Changes to murdermap

Unfortunately parts of the old murdermap website will disappear this week after nearly nine years’ service.

The main reason for this decision is that the site was based on a content management system (created by the original developers) that is no longer being supported.

Regular users will also have noticed that the map stopped working properly after Google brought in its new pricing plan in July 2018 and effectively ended the free Maps API service.

The choices were, therefore, leave the website up to deteriorate until it goes down completely (or, worse, gets hacked), or replace it.

Sadly it is also clear that the site is no longer sustainable in terms of time and resources. There are many reasons for this, but in reality the project was hamstrung from the start because it was based on the (unrealistic) idea that it could be funded by online advertising. It has only ever earned enough money to pay for hosting fees and most of the time the site has been maintained by one court reporter (although the information it contains is based on the work of many other people).

So what next?

Since murdermap began in 2010, the site’s database has grown to include more than 1,600 victims of homicide (including both murder and manslaughter, mostly for the years 2008-2018).

This database will not be lost. It has been saved offline and is likely to return in a different form at some point. And most of the original webpages have already been archived on the Wayback Machine.

After the original site comes down, it will be replaced by the murdermap blog while other avenues are explored. Crowdfunding may be difficult because running a site like this properly, with in-depth reporting of each murder in London, would require significant annual investment (see the Homicide Watch website in Washington DC for one example). Likewise turning murdermap into a subscriber-only site might be self-defeating, given that it was originally set up with the aim of publicly and openly tracking each and every murder – not just the high-profile cases that already attract media attention – to reveal the stories behind the crime statistics.

While murdermap had many frustrating flaws from the very start, hopefully this site has helped to inform the debate around violent crime in London. And even if murdermap disappears completely, in recent years there has been a greater focus on homicides and violent crime in London. During 2018 several national newspapers maintained lists of homicide victims in the capital and produced in-depth articles using maps and charts (one example being The Guardian). The Office for National Statistics is also providing a lot more detail about homicides than it did ten years ago. Long may this continue.

List of Homicide Victims in London in 2019

Total: 27 (last updated 18/3/19)

Note: This is not an official record and may differ from any lists compiled by police etc. Some cases (e.g. suspicious/unexplained deaths) will be listed separately until they are confirmed as homicides.

