Why Is Chicago’s Murder Clearance Rate So Low? | WBEZ
Skip to main content

Reset with Jenn White

Why Is Chicago’s Murder Clearance Rate So Low?

A Hermosa man charged in the shooting death of a two-year-old boy was arrested Friday after community members identified him to police.

Alexander Varela, 27, allegedly ordered the shooting that left Julien Gonzalez dead and an 18-year-old man wounded. Verela was charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm in the Oct. 6 shooting.

The gunman is still at-large, which it turns out, is more common than you might think.

The Chicago Police Department often struggles to identify and arrest murder suspects ― police solved fewer than one in six homicides in the first half of 2018, according to a USA Today report.

The city’s “murder clearance rate” ― the percentage of murders solved by CPD ― hit a new low in 2017 and has continued to decline.

Morning Shift discusses CPD murder clearance rates and how they compare with rates in other major American cities.

GUESTS: Jeremy Gorner, Chicago Tribune crime reporter
Thomas K. Hargrove, founder and chairman of the nonprofit Murder Accountability Project which tracks unsolved homicides nationwide

LEARN MORE: Hermosa Gang Member Charged In Connection With Fatal Shooting Of 2-Year-Old (CBS)

Gang member charged with ordering shooting that killed Chicago 2-year-old: police (WGN)

Chicago police solve one in every 20 shootings. Here are some reasons why that's so low. (Chicago Tribune)

Chicago police solved fewer than one in six homicides in the fi​rst half of 2018 (USA Today)

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.