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Los Angeles Homicides, 1830-2003

Resource Type
Dataset : administrative records data
  • Monkkonen, Eric H. (University of California-Los Angeles. Departments of History and Policy Studies)
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • National Science Foundation
  • National Consortium on Violence Research
  • University of California-Los Angeles. Academic Senate
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics
Free Keywords
crime rates; crime statistics; historical data; homicide; murder; offenders; victims; weapons
  • 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 that spans two centuries on homicides per capita for the city of Los Angeles. 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 basic approach to the data collection was to obtain the best possible estimate of annual counts and the most complete information on individual homicides. Data were derived from multiple sources, including Los Angeles court records, as well as annual reports of the coroner and daily newspapers. Part 1 (Annual Homicides and Related Data) variables include Los Angeles County annual counts of homicides, counts of female victims, method of killing such as drowning, suffocating, or strangling, and the homicide rate. Part 2 (Individual Homicide Data) variables include the date and place of the murder, the age, sex, race, and place of birth of the offender and victim, type of weapon used, and source of data.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Annual Homicides and Related Data
    • DS2: Individual Homicide Data
Temporal Coverage
  • 1830 / 2003
    Time period: 1830--2003
  • 1995 / 2003
    Collection date: 1995--2003
Geographic Coverage
  • California
  • Los Angeles
  • United States
Sampled Universe
All homicides in Los Angeles between 1830 and 2003.
Collection Mode
  • (1) A detailed list of the sources used to create the data files can be found in the appendix to the codebook. (2) Data were collected from a number of archival sources including, but not limited to, the sources listed.

2012-08-22 A Restricted Data Use Agreement form was added to the documentation files that can be downloaded from the study home page.2005-08-04 ICPSR created new data files, setup files, and codebook because the principal investigator added more data to the collection. Funding insitution(s): National Science Foundation (SES0111725). National Consortium on Violence Research. University of California-Los Angeles. Academic Senate. United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions; consult the study documentation to learn more on how to obtain the data.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 3680 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR03680.v1
  • Roth, Randolph A.. Guns, murder, and probability: How can we decide which figures to trust?. Reviews in American History.35, (2), 165-175.2007.
    • ID: 10.1353/rah.2007.0038 (DOI)
  • Monkkonen, Eric H.. Homicide in Los Angeles, 1827-2002. Journal of Interdisciplinary History.36, (2), 167-183.2005.
    • ID: 10.1162/0022195054741235 (DOI)
  • 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. 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.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 8 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Monkkonen, Eric H. (2003): Los Angeles Homicides, 1830-2003. Archival Version. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.