Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets eBook á Year



10 thoughts on “Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets

  1. Matt Matt says:

    I m going to go out on a limb and say that most of us don t know much about the Street Not streets, in general, but the Street, proper noun I make that assumption based on the fact that I m writing this and you re reading this on Goodreads, which is just about as far from the Street as you can possibly get I was born in the mostly white suburb of Bloomington, Minnesota I lived across the street from a park, where people ice skated in winter and played little league during the summer If a co I m going to go out on a limb and say that most of us don t know much about the Street Not streets, in general, but the Street, proper noun I make that assumption based on the fact that I m writing this and you re reading this on Goodreads, which is just about as far from the Street as you can possibly get I was born in the mostly white suburb of Bloomington, Minnesota I lived across the street from a park, where people ice skated in winter and played little league during the summer If a cop came into my neighborhood, it was because our night games capture the flag, ghosts and goblins were disturbing the sleep of our neighbors I went to a private school, along with all my friends We all had stable families until our parents divorced, right on cue, as we entered college and we all entered college Such is the suburban life I led The Street is different, as night is different from day, and as a punch in the groin is different from a bite of cake I make no claims to any knowledge of the Street Whatever faint knowledge I pretend to have comes from the bits and pieces gleaned from my clients in the public defenders office It s a place without young men and fathers, who are in jail, or absconded, or dead As a result, there is no such thing as a regular peer group Twelve year olds hang out with nineteen year olds, with predictable results It s a place where the commercial markets to which we ve grown accustomed do not exist There aren t supermarkets, so if you want to go shopping, you better have a car or be willing to take the bus If you want to shop local, the goods you purchase, from a store with iron gates over the windows, and the clerk behind bulletproof glass, you will oddly, since this is an impoverished place paythan you would elsewhere There aren t banks, so if you re lucky enough to get a paycheck, you have to go to EZ Check or Payday Express, where you lose up to 20% of that money Since the normal cabs won t come to this place, there are jitneys unlicensed taxis to ferry you from place to place The jobs that exist here are service oriented and strictly local hair stylists, child care, lawn care Based on our whacky drug laws, the sharpest capitalists get into drugs, where you can makein a couple hours than you could in a month.So, that s the Street And no Street compared to Balti in the 1980s where, in some years, there was almost a murder a day That s where David Simon s classic, gripping, surprisingly powerful piece of journalism, Homicide A Year on the Killing Streets, takes place Homicide belongs to that narrow genre of year in the life of __ journalism, of which I am a devotee I ve read books about a year in the life of a firehouse, and a courthouse, and a public defenders office Though I keep reading them, I m always a little disappointed The reason, I think, is that the main story the events taking place during that particular year often aren t interesting enough to support a narrative thus, you get a lot of filler historical context, biographies, etc Unfortunately for the dead souls in Homicide, David Simon never came across that problem There are enough murders to support a television show for seven seasons A new case is breaking every other day, so that the detectives that Simon follows the focus is on a single shift comprised of three squads are always busy The big case of the year is the rape and murder of a young girl, who s eviscerated body is found dumped in an alley In the afterword, Simon calls this case the spine of the book I hate to disagree with the author, since he wrote this and all, but no single murder, not even one as horrible as the dead of a child, stands out Indeed, they all start to blur together, which is sort of the point In my opinion, the true framework of the book is a list of rules for a homicide detective Rule One Everyone lies These rules are a jumping off point for various discussions on topics such as Miranda warnings, probable cause, autopsies, and justifiable force Simon deftly blends theses discussions into the narrative, so that things that would feel like digressions or filler in other books instead seamlessly becomes part of the story For instance, here s Simon s inimitable way of explaining Miranda s Fifth Amendment protections The detective offers a cigarette, not your brand, and begins an uninterrupted monologue that wanders back and forth for a half hour , eventually coming to rest in a familiar place You have the absolute right to remain silent Of course you do You re a criminal Criminals always have the right to remain silent At least once in your miserable life, you spent an hour in front of a television set, listening to this book em Danno routine You think Joe Friday was lying to you You think Kojak was making this horsesh t u No way, bunk, we re talking sacred freedoms here, notably your Fifth