A 76-year-old New Orleans woman named Millie Campbell has embarked on a quixotic mission to "pray the crime away" in a city whose murder rate is 10 times the national average. Campbell and her fellow prayer vigilante Betty drive around the most dangerous New Orleans neighborhoods, blessing the streets by waving their arms out of the windows (which might explain some of the dents in the side of Campbell's Chevy), but before you roll your eyes at this seemingly ineffectual crime-fighting tactic, consider that Campbell has organized small groups of women to make these prayer circuits, which are really more like neighborhood watch patrols in that they let would-be criminals in blighted urban areas know that now, at least, someone may be present to witness their misdeeds.
Consider the six U.S. cities that have earned the dubious distinction of official "murder capital" over the last 30 years. (Specifically, these are the cities with the highest per capita homicide rates since 1985.) Of these cities -... Read Post
DEBORAH HASTINGS The Alaskan city of Wasilla, population 7,800, is a pretty average place with an average crime rate whose major claim to fame is that Sarah Palin was once its mayor. Read Post
Exploring the vicious cycle of high homicide rates and declining populations that has afflicted American “murder capitals” like Detroit and New Orleans, Kriston Capps uncovers how other cities have managed to escape that cycle: Nati... Read Post