A story for every victim

Changes coming to The Homicide Report

A story for every victim. That's been the goal of the Homicide Report since its inception in 2007.

We since have recorded more than 5,200 killings in Los Angeles County, both bare-bones and in-depth posts. We've filed more than 1,000 additional posts documenting the lives of family members left behind, detectives on the street, gang interventionists, suspects' trials and more.

In that time, the Homicide Report has gone through several iterations. First as a blog, then a blog with a simple Google map to track killings. Four years ago this month, the blog was converted into a searchable database with interactive maps, allowing readers to sort the killings by neighborhood, cause of death, race/ethnicity, age, gender, day of the week and more.

This weekend we will switch over to our latest version of The Homicide Report, which combines the best pieces of the map, database and blog to give readers a better sense of who is being killed in Los Angeles, and where. And it will work equally well on your desktop and phone.

Longtime readers will find much that is familiar. Since last summer, Nicole Santa Cruz has been dedicated full-time to the report. She is out in neighborhoods every week interviewing families, talking to detectives and getting to know community leaders.

Much of the work she does to keep The Homicide Report current will be easier to find. Updates on older cases will no longer be hidden deep inside the blog -- the new report brings those updates to the front, with all posts about an individual case collected and available both from the new posts and from the older ones.

We also have added neighborhood analysis that takes into account size and population density, giving readers an ability to compare neighborhoods in a way nobody has been able to do before. To dig even deeper, you will be able to filter the database to find information on any combination of race, gender, cause of death and neighborhood.

Don't worry, we still want to hear from you. Homicide Report editors have published more than 40,000 comments from readers since it began. The report has grown into a community resource, with family members and friends remembering their loved ones and discussing the toll of violence in their communities.

We ask for civility from commenters, but recognize that the conversation here is, by its nature, raw and painful. As in the past, we will continue to use our discretion on which comments we publish.

We're looking forward to your feedback about the new features and look. Check back this weekend and let us know what you think.

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