Fu ing Amendment protection against self incrimination, and hey, it was good enough for Ollie North, so who are you to go incriminating yourself at the first opportunity Get it straight A police detective, a man who gets paid government money to put you in prison, is explaining your absolute right to shut up before you say something stupid Homicide begins with a murder on January 19, and ends with a murder in December In between, there are shootings, stabbings, beatings and suicides Some get bludgeoned, others strangled Every once in awhile there s even a natural death these still has to be investigated by the homicide squad if it appears suspicious It s a catalogue of darkness and evil, and for the first hundred pages or so, I found the book almost unbearably suffocating It s like the movie Se7en, all darkness and rain and inhumanity, but without the ability to get lost in Brad Pitt s eyes All the detectives tend to blur together they all talk tough, with a certain coarse indifference that is a shield against the grim realities of their calling The victims are dehumanized and, just as important, so are the detectives It doesn t help that so many of the detectives have similar names at the start, it s tough to separate your Worden from your Waltemeyer, or tell McLarney from McAllister And good luck differentiating Edward Brown from David Brown They all seem as one hard, unfeeling, tough, and eloquently blasphemous Over time, and 500pages, that starts to change Despite the fact that you almost never learn about these men s personal lives, and never follow them home though you follow them to many, many bars , all nineteen of the detectives in Lieutenant Gary D Addario s shift become sharply etched individuals You get to understand their strengths, their weaknesses their talents and their shortcomings how they investigate crimes and how they interact with their colleagues Homicide subtly gains power as it moves forward, so that by the time the final page comes, and you have to leave these detectives behind, you re grateful that your edition of the book comes with Simon s 2006 afterword, so you can find out what has happened to these men in the decades following publication Simon is best known for HBO s The Wire As such, it was no surprise that Homicide wonderfully catches the hilariously profane, idiomatic, and often surprisingly evocative dialogue heard on the Street But Homicide is muchthan premium cable ready one liners It is a work of reporting so impossibly detailed that it boggles my mind how Simon was ever able to compile this information, and then shape it into a coherent work At six hundred pages, Homicide qualifies as an epic of the Street Simon takes you, as expected, to dozens of murder scenes, in a variety of alleys, tenements, and curbsides He also provides a retrospectively nostalgic glimpse into an 80 s era precinct house, complete with bw analogue television sets, typewriters, and cops who weren t afraid to have a beer on the job Beyond that, Simon leads you Virgil like into the autopsy room, and the prosecutor s office, and, in a great set piece, through the trial of an alleged cop shooter This is a masterpiece Simple as that It resonates It gets beneath your skin It takes you someplace you ve probably never been, and you start to get that vicarious thrill until you realize, as hard as it is, that this is a real place, and not a nightmare conjured from a dark imagination A couple parting thoughts First, Homicide was written during the advent of DNA analysis If you believe Simon, in the afterword, police work hasn t changed much in the years since publication He writes that cops still rely on their gut instincts, their intuition, and their tried and true interrogation techniques I have a hard time believing that Not the part about the DNA, necessarily, but certainly the enhanced interrogation techniques practiced by Balti s finest Some of the stunts these detectives pulled come straight out of LA Confidential Nowadays, most police forces, as a matter of practice, record all interrogations on video I know, at least, that this is the practice of our police department, and we re not exactly on the leading edge of things Any defense attorney who saw a recording of one of these interrogations would have a hard time believing he or she wasn t in heaven It s not just that the things these guys were doing were unconstitutional, it s that they were so unconstitutional as to defy belief Secondly, the streets of Balti are an alien world to most readers of Homicide Simon makes it all thealien by telling his story entirely from the point of view of the mostly white detectives who enter and exit this mostly black enclave While we eventually learn a great deal about these detectives, we never learn anything about the victims, or the people who populate these mean streets The effect is to humanize the cops while turning the victims and the criminals into animals This isn t a criticism so much as it is an observation Indeed, Simon switched points of view in his follow up, The Corner Yet it s worth bearing this one sidedness in mind while reading Homicide It is so relentless, so committed to its story, that you start to lose the larger context of failed drug laws, failed schools, poverty, and the legacy of racism that has created these streets You also forget that when you close the book, finally able to escape, that the streets do not disappear They are still out there, whether we are thinking about them or not