  1. Charlotte Huggins, 33, was stabbed to death in Camberwell on 1 January. Her partner Michael Rolle was charged with murder.
  2. Tudor Simionov, 33, was stabbed to death while working as a security guard at a private party in Park Lane on 1 January. Four men were charged with murder.
  3. Simbiso Aretha Moula, 39, was found strangled at her home in Rainham on 4 January. Her partner was also found dead (suspension/hanging) but his death is not being treated as suspicious.
  4. Sarah Ashraf, 35, was found dead at her home on the Isle of Dogs on 5 January. Her brother Khalid Ashraf, 32, was charged with murder.
  5. Jaden Moodie, 14, was stabbed to death in Leyton on 8 January after being knocked off a moped by a black Mercedes. Ayoub Majdouline, 18, was charged with murder.
  6. Asma Begum, 31, was found dead at a flat in Poplar on 11 January. She had suffered a neck injury. Jalal Uddin, 46, was charged with murder.
  7. Kamil Malysz, a 34 year-old Polish national, was found stabbed to death at a flat in Acton on 27 January.
  8. Nedim Bilgin, 17, was stabbed to death in Caledonian Road, Islington, on 29 January.
  9. Carl Thorpe, 46, was found dead after a fire at Highgate Mental Health Centre on 3 February. Jordan Bramble, 21, has been charged with murder.
  10. Lejean Richards, 19, was stabbed to death in Battersea on 5 February. Two men, Roy Reyes-Nieves, 23, and Roger Reyes-Nieves, 18, have been charged with murder.
  11. Dennis Anderson, 39, was stabbed to death in East Dulwich on 10 February. Jahmel Michael Riley, 24 has been charged with murder.
  12. Bright Akinleye, 22, was stabbed to death in Euston on 18 February. Tashan Brewster, 30, was charged with murder.
  13. Brian Wieland, 69, was found dead with head injuries after a house fire in Chingford on 19 February.
  14. Glendon Spence, 23, was stabbed to death at a youth club in Brixton on 21 February. Two 17-year-old men were charged with murder.
  15. Kamali Gabbidon-Lynck, 19, was stabbed in Wood Green on 22 February and died in hospital at 3am on 23 February.
  16. David Lopez-Fernandez, a 38 year-old Spanish national, was stabbed to death in Stepney on 25 February. Jairo Sepulveda-Garcia, 36, was charged with murder.
  17. Che Morrison, 20, was stabbed to death in Ilford on 26 February. Florent Okende, 20, was charged with murder.
  18. Jodie Chesney, 17, was stabbed to death at a park in Harold Hill, Romford, on 1 March. Manuel Petrovic, 20,
    Svenson Ong-a-kwie, 18, and a 15 year-old boy have been charged with murder.
  19. Elize Linda Stevens, 50, was stabbed to death in Hendon on 2 March. Her partner Ian Levy, 54, was charged with murder.
  20. Three-month-old Jolia Bogdan died after being found unresponsive at a home in Croydon on 2 March. Her mother Kamila Bogdan, 40, has been charged with murder.
  21. David Martinez-Valencia, a 26 year-old Spanish-Colombian national, was stabbed to death in North Birkbeck Road, Leyton, on 6 March. Carlos Rueda Velez, 18, was charged with murder.
  22. The body of Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, a 34 year-old French national, was found in a shallow grave in a garden in Kew on 6 March. She had been reported missing after failing to turn up to work on 5 March. A 32 year-old man was arrested in Estonia.
  23. A 37 year-old man died in hospital on 6 March, three days after he was found stabbed in Romily Street, Soho.
  24. Ayub Hassan, 17, was stabbed to death in Lanfrey Place, West Kensington, on 7 March. A 15 year-old boy was charged with murder.
  25. Antoinette Donnegan, 52, was found dead at her home in Este Road, Battersea, on 7 March. Kristian Smith, 41, has been charged with murder.
  26. Florin Pitic, 20, died after suffering a serious head injury in an assault at Queensbury tube station on 10 March.
    Ciprian Mandachi, 23, and Alin Mihai, 23, have been charged with murder.
  27. Nathaniel Armstrong, 29, was stabbed to death in Gowan Avenue, Fulham, on 16 March.

Please email us at mailbox@murdermap.co.uk if you believe any other cases should be included.

This list does not include:

Lisa McArity, 50, found dead at a house in Hobday Street, Poplar, on 30 December 2018, initially treated as unexplained, murder investigation launched after postmortem on 4 January 2019.

Unexplained death of unidentified man in his 40s, found unconscious near Tower Hill station on the morning of 17 February 2019.

Unexplained death of Alan Powell, 80, who died in hospital on 22 February 2019, two days after being found with back and facial injuries in Hornchurch.

Cuts to the ‘Murder Squad’

The Metropolitan Police unit responsible for investigating murders* in London was cut by nearly 40 per cent between 2004 and 2017 (see table below).

Figures obtained via a Freedom of Information request show the Homicide and Serious Crime Command (HSCC) reduced in total strength almost every year over that period. The sharpest fall was from 2011 onwards.

The number of Major Investigation Teams (MIT), which are responisble for investigating homicide cases*, has also decreased from 26 to 18 since 2011.

While the total number of homicides fell by 50 per cent between 2004 and 2014, there were significant increases in 2015 and 2017 (according to Metropolitan Police figures).

There are likely to be around 150 homicides in 2018, although recent months have seen lower figures than at the start of the year, possibly because of the police response since.

Although there are many possible causes for the increase in violent crime since 2014, cuts to police budgets (and public services in general) across England and Wales may well have released the pressure or created some kind of “tipping point”.

The figures also show that the HSCC is now increasing in strength, with the figures for 2018 returning to a level last seen in 2013.

NOTES: The figures provided for “strength” (in response to the request for the “number of officers and staff”) were not whole numbers and have been rounded up or down accordingly.

*The Homicide and Serious Crime Command does not just investigate murder. It also takes on (for example) high profile crimes, “critical incidents”, serial stranger rapes, work-related deaths, unexplained deaths, and high risk missing persons enquiries.

The figures cover a period involving at least two structural reorganisations of the Met. For 2004 and 2005 the figures given are the total for the units designated SCD1(2), SCD1(3), and SCD(4). For 2006 to 2012 they are for SCD1. For 2013 to 2018 they are for SCO1.

