DATA ANALYSIS: Higher percentage of fatal stabbing victims are women

By Emily Gray Brosious
Originally published at Homicide Watch Chicago
June 27, 2014

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While nearly 82 percent of Chicago’s 610 homicides since the start of 2013 have been from shootings, 49 people have been stabbed to death.

During that time, the percentage of women stabbing victims was significantly higher than the percentage of women gunshot victims, according to Cook County medical examiner’s office data.

Of the 49 fatal stabbings, 16 were females. And while women made up nearly 33 percent of fatal stabbing victims, they made up only about 0.5 percent of shooting victims in the past 18 months.

In addition to being female, stabbing victims were older than people who were fatally shot. Since the beginning of 2013, the average age of stabbing victims were about 34, while the average age of shooting victims are about 27.

Overall, about 8.5 percent of all homicides in the city since the start of 2013 were stabbings — making it the second most common type of murder.

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 9.58.02 PMThe percentage is consistent with the fatal stabbing rate over the past 10 years, which ranged from about 6.5% to 11.5%, according to Chicago Police’s annual murder reports and information from the medical examiner’s office. Stabbing data from 2012 was not immediately available.

While the Cook County medical examiner’s office ruled 49 Chicago deaths as homicides from stab or incised wounds, the Chicago Police Department has called some of those deaths self defense, and have not classified them as murders.

Of the cases police classified as murders, a much higher percentage of attackers are charged in stabbings compared to shootings.

The state’s attorney’s office charged suspects in nearly 70 percent of all stabbing cases since the start of 2013, authorities said. In 2013, police cleared about 30 percent of all murders, including the stabbings.

— Contributing: Michael Lansu

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