Patterns of Homicide in East St. Louis

Adam Watkins, University of Missouri - St. Louis
Scott H. Decker, University of Missouri - St. Louis

ABSTRACT
Research on homicide underscores the importance of studying victim-offender relationships and motives. These studies characreristically examine homicides that take place in urban municipalities, but few studies have extended similar analysis to homicides occurring within secondary jurisdictions in metropolitan areas. The current study addresses this absence by examining victim-offender relationships and motives of East St. Louis homicides over a ten-year period (1991-2001). East St. Louis is a jurisdiction of approximately 35,000 people incorporated in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Despite a sustained and significant decline in national homicide rates since the early 1990's, East St. Louis continues to experience elevated rates in comparison to national averages. The study of victim-offender relationships and motives of East St. Louis homicides will examine its distinctive rates, and contribute to determining whether relationships and motives of homicides in secondary jurisdictions deviate from study findings derived from urban municipalities.

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Updated 05/20/2006