The 15 Most Murderous Cities in the United States

On Monday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released a study that presented cities in America with the highest numbers of murders. And while murders per capita might present a better picture of just how dangerous a city is, the raw death toll in a city is undeniably jarring. Topping the list is Chicago with 500 murders, knocking down previous title-holder NYC to second with 419. 

Other findings from the study are equally compelling as they are distressing. Firearms played a prominent role in the homicides committed in 2012 as 69.3% of crimes involved a gun. Over 40% of violent crime occurred in the Bible Belt, a region that has traditionally maintained lax gun control laws. The Northeast and the Midwest, which often feature more stringent gun control laws, reported significantly fewer violent crimes.

The FBI study was released the same day disgruntled veteran Aaron Alexis shot and killed 12 people during a rampage at the Washington Navy Yard. Both the study and the latest mass shooting in America have re-energized gun control advocates, who call for additional firearm restrictions.

Here is the complete list of the cities, along with each city's homicide numbers:

1. Chicago: 500 Murders

2. New York City: 419 Murders

3. Detroit: 386 Murders

4. Philadelphia: 331 Murders

5. Los Angeles: 299 Murders

6. Baltimore: 219 Murders

7. Houston: 217 Murders

8. New Orleans: 193 Murders

9. Dallas: 154 murders

10. Memphis: 133 murders

11. Oakland: 126 murders

12. Phoenix: 124 murders

13. St. Louis: 113 murders

14. Kansas City: 105 murders

15. Indianapolis: 101 Murders

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Jonathan Maxwell

Jonathan Maxwell is a Georgia-based writer. He holds an MA in English from Jacksonville State University in Alabama, along with a BA in English and a psychology minor from Berry College in Rome, Georgia. He is the author of two books.

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