  2. Sarah Sarah says:

    this contains Wire spoilers, but not Homicide spoilers The Wire is over The Wire, which salvaged so many depressing Sunday nights The Wire, which was the only reason we subscribed to HBO The Wire, one of the few television dramas where I ve repeatedly found myself thinking of all the characters and their situations as real.I m sure I m not the only one who feels the same way Fictional or not, Omar got obituaries in publications across the country when his character died a few weeks this contains Wire spoilers, but not Homicide spoilers The Wire is over The Wire, which salvaged so many depressing Sunday nights The Wire, which was the only reason we subscribed to HBO The Wire, one of the few television dramas where I ve repeatedly found myself thinking of all the characters and their situations as real.I m sure I m not the only one who feels the same way Fictional or not, Omar got obituaries in publications across the country when his character died a few weeks ago Whole NFL teams gather together to watch And even Barack Obama has mentioned his love for the show on the road several times What do we do now that it s over I have at least a temporary solution A few weeks ago, Ben bought Homicide A Year on the Killing Streets by David Simon, one of the two creators of the show and a former Balti Sun journalist The non fiction book follows 30 or so Balti detectives through a year of cases starting on New Year s day in 1988 and ending on New Year s Eve 1988 When Ben started reading it, it did nothing less than take over his life, and when I started reading it the day he finished it, it took over mine In the good way.Reading Homicide is like reading the true story behind the myth of The Wire You meet the real characters who where mixed up and re pieced together to create Bunk, McNulty, Lester, and Keema More than that, it offers a back stage pass into the details of detective work that are only glimpsed during the show whole chapters are devoted to what it s like to work in the city morgue and what it s like for a detective to testify in court Vocabulary words from The Wire that you always wondered about like a yo and a redball are finally clearly defined.In short, Homicide makes me better understand why we loved The Wire so much it is truthful and as much as a television drama can be it is real No wonder that the world has taken Omar s death as if it he once actually lived No wonder it was heartbreaking to know that Bubbles makes it but Dookie doesn t.There weren t any fireworks at the end of Homicide some of the biggest murder cases of the year are never solved and none of the hardworking detectives are recognized or even given enough overtime There also weren t any big fireworks at the end of The Wire and Homicide helped me understand that that s how it should be.So if your schedule is still empty on Sunday nights, or if you start missing the late night antics of detectives waiting for the phone to ring, don t worry there s still Homicide, and it s a solid 650 pages long


  3. Jan-Maat Jan-Maat says:

    An obsession of the narrator in When we were Orphans is that there is a cause to the crime that he sees As a famous private Detective at least in his own mind he sees himself as sitting across a chessboard, grandmaster against grandmaster in a battle of wills Good eventually triumphing over evil.That attractive notion that evil acts, although a disruption in orderly and peaceful lives, are meaningful the product of an evil will keeps us watching crime stories on TV and reading detection st An obsession of the narrator in When we were Orphans is that there is a cause to the crime that he sees As a famous private Detective at least in his own mind he sees himself as sitting across a chessboard, grandmaster against grandmaster in a battle of wills Good eventually triumphing over evil.That attractive notion that evil acts, although a disruption in orderly and peaceful lives, are meaningful the product of an evil will keeps us watching crime stories on TV and reading detection stories The order of the universe has been broken but through sheer brainpower the hero will identify and remove the wrong doer and make the world safe is a very satisfying and reassuring story Perhaps this is why conspiracy theories are popular they allege that there is meaning in the rush of the world s events that is explicable to the true initiate.This book is an antidote to all that Not all cases are solved Not all cases that are solved make it to court Not all cases taken to court result in a conviction No one cares about the motive, accept perhaps the jury, who know the motive is important from watching Detective dramas on TV And above all most of the crimes are stupid There are no Napoleons of crime here Instead murders committed in a moment of anger, or for a handful of money, or a couple of days worth of drugs When it comes to solving cases it is luck and good fortune that rule Hard work is good, but luck is better.David Simon spent a year in the late 1980s with the Balti police department homicide squad and this book is the resulting reportage Simple day to day police work, office and job situational humour and since this is about a Homicide department you need a fairly dire sense of humour to enjoy this, the woman with two husbands in the same house each of whom thinks the other is just the lodger is perhaps the politest example , successes and failures come intermixed It is an episodic book We experience the cases as they occur, not in neat coherent packages This makes it easy to pick up and put down or to reread sections as you please.Slowly Simon introduces some general passages, on the development of the Balti Police Force from its origins as being simply the best armed gang on the street to its state in the 1980s, the over worked court system reliant on plea bargaining to keep going, coping with disinterested jurors and the politics of the system The police and courts as a system was also one of the themes of The Wire and what Simon shows us in this book is a snapshot of a system formed and functional in some earlier time but which can t realistically cope with the number and type of murders that were occurring in Balti during the 1980s This was largely a result of the number of drug related crimes whether execution style killings with minimal if any evidence at the crime scene or street corner killings The detectives were bludgeoned with so many cases and left working as individuals rather than in teams that dealing with complex cases view spoiler one of these was a sprawling Black Widow case featuring two men living in the same house who both believed they were married to the same woman but didn t know that the other was also her husband view spoiler bedtimes must have been interesting hide spoiler which came to light only after repeated attempts to murder her niece for the insurance to which the aunt was the only beneficiary view spoiler beware of aunts bearing insurance hide spoiler a case which was further complicated by the fraudulent misburial of dozens of corpses in a cemetery hide spoiler let alone systemic issues risked derailing the work of the department as a whole, geared as it was to attempting to clear view spoiler ie to have identified a culprit and built a case against against them, this however did not require that the case be brought to court let alone a conviction to be achieved hide spoiler over half the homicides committed during the year to maintain an acceptable position in the national league tables This naturally was a political nonsense and one familiar I assume to many Goodreaders working in semi bureaucratic jobs with demi politicised objectives that are public footballs, but careers have been built out of worse.Coming to this afterThe Wireyou ll recognise his some of his source materialcan be found in The Corner , in characters, situations, anecdotes and some major themes the reactive nature of the homicide set up means that they are struggling to cope with an increasing number of homicides and the joy of statistics But this is an entirely free standing book, full of insight into a team of people struggling to cope with crimes of a scale and type that they aren t geared up to deal with So why did you marry her Childs asked him I had to, he explains She put a voodoo curse on me and I had to do what she said How did she do that Baines recalled that his aunt had cooked him a meal using her own menstrual discharge and watched as he ate Afterward, she told him what she had done and explained that she now had power over him.Childs and Waltemeyer exchange glances.I wonder if that would have made Miss Marple drop a stitch If the fictional detective from the nineteenth century onwards became a way of exploring society through a formulaic and easily consumed fiction then Simon is flipping that round to show how factual police work shows a society obsessed with the presentation of a positive message that has no possible reality to reality and in which the workers running on this particularly hamster wheel protect themselves only through black humour, failure to do so adequately results in alcoholism and or suicide


  4. Brandon Brandon says:

    In 1988, David Simon lingered like a ghost in the hallways of the Balti PD, immersing himself into the homicide department of one of America s most violent cities He rode in the backseats of department issued Chevy Cavaliers and stood on the sidelines while detectives deconstructed grotesque crime scenes and inspected bodies still cooling on couches, in alleyways and on street corners.Throughout my experience reading Simon s true crime tour de force, I found myself constantly asking how d In 1988, David Simon lingered like a ghost in the hallways of the Balti PD, immersing himself into the homicide department of one of America s most violent cities He rode in the backseats of department issued Chevy Cavaliers and stood on the sidelines while detectives deconstructed grotesque crime scenes and inspected bodies still cooling on couches, in alleyways and on street corners.Throughout my experience reading Simon s true crime tour de force, I found myself constantly asking how do you keep going How do they keep pushing through when faced with a never ending onslaught of murder after murder With a board showing cases cleared in black and open investigations in red, how do you keep your head screwed on with so little red in the face of an overwhelming amount of black The answer other than a healthy dose of gallows humor The hell if I know These guys weather shit storms the likes of which you and I can t even imagine I suppose they just. endure They endure because it s all they know how to do The job consumes them and as Simon writes, you re not considered part of the team unless you ve had at least two divorces or a broken family at home.The madness the Homicide unit is forced to put up with is downright unbelievable A man beaten to death while he defecates in an alley for no apparent reason Or how about a Black Widow case a woman who marries multiple men, takes out life insurance policies and then murders them to collect on the double indemnity settlement where the woman in question forces her nephew to marry her after placing a voodoo curse on him Not insane enough How about a murder over a fifteen cent Popsicle I had to pick my jaw up off the floor on multiple occasions I m not even scratching the surface here.Simon indicated in the afterword that he took great care in trying to accurately capture all of the dialogue contained in Homicide In fact, he thinks about 90% of what he s written is correct, which is pretty damn impressive considering the book s length and attention to detail The narrative style both in prose and pacing cements exactly why Simon is so well respected in the world of both fiction and nonfiction crime writing I read this in huge chunks because I simply couldn t put it down It made me really look forward to checking out the Homicide TV series as well as what is considered his crowning achievement, The Wire.Homicide is a brilliant, brutal piece of journalism that should be considered required reading for any fan of crime fiction If you love your noir, you need to check out this Edgar Award winning masterpiece


