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Homicides in New York City, 1797-1999 [And Various Historical Comparison Sites]

Version
v0
Resource Type
Dataset : administrative records data
Creator
  • Monkkonen, Eric (University of California-Los Angeles)
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Publication Date
2001-11-29
Funding Reference
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice
  • National Science Foundation
  • University of California-Los Angeles. Academic Senate
Language
English
Free Keywords
crime statistics; death records; historical data; homicide; manslaughter; murder; nineteenth century; social change; twentieth century
Description
  • Abstract

    There has been little research on United States homicide rates from a long-term perspective, primarily because there has been no consistent data series on a particular place preceding the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), which began its first full year in 1931. To fill this research gap, this project created a data series on homicides per capita for New York City that spans two centuries. The goal was to create a site-specific, individual-based data series that could be used to examine major social shifts related to homicide, such as mass immigration, urban growth, war, demographic changes, and changes in laws. Data were also gathered on various other sites, particularly in England, to allow for comparisons on important issues, such as the post-World War II wave of violence. The basic approach to the data collection was to obtain the best possible estimate of annual counts and the most complete information on individual homicides. The annual count data (Parts 1 and 3) were derived from multiple sources, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reports and Supplementary Homicide Reports, as well as other official counts from the New York City Police Department and the City Inspector in the early 19th century. The data include a combined count of murder and manslaughter because charge bargaining often blurs this legal distinction. The individual-level data (Part 2) were drawn from coroners' indictments held by the New York City Municipal Archives, and from daily newspapers. Duplication was avoided by keeping a record for each victim. The estimation technique known as "capture-recapture" was used to estimate homicides not listed in either source. Part 1 variables include counts of New York City homicides, arrests, and convictions, as well as the homicide rate, race or ethnicity and gender of victims, type of weapon used, and source of data. Part 2 includes the date of the murder, the age, sex, and race of the offender and victim, and whether the case led to an arrest, trial, conviction, execution, or pardon. Part 3 contains annual homicide counts and rates for various comparison sites including Liverpool, London, Kent, Canada, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco.
  • Abstract

    There has been little research on United States homicide rates from a long-term perspective, primarily because there has been no consistent data series on a particular place preceding the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), which began its first full year in 1931. To fill this research gap, this project created a data series on homicides per capita for New York City that spans two centuries. The goal was to create a site-specific, individual-based data series that could be used to examine major social shifts related to homicide, such as mass immigration, urban growth, war, demographic changes, and changes in laws. The researcher chose to focus on a specific geographic area because the composite national data did not provide the details needed for careful analysis. Data were also gathered on various other sites, particularly in England, to allow for comparisons on important issues, such as the post-World War II wave of violence.
  • Abstract

    The basic approach to the data collection was to obtain the best possible estimate of annual counts and the most complete information on individual homicides. The annual count data (Parts 1 and 3) were derived from multiple sources, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Reports and Supplementary Homicide Reports, as well as other official counts from the New York City Police Department and the City Inspector in the early 19th century. When there were discrepancies among sources, the principal investigator used the source giving the higher count, based on the assumption that missing information tends to bias toward an undercount. The data include a combined count of murder and manslaughter because charge bargaining often blurs this legal distinction. The following incidents were excluded from the counts: accidental homicides, infanticides, cases involving children under 5 except when evidence in individual cases made it clear that these were murders, women who died during the course of an abortion, riot victims, the killing of an offender during the course of an arrest, and legal executions. The individual-level data (Part 2) were drawn from coroners' indictments held by the New York City Municipal Archives, and from daily newspapers. Duplication was avoided by keeping a record for each victim. The estimation technique known as "capture-recapture" was used to estimate homicides not listed in either source.
  • Abstract

    Part 1 variables include counts of New York City homicides, arrests, and convictions, as well as the homicide rate, race or ethnicity and gender of victims, type of weapon used, and source of data. Part 2 includes the date of the murder, the age, sex, and race of the offender and victim, and whether the case led to an arrest, trial, conviction, execution, or pardon. Part 3 contains annual homicide counts and rates for various comparison sites including Liverpool, London, Kent, Canada, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco.
  • Methods

    Presence of Common Scales: None.
  • Methods

    Response Rates: Not applicable.
  • Table of Contents

    Datasets:

    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Annual Homicide Data for New York City
    • DS2: Individual Homicide Data for New York City
    • DS3: Annual Homicide Data for Comparison Sites
Temporal Coverage
  • 1797 / 1999
    Time period: 1797--1999
  • 1985 / 1999
    Collection date: 1985--1999
Geographic Coverage
  • Canada
  • England
  • Global
  • New York (state)
  • New York City
  • United States
Sampled Universe
All homicides in New York City and various comparison sites between 1797 and 1999.
Collection Mode
  • A detailed list of the sources used to create these data files can be found in the Appendix to the codebook.

Note
2006-03-30 File CB3226.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions. Funding insitution(s): United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (96-IJ-CX-0016 and SES-9422881). National Science Foundation. University of California-Los Angeles. Academic Senate.
Availability
Delivery
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (help@icpsr.umich.edu).
Alternative Identifiers
  • 3226 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
Relations
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR03226.v1
Publications
  • Mares, Dennis M.. Civilization, economic change, and trends in interpersonal violence in western societies. Theoretical Criminology.13, (4), 419-449.2009.
    • ID: 10.1177/1362480609340401 (DOI)
  • Glaeser, Edward L., Gottlieb, Joshua D.. Urban Resurgence and the Consumer City. Harvard Institute of Economic Research, . 2006.
    • ID: http://post.economics.harvard.edu/hier/2006papers/2006list.html (URL)
  • Mares, Dennis M.. Civilization, Economic Change, and Trends in Interpersonal Violence. Dissertation, University of Missouri - St. Louis. 2004.
  • Monkkonen, Eric. Estimating the accuracy of historic homicide rates: New York and Los Angeles. Social Science History.25, (1), 53-66.2001.
    • ID: 10.1215/01455532-25-1-53 (DOI)
  • Monkkonen, Eric. Murder in New York City. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 2001.
  • Monkkonen, Eric. New standards for historical homicide research. Crime, Histoire et Societes.5, (2), 5-26.2001.
    • ID: 10.4000/chs.733 (DOI)
  • Monkkonen, Eric H.. Homicide in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology.92, (3-4), 2001.
  • Monkkonen, Eric. New York City offender ages: How variable over time?. Homicide Studies.3, (3), 256-270.1999.
    • ID: 10.1177/1088767999003003004 (DOI)
  • Monkkonen, Eric. New York City Homicides: A Research Note. Social Science History.19, (2), 201-214.1995.
    • ID: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1171510 (URL)
  • Monkkonen, Eric. Racial Factors in New York City Homicide, 1800-1874. Ethnicity, Race, and Crime: Perspectives Across Time and Space.Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. 1995.
  • Monkkonen, Eric. Diverging Homicide Rates: England and the United States, 1850-1875. Violence in America, Volume 1: The History of Crime.Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. 1989.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Monkkonen, Eric (2001): Homicides in New York City, 1797-1999 [And Various Historical Comparison Sites]. Archival Version. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03226