This year the nation is focused on one of the tightest races in history. The question on everyone's mind is not Kerry or Bush, but rather Baltimore or Detroit? Which city will take back the coveted homicide title that has eluded them in recent years? The year is half over and the race is tight.
After reduction in crime over the last few years, Baltimore's numbers climbed in 2003 and the city is poised to take back the title in 2004. Detroit, which was named the nation's most violent city in 2003 but did not have the most murders, is ready to challenge Baltimore. The great people of Chicago are not ruling out their city, which won last year with 599 homicides.
"We're really proud of our numbers so far," Detroit city councilman Herbert McFadden said while pumping quarters into his favorite slot machine at Greektown Casino in downtown Detroit. "This casino has been a real shot in the arm for our homicide numbers, no pun intended," he said.
"Detroit may have their new casino in the ghetto, but we're Baltimore," Mayor Martin O'Malley retorted. "You think they filmed Homicide here because of our crab cakes?"
Homicide numbers only halfway through the year can be deceiving the mayor added. "You forget how miserable the weather is here in August. That's Baltimore's big month. I went one August without air conditioning and ended up shooting three people because of it," O'Malley said.
Chicago, the defending murder champion, recently hired Howard Dean to build online support for more homicide participation. "The fact of the matter is there just aren't enough wealthy people in the suburbs shooting each other," a spokesman for Dean said. "Howard Dean has proven he can motivate and mobilize young white kids to do things that don't make sense in the big picture," his spokesman added for some reason.
The title for most murders per capita, however, may have already been decided. Barring a massive murder spree, the title will go to the small town of Townville, West Virginia. Townville had a population of three until Dale Rivers, 26, and Chad Carson, 49, shot each other. The bullet from Carson's gun also killed Betty Scraff, 42, the town's only woman.