  5. Mariel Mariel says:

    I ve been rereading David Simon s Homicide A Year on the Killing Streets on and off for a while the greatest enemy to my reading video games Desensitizing me to violence like the grind of dead bodies on the sidewalk chalks every day I first read it way back when before high school when my mom got me a copy and told me that I had to read it for someone who doesn t know me at all she got that one right on The tv show was my great obsession I had fansites on actors Andre Braugher Frank P I ve been rereading David Simon s Homicide A Year on the Killing Streets on and off for a while the greatest enemy to my reading video games Desensitizing me to violence like the grind of dead bodies on the sidewalk chalks every day I first read it way back when before high school when my mom got me a copy and told me that I had to read it for someone who doesn t know me at all she got that one right on The tv show was my great obsession I had fansites on actors Andre Braugher Frank Pembelton and Clark Johnson Meldrick , watched it on tape constantly, had debates about who killed Adena Watson the fact that we never found out is one of the many reasons why Homicide is the greatest I still remember sitting in Algebra class and going over the episodes in my mind like hell I was thinking about Algebra Yeah, obsession The Wire would later become my favorite for the same reasons and sucking me into being unable to think of anything else I wish everything was that good Homicide was a great show until the last seasons but that fault is NBCs I ve read that Homicide is baby The Wire I don t think that s an accurate description You know how lots of people say that The Wire is a slow burn and they don t get hooked until like six episodes in I never thought that I loved it immediately in part because it reminded me of Homicide Oh right, I was gonna say that The Wire is the big picture and Homicide is hindsight It s every day grind of life The Wire is cogs in the machine Both came out of this book The Wire is also a baby of Simon s book The Corner with Ed Burns The slice of life going through the day to day doesn t make any kind of sense or reveal any meaning until much later when experience enables you to trace what stood the test of time and faulty memories, willfully faulty memories too I read about the detectives in this book as a teenager and never forgot them I ll never be able to remember precisely which interview it was I ve read watched many of David Simon s where he criticized his immature he probably used a different word being a better writer than I life views at the time of writing Homicide He said he came to see people like Bubbles from The Wire in the visceral share live with them after getting to know Gary from the year of living writing The Corner I cannot agree that Homicide was limited in view of the families of the murdered victims, focusing instead on the step back perspective of the detectives In fact, they meet again the grieving mother when doing The Corner, the lady who runs the community center I had not forgotten her from reading Homicide Not just the difficulty of confronting that grief It s complicated, if you ve lost someone you can get how that feels but no one can ever get it completely because everyone has different not exactly the same relationships It s a cliche in fiction to not wanna hear I know how you feel It s good enough for me that these guys are there solving the case There s the fear of losing someone, too How can anyone pretend something only touches them No matter how deeply personal grief is Simon depicted what the homicide cops had to do to do their jobs, but like they were not these no man s islands, the grief was beating in the words Maybe Simon knows better what he felt than I could, but no way do I agree that Homicide is a lesser work than The Wire or The Corner because of its perspective Like what Jay Landsman the character on The Wire , not the real detective from the book who played a different character on The Wire, and was basis of Munch on Homicide said about McNulty If I was laying there dead on some Balti street corner, I d want it to be you standing over me catchin the case The real Landsman is also a character in Michael Chabon s Yiddish Policeman s Society novel It s no wonder he s inspired writers Just the bit he does pretending to smoke a drag cracks me the hell up More Homicide confessions while I m at it I wore John Munch glasses in high school He s also on the Law and Order spin off Landsman is taking over the world


  6. Mikey B. Mikey B. says:

    One becomes totally immersed in this true life account in which journalist David Simon spends one year 1988 with homicide detectives in Balti.It is written from the point of view of the grueling jobs of these detectives David Simon immortalizes these men in this case they are all men from now over thirty years ago In this book we experience their highs and lows plus the very hard work they do and how it overwhelms them and the toll it takes Nobody in this job can demarcate between w One becomes totally immersed in this true life account in which journalist David Simon spends one year 1988 with homicide detectives in Balti.It is written from the point of view of the grueling jobs of these detectives David Simon immortalizes these men in this case they are all men from now over thirty years ago In this book we experience their highs and lows plus the very hard work they do and how it overwhelms them and the toll it takes Nobody in this job can demarcate between work and non work What they see and do lingers and festers constantly, even in their dreams.It is told from the point of view of the detectives don t look to this book for a sympathetic portrait of the criminals under investigation or of corruption within the police department And the criminals in this book are a varied lot from drug dealers to life insurance scammers to senseless child killers There is only one section of the book on when a case is brought to trial We are taken into the streets and homes of Balti where the crimes take place.This is classic crime book exquisitely and thoughtfully written but long at 600 pages It is right up there with, but distinct, from In Cold Blood.Page 428 my book For Pellegrini, the contents of file H88021 had become nothing less than an ever changing landscape in which every tree, rock and bush seems to be moving And it was no use explaining to him that this could happen to any detective on any case this pit of the stomach feeling that everything was being missed, that evidence was disappearing faster than an investigator could perceive it Every detective in the unit had lived through the sensation of seeing something at a crime scene or during a search warrant and then looking twice to see that it was no longer there Or maybe it s still there, but now you ve lost the ability to see it.It was the stuff from which the Nightmare was made, the Nightmare being the recurring dream that occasionally ruins the sleep of every good detective In the throes of the Nightmare, you are moving through the familiar confines of a rowhouse you ve got the warrant, perhaps, or maybe its just a plain view search and from the corner of your eye you glimpse something What the hell is it Something important, you know that Something you need A blood spatter A shell casing A child s star shaped earring You can t say for sure, but with every fiber of your being you understand that it s your case lying there The Nightmare scares the hell out of young detectives some of them even live the dream at their first crime scenes, convinced that the entire case is evaporating into ether Pellegrini showed the pin earring to the little girl s mother she seemed a little surprised the case was still being worked after seven months, but confirmed that the blue earring did not belong to her daughter.


