Arrest Clearances for Homicide

A Study of Los Angeles
  • Marc Riedel


At the time Wolfgang (1958) completed his classic research on homicide, arrest clearances for criminal homicide in Philadelphia were 94%. Of the 588 criminal homicides between 1948 and 1952, only 38 cases were listed as uncleared. On the basis of police reports requested by Wolfgang from 18 U.S. cities, percent cleared by arrest ranged from 84.1% in Seattle to 98.8% in Buffalo, except for Pittsburgh (1949–1953), the period covered by the clearance statistics was from 1948–1952. Although the number of cases was small, Wolfgang did a simple analysis comparing cleared and uncleared homicides in a short (10 pages) chapter.


Clearance Rate Police Department Homicide Rate Homicide Offender Supplementary Homicide Report 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allison, P. (1999). Multiple Regression: A Primer. Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bynum, T. S., Cordner, G. W., and Greene, J. R. (1982). “Victim and Offense Characteristics.” Criminology, 20, 301–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cardarelli, A. P., and Cavanagh, D. (1992). Uncleared Homicides in the United States: An Exploratory Study of Trends and Patterns. Paper presented at the American Society of Criminology, New Orleans, LA.Google Scholar
  4. Decker, S. H. (1993). “Exploring Victim-Offender Relationships in Homicide: The Role of Individual and Event Characteristics.” Justice Quarterly, 10, 585–612.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Eck, J. E. (1983). Solving Crimes: The Investigation of Burglary and Robbery. Washington, D.C.: Police Executive Research Forum.Google Scholar
  6. Greenwood, P. (1970). An Analysis of the Apprehension Activities of the New York City Police Department. New York: Rand Institute.Google Scholar
  7. Greenwood, P., Chaiken, J., and Petersilia, J. (1977). The Criminal Investigation Process. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  8. Greenwood, P. W., and Petersilia, J. (1975). The Criminal Investigation Process: Vol. I. Summary and Policy Implications (R-1776-DOJ): Rand Corporation.Google Scholar
  9. Kanjii, G. K. (1993). 100 Statistical Tests. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  10. Ostrom, C. W., Jr. (1990). Time Series Analysis: Regression Techniques. ( 2nd ed. ). Newbury Park: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  11. Pampel, F. C., and Williams, K. R. (2000). “Intimacy and Homicide: Compensating for Missing Data in the SHR. “ Criminology,38(2), 661–680.Google Scholar
  12. Regoeczi, W. C., Kennedy, L. W., and Silverman, R. A. (2000). “Uncleared Homicides: A Canada/United States Comparison.” Homicide Studies, 4, 135–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Riedel, M. (1993). Stranger Violence: A Theoretical Inquiry. New York: Garland Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  14. Riedel, M. (1998). “Counting Stranger Homicides: A Case Study of Statistical Prestidigitation.” Homicide Studies, 2, 206–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Riedel, M. (1999a). “Sources of Homicide Data: A Review and Comparison.” In M. D. Smith and M. A. Zahn (Eds.), Homicide: A sourcebook of social research (pp. 75–95 ). Newbury Park: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  16. Riedel, M. (1999b). “Toward a Perspective on Stranger Violence.” Advances in Criminological Theory,In Press.Google Scholar
  17. Riedel, M., and Jarvis, J. (1999). “The Decline of Arrest Clearances for Criminal Homicide: Causes, Correlates, and Third Parties. “ Criminal Justice Policy Review, 9, 279–305.Google Scholar
  18. Riedel, M., and Regoeczi, W. ( 2000, November). Estimating Stranger Homicides: Los Angeles and Chicago. Paper presented at the American Society of Criminology, San Francisco, CA.Google Scholar
  19. Riedel, M., and Rinehart, T. A. (1996). “Murder Clearances and Missing Data.” Journal of Crime and Justice, 19, 83–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. SPSS. (1994). SPSS Trends 6.I. Chicago: SPSS, Inc.Google Scholar
  21. Stern, M. (1931). “A Study of Unsolved Murders in Wisconsin from 1924–1928.” Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police Science, 21, 513–536.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Waegel, W. B. (1981). “Case Routinization in Investigative Police Work.” Social Problems, 28, 263–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Waegel, W. B. (1982). “Patterns of Police Investigation of Urban Crimes.” Journal of Police Science and Administration, 10, 452–465.Google Scholar
  24. Wellford, C., and Cronin, J. (1999). An Analysis of Variables Affecting the Clearance of Homicides: A Multistate Study. Washington, DC: Justice Research and Statistics Association.Google Scholar
  25. Wilbanks, W. (1984). Murder in Miami: An Analysis of Homicide Patterns and Trends in Dade County (Miami) Florida 1917–1983: Lanham, Md.: University Press of America.Google Scholar
  26. Wolfgang, M..E. (1958). Patterns in Criminal Homicide: Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc Riedel
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for the Study of Crime, Delinquency, and CorrectionsSouthern Illinois UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations