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Nashville's 2013 Murder Total Reflects 50 Year Low


January 1, 2014


Murder in Nashville during 2013 dropped to the lowest level in the 50-year history of Metropolitan Government.
The 2013 total was 43 criminal homicides, including three murders that occurred several years ago, but are being included in the 2013 count.*  Last year’s murder total reflects:
  • 19 fewer victims (a 31% decrease) from 2012’s total of 62;
  • 69 fewer victims (a 62% decrease) from the city’s highest murder total of 112 in 1997;
  • 2 fewer victims (a 4% decrease) from the previous low of 45 recorded in 1963, the year Metropolitan Government came into existence; and
  • 34 fewer victims (a 45% decrease) from the 50-year Nashville murder average of 77.6.    
“While last year’s decrease in the criminal homicide total is significant, we all should consider even one murder to be too many,” Chief Steve Anderson said.  “We can do even more to dissuade violence in our community, and I look forward to further strengthening our partnerships with hundreds of neighborhood, business, civic and clergy groups to make our city even safer in 2014 and beyond.  Clearly, Nashville’s 2013 success in homicide reduction is attributable to the outward support Mayor Dean, Metro councilmembers and the community at large have for our dedicated and conscientious police officers and professional support staff.
While major crime numbers for 2013 won’t be finalized for a few weeks, Chief Anderson said he anticipates an overall decrease of approximately 2,000 major crime incidents (a 6% decrease).

*The three cases referenced above include:
  • The 2009 beating death of Michael Parsley, whose body was recovered from a shallow grave in Wayne County last September.  Parsley was reported as a missing person in April 2009.
  • Unidentified human remains recovered in August 2002 in a wooded area behind 1207 Lebanon Pike.  In January 2013, a 78-year-old patient in a Texas nursing home confessed to the beating death of the still unidentified victim.  The suspect is now under indictment, but remains in Texas due to his poor health.
  • The 2013 death of 1987 shooting victim Roderick Williams.  The Medical Examiner’s Office classified Williams’ death a homicide after determining that he died from complications of the 1987 wound.