The following chart features data compiled by the Murder Accountability Project

Cold Case Homicide Statistics

Breakdown of Homicide Clearance Rates

By Thomas Hargrove

Nearly 185,000 cases of homicide and non-negligent manslaughter went unsolved from 1980 to 2019, according to a Scripps Howard News Service study of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. Below are the total number of homicides reported in each state, the rate at which homicides are solved through arrest and the estimated number of unsolved homicides.

Note-1: The number of unsolved homicides was estimated for Illinois and New York since these states provide only partial data for the number of clearances.

Note-2: The total number of homicides in this report is taken from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report and is greater than the totals found in the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Report. More police departments report UCR data, which is required for departments to qualify for Justice Department grants.

State

Homicides

Clearance

Unsolved

Alabama20,00361%
7,893
Alaska2,28777%521
Arizona16,229 64% 5,818
Arkansas 9,95178%2,154
California128,78762% 48,830
Colorado 9,27768% 2,931
Connecticut6,64473%1,777
Delaware1,993 74%517
D.C. 12,73962%4,834
Florida 55,895 66%19,064
Georgia 33,176 65%11,482
Hawaii 2,07366%710
Idaho 1,74981%333
Illinois49,02636%31,376
Indiana17,52359%7,205
Iowa2,87074% 748
Kansas5,64365%1,965
Kentucky12,242 75% 3,022
Louisiana28,95265% 10,042
Maine1,29780% 264
Maryland24,54068% 7,863
Massachusetts 9,68661% 3,749
Michigan42,65055%19,323
Minnesota5,86667% 1,932
Mississippi10,05171%2,883
Missouri 23,02372% 6,384
Montana1,30368% 422
Nebraska 2,71881%506
Nevada7,20367% 2,351
New Hampshire 946 67%311
New Jersey21,22469%6,546
New Mexico 6,579 65%2,277
New York77,53461% 30,316
North Carolina 29,56682% 5,255
North Dakota50883%84
Ohio32,13367% 10,659
Oklahoma 11,92281% 2,304
Oregon 5,67167% 1,889
Pennsylvania36,09476% 8,490
Rhode Island 1,696 64% 607
South Carolina17,72178%3,868
South Dakota77373% 207
Tennessee 22,05470%6,623
Texas 86,48474% 22,581
Utah2,730 73% 725
Vermont52464% 191
Virginia 23,11776% 5,516
Washington10,40972% 2,937
West Virginia 4,82180%958
Wisconsin 8,64780% 1,714
Wyoming 97286% 137


Homicides and Clearance Rates from 1980-2008

By Thomas Hargrove

Nearly 185,000 cases of homicide and non-negligent manslaughter went unsolved from 1980 to 2008, according to Scripps Howard News Service calculations based upon homicide estimates provided by the FBI.

The rate at which homicides are solved has been declining during the past three decades.

Year

Homicides

Clearance

Unsolved

201915,44958%6,544
201815,87759%6,537
201717,00458%7,154
201616,89156%7,509
201515,59459%6,453
201413,92361%5,413
201314,10361%5,489
201214,82256%6,456
201114,55158%6,163
201014,57758%6,158
200915,16659%6,216
200816,27264%5,858
200716,92961%6,602
200617,03061%6,642
200516,74062%6,361
200416,14863%5,975
200316,52862%6,281
200216,22964%5,842
200116,03762%6,094
200015,58663%5,767
199915,52269%4,812
199816,97469%5,262
199718,20866%6,191
199619,64567%6,483
199521,60665%7,562
199423,32664%8,397
199324,52666%8,339
199223,76065%8,316
199124,70365%8,316
199023,43867%7,735
198921,50068%6,880
198820,67570%6,203
198720,09670%6,029
198620,61370%5,313
198518,97672%5,313
198418,69274%4,860
198319,30876%4,634
198221,01074%5,463
198122,52072%6,306
198023,04072%6,451
Total565,63767%184,992

Notes: This total homicide estimate differs from the counts found in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report and Supplementary Homicide Report. Those two reports are based upon incomplete data provided by local police departments. The homicide totals and clearance rates presented here are estimated by the FBI, based upon the incomplete reporting. The FBI provides this definition of when homicides are considered to be cleared: “Law enforcement agencies clear or solve an offense when at least one person is arrested, charged with the commission of the offense, and turned over to the court for prosecution. Law enforcement agencies may also clear a crime by exceptional means such as when an identified offender is killed during apprehension or commits suicide.”

The above information was compiled and published in a Special Report by Scripps Howard News Service.