A Reevaluation of Homicide: Using Disaggregated Data and Spatial Analysis

Louis Tuthill, University of California - Riverside

To date, homicide research has returned inconsistent and unstable findings. It has been surmised that the main reason for this is that most research tends to use large, aggregated samples. Therefore, researchers have been able to discuss general trends of homicide, but have been unable to glean accurate predictors of this phenomenon. Nonetheless, predictors tend to fall in two camps--structural versus cultural. This too poses a problem as predictors might coexist. That is to say that structural factors influence cultural factors and vice versa. The purpose of this paper is to examine disaggregated homicide information in order to ameliorate some of these inconsistencies. This paper examines information from individual homicide case files in the county of Riverside between 1991 and 2001. Specific information such as place of incident, time of incident, relationship between victim and offender, and so on will be geographically coded, and correlated with census block group data. The results found that homicides predictors vary based on spatial location and are grouped within specific areas.

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Updated 05/20/2006