  7. David David says:

    You gotta let him play.This is America David Simon s now classic work of police and crime journalism gave birth to two of the finest shows ever to appear on TV Homicide Life on the Streets, and The Wire Both shows are full of episodes and lines that you will recognize if you read this book, particularly the search for the killer of a young girl named Adena Watson, based on the real life case of Latonya Wallace.Aside from anecdotes reappearing on great TV shows, though, this book is just You gotta let him play.This is America David Simon s now classic work of police and crime journalism gave birth to two of the finest shows ever to appear on TV Homicide Life on the Streets, and The Wire Both shows are full of episodes and lines that you will recognize if you read this book, particularly the search for the killer of a young girl named Adena Watson, based on the real life case of Latonya Wallace.Aside from anecdotes reappearing on great TV shows, though, this book is just one of the best and most clear eyed looks at American policing you are ever likely to read Simon was given almost unlimited access, allowed to ride along with the Balti Homicide Department for a full year, and write down everything he heard and saw He portrays the detectives, the city brass, and the criminals in unsparing detail, neither making the cops out to be heroes standing tall to Protect and Serve, nor corrupt and racist bullies though certainly there are a few cops who fall into both categories , but what they are working men working a trade, and their trade is murder Another day, another body falls in Balti, and the detectives work the cases because their captains live and die by clearance rates what do the numbers look like The chapter in which it is explained how police departments jiggle figures to make themselves look better, to boost their solved cases or even to use technical loopholes to decide whether or not a killing is a murder, is your first entry into the cynical world of policing, Balti style.1 Everyone lies Murderers lie because they have to witnesses and other participants lie because they think they have to everyone else lies for the sheer joy of it, and to uphold a general principle that under no circumstances do you provide accurate information to a cop.2 The victim is killed once, but a crime scene can be murdered a thousand times.3 The initial 10 or 12 hours after a murder are the most critical to the success of an investigation.4 An innocent man left alone in an interrogation room will remain fully awake, rubbing his eyes, staring at the cubicle walls and scratching himself in dark, forbidden places A guilty man left alone in an interrogation room goes to sleep.5 It s good to be good it s better to be lucky.6 When a suspect is immediately identified in an assault case, the victim is sure to live When no suspect has been identified, the victim will surely die.7 First, they re red Then they re green Then they re black Referring to the color of an open case on the board, the money that must be spent to investigate the case, and the color of the solved murder as it is listed on the board 8 In any case where there is no apparent suspect, the crime lab will produce no valuable evidence In those cases where a suspect has already confessed and been identified by at least two eyewitnesses, the lab will give you print hits, fiber evidence, blood typings and a ballistic match.9 To a jury, any doubt is reasonable the better the case, the worse the jury a good man is hard to find, but 12 of them, gathered together in one place, is a miracle.10 There is too such a thing as a perfect murder Always has been, and anyone who tries to prove otherwise merely proves himself naive and romantic, a fool who is ignorant of Rules 1 through 9.The cops are personalities, and we get to know them they are all among the elite, because the Homicide department is a meritocracy and those who can t cut the mustard get honorably reassigned to Vice or Property Crimes or somewhere else less demanding You clear cases or you move on But they re also blue collar guys, frequently assholes, they have gallows humor, they don t believe anything coming out of anyone s mouth, but every now and then they have a real victim, which is to say, an innocent citizen of Balti who was not a drug dealer or a gang banger caught on the wrong corner, and then, sometimes, you see that they actually care They can t allow themselves to care too much, but as when little Latonya Wallace is found raped and gutted in a row house yard, sometimes they catch a case that isn t just another name in red that they re trying to turn black for the sake of their numbers.I live near Balti, so I am kind of familiar with the area, but I admit I have stayed away from most of the neighborhoods talked about in this book The drug markets, the projects, the seedy parks, and the mean streets lined with liquor stores, cheap dives, and check cashing places where much of the largely African American population lives, are foreign territory to me They are places where white guys don t go unless they re either buyers or cops Race is very much present in Balti and in David Simon s narrative, though for the most part, the detectives, while sometimes casually racist, treat every victim and every suspect alike Race figures largely in trials, and in policing, it s an always present factor.The year that Simon details in this book was 1988 in the decades since then, the crime rate and particularly the homicide rate in Balti has fallen quite a lot But the city has only gotten poorer, so the underlying problems remain The police department that Simon describes is probably quite different now not just the technology has changed, but I suspect even in 1988 they were in a state of transition from the old Irish dominated police department in a city where all neighborhoods were delineated by race, ethnicity, and class to one that s a bitmixed now.Following these detectives along as they investigate all sorts of murders is entertaining in a grim way , educational, and captivating Simon has a fine journalistic writing style with a wry sense of irony, and every case becomes a little mini episode, even the simplest and stupidest And there are a lot of stupid cases It s sad the dumb reasons people will kill each other, and even sadder just how stupid a lot of criminals are If you ve ever wondered how a police detective gets a suspect to say a damn thing without a lawyer present, then the chapter on how they weasel their way past the reading of rights will strike you as both brilliant and damning, and if nothing else, perhaps you will absorb one crucial lesson if you are ever charged with a crime, then whether you re innocent or guilty, keep your damn mouth shut, because the police are not your friends.A fantastic look at the world of policing, in fardetail and gritty verisimilitude than you re going to get from any TV show Of course this book a little dated now, but even back then, the police were complaining about juries being tainted by ridiculous expectations given to them by crime shows.Absolutely riveting and informative Highly recommended


