ArcGIS Pro

Unequal justice: A spatial analysis of unsolved homicides

Only 50 percent of murders result in an arrest.

Those are the findings from analyses conducted by The Washington Post using homicide data collected for cities across America. In some neighborhoods, in fact, homicide arrest rates are much lower than 50 percent.

Other findings include the following:

The impacts of unsolved murder cases are devastating. For friends and family, there is fear, depression, frustration, prolonged grief, illness, and anger. But the impacts extend much further, affecting entire communities, often resulting in penetrating fear and increased violence.

Where are unsolved murders most prevalent in the United States? Who is bearing the burden of these unsolved homicides? Follow the workflow in the Examine racial inequities in unsolved murder cases Learn ArcGIS lesson to answer these questions. Then take time to really think about what this means:

As spatial analysts, we sometimes forget that our data—the numbers and rates and categories—reflects real people, real lives, and very real struggles. Take time to click the stories in the Learn ArcGIS lesson to get a glimpse at the faces behind the numbers.


About the authors

Dr. Lauren Griffin has more than 34 years’ experience in software development, spatial analysis, and GIS. She currently works at ESRI as a product specialist on the Geoprocessing and Analysis team where she is responsible for software support, education, documentation, and development of analytical workflows using ArcGIS.


Ankita Bakshi is a Product Owner and a Senior Product Engineer on the Spatial Statistics Team at Esri. With a background in environmental engineering and computer science, she is passionate about solving social, economic, and environmental problems with Spatial Analysis and Data Science. In her role, Ankita enjoys researching, finding solutions to build software, and loves creating video and written content to make the software tools more approachable and applicable to real world challenges. Outside of work Ankita enjoys going on hikes and dancing to Bollywood music.


Flora is a Product Engineer on Esri’s Analysis and Geoprocessing team. She is passionate about using spatial analysis and data visualization to answer questions and solve problems. In addition to building software, Flora loves teaching analytical methods through conceptual illustrations, and believes that anyone can learn how to think spatially and make data-drive decisions. Flora studied Geography and GIS at UMD, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Information Systems and Technology at CGU.

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