BALTIMORE, Maryland (AP) -- The city's homicide rate increased last year for the first time since 1998 as authorities said killings became more targeted, often in connection with the drug trade. As of Wednesday, the city had reported 271 killings in 2003, compared with 253 in 2002. It's a 7 percent increase and the highest homicide total during the four-year tenure of Mayor Martin O'Malley, who campaigned on a pledge to reduce annual homicide totals to 175.
The Baltimore City Paper's Anna Ditkoff didn't shy away from the story, getting right in there and asking lots of questions in Baltimore's East side murder mile, in this Wire-esque piece, The Toll.
The Sun, obsessed with various weather-disaster stories, had not much to report in local violent crime today:
A single story about how two Baltimore men were charged in double slaying
and an editorial (as opposed to research-based reportage) from Gregory Kane, seemingly the only Sun writer that discusses violent crime.
And speaking of slayings, the Hampden Happenings newsletter reports that city police are now investigating leads in the suspicious death of 26-year old son Nicholas Z. Marsalek, who was found dead under the bridge at the 3100 block of Remington avenue at 4:35 a.m. by a passerby on November 17. Marsalek was last seen at the 3100 block of Keswick road at 2:30 a.m. on the morning that he died. There is a $5,000 reward for information leading to an indictment in this case. The investigation is being handled by the northern district homicide division, 410-396-2100.