  8. Paul Bryant Paul Bryant says:

    This is probably the best true crime book ever unless you can show me that all that stuff in Dostoyevsky really happened, in which case he s probably got the edge The story is fairly familiar I think but to summarise David Simon was a journalist came up with the idea of spending a year embedded so we now call it with the Balti Homicide Unit, wrote a series of articles for the Balti Sun, they got turned into this book, then two years after that the book became the series Homicide This is probably the best true crime book ever unless you can show me that all that stuff in Dostoyevsky really happened, in which case he s probably got the edge The story is fairly familiar I think but to summarise David Simon was a journalist came up with the idea of spending a year embedded so we now call it with the Balti Homicide Unit, wrote a series of articles for the Balti Sun, they got turned into this book, then two years after that the book became the series Homicide Life on the Street I know, crap title , then DS wrote The Corner about the drug trade in Balti and that became a mini series and then he created The Wire and that one everyone knows about I ll stop there.So this guy has written the best true crime book and created the best and the third best tv shows of all time Sopranos being No 2 This guy is an American national treasure He s also really arrogant as can be read in a very self regarding introduction to the book of the The Wire So then I decided to create a tv show which would forever redefine the way we watch tv.Homicide the book is really different from Homicide the tv show Both are complete genius and are hereby UNRESERVEDLY RECOMMENDED TO ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE WHO CAN STILL READ OR ORDER DVDS FROMBoth in their own way make you laugh and cry and howl and bark and make hissing sounds and imitate the well known painting The Scream.SOME QUOTESDetective John Munch Our day begins when yours ends Detective Steve Crosetti Either it s murder, or this library has a very strict overdue policy Det Tim Bayliss Fourteen years old When I was fourteen, jeez, I was in the ninth grade, and I don t remember much of what I was doing, but I know I was nowhere close to picking up a gun and shooting another kid Det Frank Pembleton How old should our shooter be Det Tim Bayliss Not fourteen Det Frank Pembleton So if he s what, fifteen, sixteen years old, it makes anysense Det Tim Bayliss No Det Frank Pembleton How old should he be then What s the cut off age Seventeen Eighteen Det Tim Bayliss I don t know, but not fourteen Det Frank Pembleton When you find out, clue me in, awright I d like to know when any of this killing, at any age, from six to sixty, makes any sense One time I want to hear about a murder that makes sense Just one time For any reason Det John Munch I took the liberty of having my craw removed years ago so that I could sleep at night Bolander sees bird droppings on his car Det Stan Bolander Would you look at this Pigeons Det John Munch Not from a pigeon, it s from a waterfowl Det Stan Bolander A what Det John Munch A waterfowl From a mallard Det Stan Bolander A duck Det John Munch A well fed duck Det Stan Bolander Right, like you can tell the difference That couldn t come from a seagull, I suppose Det John Munch No, gulls have a milky white splurter Notice the lobular pattern, these splays within splays Det Stan Bolander Munch why do you know these things


  9. Laurel Krahn Laurel Krahn says:

    One of my most prized possessions is my first edition hardcover of this book which is signed by many of the detectives mentioned in it I also own the first mass market paperback and one of the later trade paperbacks the one that had a new forward and afterward or something like that Plus the Kindle eBook And the audiobook read by Reed Diamond.If that first paragraph didn t clue you in, this is one of my favorite books ever In the newsgroup alt.tv.homicide we just referred to it as The Bo One of my most prized possessions is my first edition hardcover of this book which is signed by many of the detectives mentioned in it I also own the first mass market paperback and one of the later trade paperbacks the one that had a new forward and afterward or something like that Plus the Kindle eBook And the audiobook read by Reed Diamond.If that first paragraph didn t clue you in, this is one of my favorite books ever In the newsgroup alt.tv.homicide we just referred to it as The Book as among fans of the TV show Homicide Life on the Street, that s what it was and is When the show drifted further away from the realities shown in The Book, it wasn t nearly as good.David Simon spent a year with a shift of Homicide detectives in Balti and wrote about it Truth can be stranger than fiction, it can also beentertaining than fiction when a good writer covers it As with the TV show, there s dark depressing stuff and then there s the hilarious stuff, usually smack up against each other That s the stuff I love I still love that some of the storylines on the show which some thought too out there are lifted straight from this work of nonfiction If you enjoy dark humor, enjoyed the TV show, enjoyed The Wire, or like true crime you ll probably like this


