones.

“What can we do about the homicide problem?” asked Merrit Drucker, of the NoMa Business Improvement District.
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Not An Ordinary Murder: Brian Scott’s Death One Year Later

Brian Scott in Facebook memorial

Brian Scott in Facebook memorial

Brian Curtis Scott’s two-year-old daughter Aleia can’t talk to her father, so she talks to a picture of Jesus instead.

The image, which portrays Jesus as black, hangs in Scott’s mother’s living room. Brian Scott became the first DC murder victim in 2011 when he was gunned down in Southeast DC on January 2.

She says that’s her daddy because he has dread locks in his hair,” Scott’s mother, Bonnie, said of the photo. “Just like Brian.”

Scott was the first of 27 black men and teenagers killed before their 22nd birthdays in Washington, DC, in 2011. From the point of cold, unfeeling statistics, Scott’s murder is indicative of the majority of the 108 violent deaths in DC this year. There were 84 black males killed in D.C. in 2011. Scott is one of the 77 shooting deaths in the city. He is one of 53 cases where police have yet to name a suspect.
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The Ten Cases That Captured Our Attention This Year

One hundred and eight murder victims. Seventy suspects. From them, these were the cases that captured our hearts and minds this year. This list of ten cases was created based on your suggestions, our observations and an analysis of which stories were most read or most commented on.
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The Art of Memory and Loss: Behind the Lens of Washington’s Other Monuments

Lloyd Wolf is DC’s most well known photographer of the street memorials left to homicide victims. He records the art of memory and loss on his photography site, Washington’s Other Monuments. In this special report for Homicide Watch’s Year in Review Lloyd talks to reporter Tom LeGro about some of the most memorable memorials this year.

Homicide By the Numbers

As part of our special Year in Review series, we parse out data related to this year’s homicides. The numbers in this story are pulled from Homicide Watch DC’s database unless otherwise noted. For more detailed information, use the sorting features on our victims and suspects databases or explore our map.

In 2011:

There were 108 murder victims in 105 separate incidents. 3 incidents involved multiple fatalities.

80 percent of the victims were from DC.

14 percent were from Maryland.

6 percent were from an unknown part of DC, had no fixed address, or it was not reported where they were from.

Of those who were DC residents, 40 percent were from Northeast DC, 30 percent were from Northwest DC and 29 percent were from Southeast DC. There were no victims from Southwest DC.
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Guest Column: Jim Graham

Dear Friends, This holiday season, my prayers are with families and friends who have lost loved ones due to violence in our city.

Day after day Homicide Watch offers a window into a family’s pain and grief. It also provides all of us a glimpse into the legal and judicial process related to each incident. Laura Amico’s reporting is sensitive, compassionate and always timely.

Over the last several years, we have seen great community partnerships developed by MPD and community groups to reduce violence—these efforts help save lives.

Still, all of us would agree too many young people continue to die violent deaths—and often at the hands of other young people. As of this week, 44 of the 106 homicide victims are younger than 25 years old.
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