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Crime in the D? In 2023, are crime rates rising in Detroit?

Detroit is often referred to as one of America’s most dangerous cities, and its reputation is well-deserved. The city has a long history of crime that stretches back decades. In this article, we will take a look at the history of crime in Detroit.

The first recorded instance of gang activity in Detroit was in 1921 when organized gangs began to terrorize local businesses and residents. The violence escalated throughout the decade, culminating in the 1930s with gang warfare crossing over into actual gun battles between rival gangs. As the gangs grew more powerful, they became involved in numerous other criminal activities including prostitution, drug trafficking, and gambling.

The rampant crime continued throughout the 40s and 50s until 1965 when a number of reforms were implemented by Mayor Jerome Cavanagh’s administration to try and tackle crime in the city. These included tougher punishments for criminals, stronger law enforcement measures, and more resources for neighborhood watch groups. 

Crime rate statistics

Unfortunately, these measures did not have much effect on curbing crime as they continued to increase throughout subsequent decades.

In 2016, Detroit had an estimated violent crime rate of 2223 per 100,000 people – one of the highest rates in the nation and higher than that of many other major cities across America. This included an alarming murder rate which was nearly five times higher than the national average that same year.

Today, there is still an epidemic of violent crime in Detroit with shootings becoming an all-too-common occurrence. The police are doing what they can to combat it but much remains to be done if we want to make sure that no part of Detroit continues to become a haven for criminals and violence.

Mass murder & massacres

Detroit is no stranger to crime. The city has been struggling with its own crime epidemic for years and it only seems to be getting worse. Here’s a breakdown of the worst crimes to ever happen in Detroit.

The first one on our list is the mass murder of three young women by serial killer Dean Faile in 1988. On October 18th of that year, Faile broke into the home of Yolanda Johnson and her two daughters, ages nine and fifteen. He proceeded to rape, torture, and murder all three of them in a sickening rampage that left the city reeling from shock.

The second event on our list happened just a few months later when two brothers murdered six people inside an auto parts store. Steven and Tony Levandowski had been stalking the neighborhood for weeks looking for victims before they finally entered Stotz Auto Parts on December 15th and opened fire on those inside. Fortunately, no one else was hurt during the attack but six innocent people lost their lives that day in what remains one of Detroit’s most notorious crimes.

Finally, there was the infamous Woodward Avenue massacre which occurred on June 16th, 2008 when eight-year-old Absalom Nashrobi shot four people including himself at an automotive repair shop while holding his mother hostage. 


Although Nashrobi later claimed he had been molested by someone in his neighborhood prior to the shooting, nothing ever came of this allegation and Nashrobi sadly passed away from his injuries shortly afterward.

These are some of the worst crimes that have happened in Detroit over recent years but unfortunately, they are only a handful out of countless others that have happened throughout history – some even more gruesome than these three combined together! The city has certainly seen better days but hopefully, it can continue moving forward toward a brighter and safer future for all its inhabitants someday soon.

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