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Murder Ink

By Anna Ditkoff | Posted 1/6/2010

Murders this Week: 4
Murders in 2009: 238
Murders in 2010: 1

Baltimore City saw four more homicides in 2009 than in 2008. While this total keeps the city's homicide rate at a low not seen since the 1980s, the rise in murders, modest though it was, reflects a trend opposite of what's being seen in other major cities. Homicides across the nation are declining. Washington D.C. and Philadelphia saw significant decreases, and New York City saw its lowest number--463 murders--since the city started keeping track in 1963. If New York had Baltimore's homicide rate, that number would have been 3,092--more homicides than that city has ever seen in a single year. If Baltimore had New York's homicide rate, instead of losing 238 of our citizens to violence, we would have lost just 35.

Tuesday, Dec. 29

9:15 p.m. Joseph Beatty, a 38-year-old African-American man, walked into the Jolly Tsang carry-out in the 2300 block of Greenmount Avenue. Beatty placed an order and was waiting for his food when a man dressed in black with a red bandana on his head stepped into the doorway and started shooting without saying a word. Beatty was shot in the face and died at an area hospital at 9:40 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 30

11:22 a.m. Anthony Netzel, a 56-year-old Caucasian man, died at a local hospital. Netzel was assaulted in Joe's Bar at 1 S. Highland Ave. on Christmas Eve 2007. His assailant cut Netzel with a box cutter and stomped on his head. As a result, Netzel went into a vegetative state from which he never recovered.

9:15 p.m. Jeffery Ward, a 19-year-old African-American man, was found in the 3800 block of Oakford Avenue in Northwest Baltimore. He had been shot numerous times in the head and upper body and died at a local hospital at 9:55 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 3

3 p.m. An as-yet unidentified man was found shot repeatedly in the 2300 block of Ocala Avenue near Mondawmin Mall. He died before he could be taken to a hospital. The man was the first homicide victim of 2010. This is only the second year since the column started collecting data in 2004 that no one was murdered on New Year's Day.

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