Crime and celluloid
January 17, 2012
Today is the anniversary of an historic event in Massachusetts history: the great Brinks robbery of 1950, during which a well-rehearsed gang of 11 grabbed $2.7 million and disappeared for years without a trace.
While the crime – and others written by the likes of Dennis Lehane and Robert B. Parker (Spenser for Hire) – depict the city as a den of thieves, the crime rate here is relatively low compared to other U.S. cities. (Particularly New Orleans, which recently experienced an 18-hour period of shocking violence.)
According to this list, Flint and Detroit, Michigan, rank as the top two most violent cities in the country, with St. Louis not far behind. Even New Haven, Conn., Little Rock, Rockford Ill., and Stockton, Calif. make the list, but Boston does not. And nobody's making movies like Boondock Saints or Gone, Baby, Gone in Stockton.
According to this database of crime statistics, Boston's murder rate peaked at 4.4 per 100,000 population in the mid-1970s and has declined almost continually since. It says that robberies peaked in 1980 with 235 per 100,000 but has been halved since then and holds steady.