ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The two unrelated murder cases from Christmas Eve brings the total number of homicides this year to 34, which marks Anchorage's highest number of homicides per year, in over two decades, according to the Anchorage Police Department’s statistics.
The map below shows the general location of 2016 killings reported across Anchorage, as of Dec. 28.
Blue markers indicate homicides in which the suspect has been arrested and charged. Red markers indicate homicides in which the case is unsolved, meaning the suspect is unknown and no arrests have been made.
(Having trouble seeing the map? Click Here to open it in a new browser).
In 1995, there were 29 homicides within Anchorage. Compared to this year, there were 34 homicides up-to-date.
Moreover, in 2016 there were two officer-involved shootings. Even if these two incidents were excluded from the total, the 32 homicides would still top past records.
Over the past few years, Anchorage’s number of homicides have increased rapidly.
In 2014, there were 12 homicides in the city, which ties the year with 2011 for the second least number of homicides, within the past two decades. In 2015, this amount more than doubled, at 26 homicides. And in 2016, this number increased again to 34 homicides.
The upward-sloping moving average (white line) confirms an uptrend in homicides every 7 to 10 years. While the downward-sloping linear average (orange line) confirms an overall downtrend in homicides, since 1995.
From 1995 to 2005, the average number of homicides was 18 homicides per year. While from 2006 to 2016, the average number of homicides dropped to 17 homicides per year.
While the total average number of homicides is at 17.7 homicides per year, most years experienced 14 homicides per year. And the data set’s median rests at 15.5 homicides per year.