The total “strength” given for the MITs (not included in table) usually accounts for around three-quarters of the total “strength” of the HSCC.

Although the FOIA request was for 2003 onwards, no figures were provided for 2003, when there were more than 200 homicides (various figures have been given ranging between 204 and 216).

Table: Strength of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command (or equivalent) 2004 to 2018

YearOfficerStaffTotalMI TeamsHomicides
20049782601238N/A188
20059312821213N/A181
2006895364126026172
2007851347119826163
2008850358120826155
2009810356116625130
2010811344115526125
2011768317108626118
201267828496225106
201365626592124110
20146212048252294
201564214678818119
201665013378319109
201759016875818134
201871517789218150**

**Estimated total for 2018, based on 100 homicides by the beginning of September.

Off The Map: Oluwadamilola Odeyingbo

The case of 18 year-old Oluwadamilola Odeyingbo has been removed from the database after the Metropolitan Police concluded it was not a homicide.

Their decision was taken after a special post-mortem gave a cause of death as multiple organ failure from a pre-existing medical condition.

The police statement reads:

The cause of death has been established for an 18-year-old man who died in Chislehurst in January.

Oluwadamilola Odeyingbo, 18, died in hospital on the morning of 10 January 2018 from injuries sustained following a reported altercation in Empress Drive just after 21:00hrs the previous evening.

A post-mortem examination conducted on 12 January failed to establish a cause of death. A special post-mortem has now concluded gave a cause of death as multiple organ failure from a pre-existing medical condition.

Officers from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command, having consulted with the CPS, are satisfied that no offences of murder or manslaughter have been committed.

There are ongoing enquiries in relation to other offences not linked to the death of Mr Odeyingbo.

 

Here is our original case summary for the record:

Oluwadamilola Odeyingbo, 18, died after being assaulted in Chislehurst.

He was found collapsed in a garden in Empress Drive at around 9pm on 9 January 2018.

Mr Odeyingbo died in hospital the next morning.

An 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder on 10 January before being released on bail.

Detective Chief Inspector Tim Wright, said: “We understand that neighbours and people passing through the area witnessed the incident on Tuesday evening. We are keen to speak to all witnesses and would encourage them to come forward as soon as possible.

“A young man has lost his life and we are doing everything we can to piece together what took place.”

Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to call the incident room on 020 8721 4961 – you can also tweet @MetCC. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously via 0800 555 111.

Homicide in London 2017

We counted 128 homicides (murders and manslaughters) in London in 2017 – a 24 per cent increase on the 103 homicides of 2016.

These are not official figures but we have done our best to track every case that is either publicised by the police or comes through the courts.

The Metropolitan Police’s own figures (according to their hate and special crime dashboard) are 134 homicides for 2017, a 22 per cent increase on the 110 in 2016.

However the 2017 statistics include the 13 victims of the Westminster and London bridge terror attacks.

There are several possible reasons for the discrepancy between our figures and the police (see the FAQ on the About page), but it often takes several months for some cases to be confirmed.

 

Off the Map: Gregory Peake

The death of 26 year-old Gregory Peake in Shoreditch in March 2017 was initially investigated as a murder.

Two months later the Homicide and Major Crime Command announced that the death was no longer being treated as suspicious.

As a result the case has been deleted from the murdermap database, although the police press releases relating to the case can still be found on our news page: http://www.murdermap.co.uk/pages/news/index.asp?NewsID=1719

Unsolved Murders in London 2016

Seventeen murders in London in 2016 remain unsolved*. Can you help?

Lewis Elwin, 20, was stabbed to death in Tooting on 18 April 2016.

Romeo Nkansah, 37, was stabbed to death on a night out in Camden on 29 May 2016.

Matthew Kitandwe, 18, was stabbed to death outside his home in Battersea on 21 June 2016.

Vicky Walton, 32, was found unconscious in Belsize Park on 29 June 2016 and died in hospital the following day.

Luther Edwards, 31, was stabbed to death outside Bethnal Green tube station on 29 July 2016.

Mohammed Hassan, 35, was stabbed to death in Battersea on 3 August 2016.

Andrew Oteng-Owusu, 19, was stabbed to death in New Cross on 3 August 2016.

David Robinson, 25, was shot dead at a recording studio in Hornsey Rise on 20 August 2016.