  10. F.R. F.R. says:

    Believe the hype this is a truly excellent book An in depth examination of one year in the life of the Balti Homicide department Undoubtedly it s gritty and earthy and contains many gruesome moments, but it s also a very human book with the key detectives brought to life as the reader is made to understand the bizarre world they inhabit It s a place where death is serious but is nearly always a joke, where despite these men and they are pretty much all men having compassion it s a d Believe the hype this is a truly excellent book An in depth examination of one year in the life of the Balti Homicide department Undoubtedly it s gritty and earthy and contains many gruesome moments, but it s also a very human book with the key detectives brought to life as the reader is made to understand the bizarre world they inhabit It s a place where death is serious but is nearly always a joke, where despite these men and they are pretty much all men having compassion it s a dull evening s shift when somebody isn t murdered Okay, some of the prose has clearly been boiled forthan fifteen minutes, but this is an entertaining and thought provoking look at a job and a life which most people only ever get a glimpse of It s a large tome that enthralled me so much I raced through it in half a week.Like most people these days I ve come to this after watching The Wire , which, of course, is an excellent series As in the TV show, Simon manages to fully evoke the world of the Homicide team, with its jokes and tensions and bigger than life characters Much like the TV show there are diversions into the areas around the department, such as the morgue and the courts, and Simon expertly conjures those worlds In addition Snot Boogie, and other pieces of dialogue, make their first appearances here And just like The Wire it has an ending which suggests that crime and murder in Balti is a beast unstoppable and will just keep destroying all in its path


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Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets From the creator of HBO s The Wire, the classic book about homicide investigation that became the basis for the hit television showThe scene is Balti Twice every three days another citizen is shot, stabbed, or bludgeoned to death At the center of this hurricane of crime is the city s homicide unit, a small brotherhood of hard men who fight for whatever justice is possible in a deadly worldDavid Simon was the first reporter ever to gain unlimited access to a homicide unit, and this electrifying book tells the true story of a year on the violent streets of an American city The narrative follows Donald Worden, a veteran investigator Harry Edgerton, a black detective in a mostly white unit and Tom Pellegrini, an earnest rookie who takes on the year s most difficult case, the brutal rape and murder of an eleven year old girlOriginally published fifteen years ago, Homicide became the basis for the acclaimed television show of the same name This new edition which includes a new introduction, an afterword, and photographs revives this classic, riveting tale about the men who work on the dark side of the American experience [EPUB] ✼ The End (The 30-Day Collective Book 1) ✿ Ellen A. Easton – 9facts.co.uk the classic book about homicide investigation that became the basis for the hit television showThe scene is Balti Twice every three days another citizen is shot ➽ [Download] ✤ The Light Over London By Julia Kelly ➲ – 9facts.co.uk stabbed [Ebook] ➣ Cell By Robin Cook – 9facts.co.uk or bludgeoned to death At the center of this hurricane of crime is the city s homicide unit ❰Download❯ ➺ Braving the Wilderness Author Brené Brown – 9facts.co.uk a small brotherhood of hard men who fight for whatever justice is possible in a deadly worldDavid Simon was the first reporter ever to gain unlimited access to a homicide unit [Ebook] ➣ Lightning / Midnight / The Bad Place By Dean Koontz – 9facts.co.uk and this electrifying book tells the true story of a year on the violent streets of an American city The narrative follows Donald Worden ❴Read❵ ➳ A Cidade Das Trevas (Dean Koontzs Frankenstein, Author Dean Koontz – 9facts.co.uk a veteran investigator Harry Edgerton [BOOKS] ⚣ Iron Council (New Crobuzon, By China Miéville – 9facts.co.uk a black detective in a mostly white unit and Tom Pellegrini [KINDLE] ❅ Big Magic By Elizabeth Gilbert – 9facts.co.uk an earnest rookie who takes on the year s most difficult case [BOOKS] ✭ Bloody Acquisitions (Fred, the Vampire Accountant, By Drew Hayes – 9facts.co.uk the brutal rape and murder of an eleven year old girlOriginally published fifteen years ago ❁ [EPUB] ✹ Dangerous By Amanda Quick ➚ – 9facts.co.uk Homicide became the basis for the acclaimed television show of the same name This new edition which includes a new introduction [Read] ➬ Succeed and Grow Rich through Persuasion Author Napoleon Hill – 9facts.co.uk an afterword ➺ [Reading] ➼ Agile Software Requirements By Dean Leffingwell ➯ – 9facts.co.uk and photographs revives this classic ➠ [Epub] ➚ The Last Kids on Earth By Max Brallier ➪ – 9facts.co.uk riveting tale about the men who work on the dark side of the American experience