Murderers dumping bodies in Detroit

A dozen corpses of murder victims have turned up over the last year in desolate and decaying parts of Detroit -- vacant lots, abandoned homes, overgrown parks… From the AP:

"You can shoot a person, dump a body and it may just go unsolved" because of the time it may take for the corpse to be found, officer John Garner said…

When he joined the department 13 years ago, Garner patrolled a 3.6-square-mile area in the tough 3rd Precinct, bumping into another officer every 20 minutes. Now he covers 22 square miles and crosses paths with other officers "maybe once every two hours."

"If we know this, the criminals know this," Garner said. Sparse patrols and slow response times make it less likely that someone will be seen dumping a body.

"Years back, people would go to rural areas" to dump bodies, said Daniel Kennedy, a Michigan-based forensic criminologist. "Now we have rural areas in urban areas."

"Vacant Detroit becomes dumping ground for the dead"

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  1. I’m amazed the AP neglected the facts like the Detroit News/Detroit Free Press did. Those two kids weren’t simply visiting their uncle, turned down the wrong street and were left to rot in an abandoned field. The police report stated the two were attempting to purchase drugs in brand new Nike sneakers and a car with an enormous, expensive sound system. In any other major city, driving around hoods in nice shoes and a nice car looking for drugs puts you in danger. Period.

    1. So what’s your point? That murders don’t really count if the murdered teens in question entered a bad neighborhood voluntarily?

      1. Sounds like the point (to me) was that they put themselves in a dangerous position and paid the price.  They weren’t random innocents, wandering around. Of course, it’s not as dramatic a tale if you don’t include the drug dealing, etc.

        1. I didn’t see the phrase “random innocents” used in that article. The teens are described as “murder victims,” and it’s hard to argue otherwise.

          1.  Yeah, I was just pulling out what it seemed to me the Freep was implying: that these were two random folks in the wrong place at the wrong time, which really wasn’t the case.

            I wasn’t trying to make judgments on them as people, at all. They are murder victims, which is sad.

      2. The point is that the crime in Detroit is not so rampant that victims are chosen at random and murdered and left to rot in abandoned fields. Because the article fails to really give any context to the crimes surrounding 12 bodies ending up in abandoned fields, one would think entering Detroit is a death wish.

        It’s also a tale of three cities — a busy downtown that’s vacant after 6pm and therefore nearly crimeless; a gentrifying midtown area filled with college students, young entrepreneurs that boasts a median income of 140K+; and a surrounding ring of the downtown/midtown region that is block to block, situation to situation, story to story.

        I’ve lived in the midtown area for nearly 6 years — where you can buy a Starbucks 100 feet from your crack — and I’ve never had an issue. Not with bodily harm. Not with someone fucking with my car. Not with anything.

        But a vague article that paints a picture of a city where simply stepping foot within its boundaries is a death wish is pathetic. And even though I’d expect something like this from the Detroit Free Press (home of Mitch Albom, all-around “aw, shucks!” journalism mastermind), I would hope the AP would accurately explain the circumstances behind Detroit supposedly becoming a dumping ground for corpses. Things are rough in rough areas (like anywhere else), but the false stigmas surrounding this city is insane.

        1. As random as Detroit can seem to outsiders, it’s always astounded me how local, domestic and not-at-all random most of the crime really is.  Hi, from the next county to the west of you. 

        2. The point is that the crime in Detroit is not so rampant that victims are chosen at random and murdered and left to rot in abandoned fields. Because the article fails to really give any context to the crimes surrounding 12 bodies ending up in abandoned fields, one would think entering Detroit is a death wish.

          You’re the one victim-blaming a couple of teens for driving a nice car in a bad neighborhood, and now you’re worried that other people might avoid Detroit for fear of their personal safety? Make up yer dang mind.

          Anyway, the impression I get from this article is that the murder rate in Detroit is disturbingly high. I don’t really take much comfort in the idea that those murders largely target people who were “asking for it.”

    1. I just checked the comments to make sure somebody mentioned The Wire. Otherwise I would have had to throw the whole Internet into the sea. Thank you, sir.

  2. Seems like some film head could do a movie where instead of going after living flesh the zombies were running the government. Some cities have cut back so much there’s nothing left.
    In Romero’s original my favorite bit was where the reporters were quizzing some pols who excelled at doublespeak. Right on the nuts.

  3. The Wire did it! The Wire Did it! Simpsons Did ….well….actually I don’t think they did that.

  4. i’ve tripped on a dead body in detroit once, its fairly common. i’ve also witnessed things that make me very glad to be 2000 miles away.

  5. Clearly we need the CIA to open their next sinister drone base(how many are there now?) near Detroit in order to keep watch over this unstable developing-world conflict zone…

  6. Okay – I’m gonna buy an old APC, hire a couple of mercenaries… I mean, guards… and sell tours.  Detroit Country Safari.  Please keep your hands, wallets, and expensive tennis shoes inside the vehicle at all times.  Do not make eye contact with the locals or attempt to feed them.  At each of the designated abandoned building tour areas, please stay in the vehicle until the guards have given the “all clear” signal.  Do not leave the designated pathways, and if you are approached by a local, back slowly away and make no sudden moves.  Small amounts of heroin and cash have been supplied in your tour kit.  If attack seems imminent, these can be dropped on the ground to distract the local until help arrives.  Enjoy your tour.

  7. Detroit is really not as bad as they make it out to be.
    In all the years I have been going there for nightlife (clubs, concerts, bars, restaurants) I have never had anyone I know have anything bad happen to them (except for a smash and grab of a purse left on a front seat in their car)

    Those two teens were suburb wanna be gangsta drug dealers who got themselves shot.  End of story.

    Are there places I would not go in detroit without a gun.  Yes.
    Are there places in just about every other big city that I would not go without a gun.  Yes.

    I hear DC has some fun neighborhoods.

    1. Detroit is really not as bad as they make it out to be.

      In all the years I have been going there for nightlife (clubs, concerts, bars, restaurants) I have never had anyone I know have anything bad happen to them (except for a smash and grab of a purse left on a front seat in their car)

      I get what you’re saying, but of course that’s true! There are so many people living in cities and traveling into and out of them that the chances of any one person experiencing or witnessing a crime is small, and people you meet going to events are likely to include a lot of others who are also outsiders who may not be spending that much time in the city anyway.

      I’ve also never known anyone who’s experienced worse than a smash and grab (though as someone who grew up where people don’t lock their cars, that still seems pretty bad to me). But that doesn’t change that there were stabbings and shootings blocks away from my college apartment (not in Detroit, different city). I’ve also never had a bad experience with the police. But I hear sometimes people do. :-)

      Anecdotal experience isn’t enough here.

      Also, people aren’t born with street smarts. (Trust me, I know… see the comment about unlocked doors.) And what constitutes ‘street smarts’ varies from city to city (at the least, local knowledge of good/bad areas has to be learned). Hearing from other commenters that you only have trouble if you are playing the wrong game in the wrong place may be true, but it isn’t reassuring, because how is someone unfamiliar to city (or dispositionally ‘less savvy’) going to know ‘wrong’ from ‘right’?

  8. Not that you should EVER kill ANYBODY, but if you INSIST upon doing so, where better to dump a body than Detroit?
    I’ve NEVER seen so many abandoned buildings. 

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