100 murders and 1 suicide
100 Murders and 1 Suicide
Only 15% of the murders in New York City are committed in Manhattan. In 2013 I searched for the spots, addresses and names of 100 murders in Lower Manhattan, Chinatown, Lower East Side, East Village and Chelsea. A lot of the killings appeared to be anonymous, but in many cases I found the faces of the victims and their perpetrators. I encountered heartbreaking stories of domestic violence, disputes and plain robberies. Teenagers killing each other and gruesome nicknames like Baby-shower Slay. People just walking over a dead body in Rivington Street. A surreal murder by a man in a wheelchair stabbing another guy in a wheelchair to death. A killing because of watching television, Chinese business rivals, a 17-year old perpetrator upset 'over a look', a 16-year old boy shot to death because he didn't give up his winter parka (See also Marmot Murder Diptych), and a student killed by his guest with an electrical cord - out of boredom, as he watched the horror movie Saw.
I took pictures of the 100 spots where the murders took place, with often no more than a shadow of a passer-by. Millions of people pass those sidewalks, without being aware what happened. Does the pavement reveal its past? I wanted to come closer to the everyday life in the 'rich' and 'free' western world, so I literally shot the concrete sidewalk, the ground we walk on, in the city that never sleeps.
This is a selection of 12 from the series of 101 images.
Some statistics on the 100 murders in Manhattan compared to the more than 4,000 murders in New York City:
The most remarkable difference I noticed is the murder weapon. Where in New York City almost 70% of the weapons are guns, knives and guns are equally popular in the 100 murders I investigated. I expected more robberies, but dispute is by far the most common motive. So we learn: if you don't argue, you won't get killed.
Manhattan NYC Manhattan NYC
black 34% 61% black 41% 61%
hispanic 30% 27% hispanic 33% 9%
white 22% 8% white 12% 7%
asian 14% 3% asian 14% 3%
male 80% 83% male 85% 92%
female 20% 17% female 8%
Murder weapon: Number of homicides 2003-2011: 4,161
gun 40% 69% Brooklyn 40%
knife 40% 23% The Bronx 24%
other 8% 8% Queens 18%
unknown 13% Manhattan 15%
Staten Island 3%