With Philadelphia’s homicide total surpassing the 500 mark for two consecutive years, and with questions swirling about how the city tracks and tabulates that statistic, Broad + Liberty has launched an independent tracker to list homicides (what the city police call M-jobs) as well as special case/suspicious deaths (S-Jobs) in the city.

On any given day, the number of items (rows) entered in the tracker may not correlate precisely to the number of homicides in the city, which is, in part, why our outlet has embarked on this project.

In order to hold the city accountable for accurately reporting criminal deaths in the city, Broad + Liberty is also tracking cases that have traditionally been excluded from the Philadelphia Police website, which includes vehicular and suspicious deaths, in an effort to ensure that they are regularly and properly reconciled to Philadelphia’s own published homicide tally in the year that they occurred.

By carefully tracking each homicide, found body, and suspicious death, we hope to either provide greater confidence in Philadelphia’s published tally, or we hope to expose and correct flaws and to help give a voice to concerned citizens, victims, and survivors throughout our city.

One of the most important columns in the tracker is “Source of Information” which will transparently show you if the information was received directly from Philadelphia Police, or from some other source.

If you have a tip on a homicide, found body, or suspicious death, please email news@broadandliberty.com or tshepherd@broadandliberty.com. Your communications will be kept confidential. If a tip is used in the spreadsheet, the tipster will not be identified, but the “source of information” will simply be labeled “tip.” The more information you can provide on tips, such as date, street location, photographs, and any other documents is helpful.

The spreadsheet is hosted on Broad + Liberty, but helping in the maintenance is a team of highly engaged citizen journalists. Donations are appreciated to help defray the minimal cost of maintaining the database, and to tip the volunteers for their year-round efforts. (Please use this specific link for donations to fund the tracker. Even though the donation page may say “General Fund,” we are tracking donations that flow from this specific referral link.)

Definitions of most of the data columns are posted below the spreadsheet. Entries for which we believe there is a conflict between how Broad + Liberty is classifying the incident versus how Philaldelphia Police are classifying the incident are highlighted in light orange. For example, if we believe PPD is classifying an incident as suspicious and we are classifying it as a homicide, that row of data will appear in orange.

LAST UPDATED: 10:30 a.m., January 26, 2023.




Reference number: A number generated to keep each entry in the tracker distinct.

Crime date: The date the violence was believed to have been perpetrated, if applicable, (which is to say, a found body might not have a crime date).

Body found date: This column exists to make distinctions between homicides discovered immediately in which the crime date is known, versus homicides that might be a found body in which the crime date is unsure or unknown.

Type: Homicide, suspicious death, or found body.

For questions or concerns about this article, please email tshepherd@broadandliberty.com.

15 thoughts on “Philadelphia Homicide Tracker – a project of Broad + Liberty”

  1. Thank you for this service – and my I also suggest that you link the City Controller’s Office site for this as well
    https://controller.phila.gov/philadelphia-audits/mapping-gun-violence
    It give you an interactive map that details location and other demographics, it does not however include the infamous use of “S – jobs”
    This information tends to be “hidden in plain sight” by the current administration, and the electronic media (channels 3, 6, 10, 17, & 29) in this city spends more time on traffic and weather in each broadcast than it does on this issue.

      1. Cicero
        When I was young we used to say “if brains were dynamite you couldn’t blow your nose”. I sincerely hope you don’t catch a cold.
        Cato

  2. Thank you for this. As a veteran police officer in the city, it disgusts me the way the department hides homicides. The “suspicious” and “other” deaths – which many are likely inconvenient murders. We used to have to report to the FBI with updated statistics, but since the FBI lost its way, no one cares about legitimate counts anymore.

    From what I’ve seen in the inconsistent numbers and what I’ve seen on the street, I would wager we were closer to 600 than 500.

  3. The very first homicide listed, of a 31-year-old black mail in the 3000 block of Clifford Street is not listed in the city’s shooting victims database, even though the wounding of a second person in the incident is listed. The killing of a 34-year-old black male on the 1600 block of Dyre Street is listed as a shooting, but not a fatality.

    1. The shooting of the 34-year-old male in the 1600 block of Dyre Street is now listed as a fatality. However, of the three reported killed yesterday, only two are listed in the city’s shooting victims database, as of 12:20 PM EST on Tuesday, January 10th.

  4. If this can be made into a widget that other websites could link, I would certainly be happy to put it on mine, and I’d be a whole lot of other bloggers would as well.

    1. If anything the info currently shown is actually more beneficial to the City than what is on the City Comptroller’s site.

  5. The homicide on New Year’s Day, in the 3100 block of Clifford Street, is still not listed in the city’s shooting victims database, even though the man shot in the same incident, is listed as a non-fatal shooting. The city has finally added the third fatal shooting on Rowland Street to the database. The database lists ten fatal shootings thus far in the year, not the twelve B+L documents.

  6. OK, the Philly Police numbers not equal B+L’s. Does that mean that they have now included the homicides B+L listed for the first and second? Are the lists identical?

  7. Suggestion: the race of the victims have all been listed as black or Latino, but data in the city’s shooting victims database frequently divides that up into white Latino and black Latino; given that Hispanic ethnicity can be any race, I think that a good move. Perhaps that could be done in this database as well?

  8. OK, so rows in orange indicate a difference between B+L’s classification, and the PPDs, but you haven’t told us what the PPD’s classification is.

    Easy suggestion: row in orange for suspicious, row in green for body fond, and row in blue for other. Or you can put a red check in the PPD’s classification in the columns.

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