Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Earlier this month, I blogged about the common misconception that suicides are more common around the winter holidays. The data showed this is not the case at all. So what happens? No sooner do I post the article, and we have more suicides. December, with six so far, now is the highest month of 2007.

Monday morning, I blogged about the success of a project to reduce residential burglaries through sliding glass doors at apartment buildings. I noted that only three of these had occurred during December. So what happens? Four more, of course.

Reporter Nancy Hicks called me on Christmas Eve, and jokingly asked me if I'd have any news for her on Christmas. Like me, she works on Christmas, and she's always the one calling me that night trying to find something for the December 26th news. I told her she could always do the standard story about the stupid ways people end up in jail on Christmas. I told her that Christmas is usually quite slow, but that the events that occur just seem to stand out in contrast to the joy that should be prevailing. I spent a good deal of the morning putting some data together for her to debunk the myth that there are more domestic assaults on Christmas, in order to illustrate the point.

Micah Mertes ended up doing the story on this, which ran in this morning's Lincoln Journal Star, and included the data I worked up on the 24th (click to enlarge):

So what happened on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year? You guessed it. The 23 assaults topped the average of 21.8 on every other Monday and Tuesday of 2007, and the 15 of those that were domestic assaults blew the average of 9.8 out of the water.

I'm beginning to wonder if this blog is the Lincoln police equivalent of the Sports Illustrated Cover Curse.


Anonymous said...

These two spikes are probably just a local maximum. We'll know for sure in a couple of years.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I'm grateful we didn't have something like that bizarre Omaha double homicide yesterday, because that's definitely the last crime for which we need to have a burst of incidents. If that one wasn't drug and/or alcohol-related, I'll be very surprised.

Anonymous said...

Lets not forget on Christmas day several years ago an officer was shot near 23 and Q street.

Tom Casady said...

Christmas Day, 1990. Mr. Tillman is still in prison, sentenced to 28 years, and eligible for parole in 2010.

Anonymous said...

It's a safe bet that in 2010, you'll be sending a representative (or maybe even rolling there yourself) to give some input at Mr. Tillman's parole hearing. I'm stunned that a jury of his "peers" (in the idealogical sense of the word, obviously) acquitted him on the 2nd Degree Murder charge.

Anonymous said...

Correction on my last: Aquitted on the Attempted 2nd Degree Murder charge.