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Top 8 Of '08: No. 5 - Chicago's Violent Year

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Dec 30, 2008 4:30PM

Between now and Wednesday, we're counting down the top 8 local stories that captivated us in 2008.

2008_12_30_balfour.jpg Violence is to be expected in a big city like Chicago, a city that saw it's murder rate approach nearly 1,000 homicides in the early '90s. While murders are down by nearly 50 percent compared to that peak, things took a step back this year. The downturn in the economy certainly had an effect on the rise of crime. Another reason? Fewer police officers thanks to a budget crunch that has prevented the city from hiring. With over 500 homicides (and counting) in 2008, it's the city's highest total in five years. But even more eye-catching were the high-profile shootings* that captured the city's attention and gave rise to new concern and has left Chicago's new police superintendent, Jody Weis, under fire.

These homicides were no better or worse than any other murder in the city. But these killings, while also garnering headlines, offered a cross-section of a city under the gun in 2008.

(* - We're not forgetting NIU; that's coming up later.)

No. 8 - Chicago, Cultural Epicenter
No. 7 - Chicago On Trial
No. 6 - Chicago's 2016 Olympic Fever