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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
Victim:                        Perpetrator:
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%

Source: http://projects.nytimes.com/crime/homicides/map