Kacper Latuszek, 31, was found dead in Walthamstow on 8 October 2016.

Ziggy Worrell-Owusu, 19, was stabbed at an 18th birthday party in Ilford on 27 October 2016.

James Owusu-Agyekum, 22, was shot dead on his doorstep in Harlesden on 2 November 2016.

George Barker, 24, was stabbed to death at a gym in Bexley on 14 November 2016.

Mohamed Kakay, 33, was stabbed to death outside St Giles Church in Camberwell.

Khalid Safi, 18, was stabbed to death in Acton on 1 December 2016.

Yasir Beshira, 21, was shot dead in Kilburn on 8 December 2016.

Clemuth Roberts, 58, died after being assaulted in Dagenham on 19 December 2016.

Ernest Kalawa, 24, was stabbed to death in Peckham on 30 December 2016.

*We have only included cases where a suspect has not yet been charged. Other cases are:

Suspect charged but case dropped before trial: Abdi Gutale

Suspect charged but acquitted at trial: Rukwevwe Tadafe and Harjit Singh Dulai.

 

Unsolved Murders in London 2015

These eleven cases of murder in London in 2015 remain unsolved*. Can you help?

The unsolved murder victims in the above slideshow are (click link to open case summary):

Lukey Maxwell, 22, Clheve Massi, 24, Redwan El-Ghaidouni, 38, Terry Isaacs, 56, Ola Raji, 20, Erdogan Guzel, 42, Marvin Couson, 39, Sebastiano Magnanini, 46, Tadas Jarusevicius, 29, Josh Hanson, 21, Nassem Galleze, 17.

*Unsolved as in no suspects are awaiting trial for murder or manslaughter or have been convicted.

Police refuse to release list of murder victims

The Metropolitan Police is now refusing to release full lists of murder victims under the Freedom of Information Act – making it more difficult to check their figures.

Previously requests along these lines have been successful, such as the data featured in the Guardian article ‘Five years of London murders listed‘ and on our blog The Met’s Five Year List of Murders.

Most murders are publicised in one way or the other, whether through media reports, police appeals or court cases. But often our figures do not match up to those provided by the police. So when we attempted to get a list of homicide victims for the years 2012, 2013, 2014 in an attempt to check whether we had missed any cases, our request was refused. Instead we were allowed only total figures:

2012 – 106
2013 – 109
2014 – 92

We also asked for a breakdown by nationality, but the Met were not prepared to give figures for any nationality where the number was less than 5. As a result, the statistics for the three years in total read:

UK 106
Poland 12
Lithuania 5
Somalia 5

The nationalities with less than five victims are: US, Cyprus, Russia, Spain, Nigeria, Latvia, Turkey, Jamaica, China, Australia, Pakistan, Ghana, Albania, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Kosovo, Rwanda, Hungary, India, Portugal, Italy, Bangladesh, Kenya, Algeria, Iran, Fiji, Ireland, South Africa, Bulgaria, Columbia, Vietnam.

When we asked for a review of the decision, on the basis that similar requests had been granted, we were told: ‘Every FoIA request received by the MPS is considered on a case-by-case basis and no precedent is set by previous non-disclosures or disclosures as in this case, where a public authority may have previously released similar information in the past.’

The reasons for giving only a partial disclosure are that:

  1. Disclosure of information contained within the requested information… would have a negative effect on the relationship between the police and victims or witnesses of incidents who would expect that information provided to the police would be held in confidence and that publication of information by way of a freedom of information request would damage this trust, potentially impacting on the flow of information into the MPS
  2. To disclose any additional information may harm the MPS in its ability in the prevention and detection of crime and the apprehension or prosecution of offenders
  3. Disclosure of the names of the victims, would be likely to cause distress to their families, as there would be no reasonable expectation that the MPS would release this information without the consent of the family.

We understand and accept the third objection, but continue to believe that the public interest is in the identity of all homicide victims being in the public domain rather than kept secret for whatever reason.

‘It is like the justice system has given up’

Sometimes the justice system fails the family of murder victims.

Five years ago Nattallie Correa, 27, was found battered to death after a fire at her flat in Dagenham. Her boyfriend, who escaped the blaze with her two youngest children, was charged but acquitted after a retrial at the Old Bailey.

Nattallie’s family are now left in limbo.

As her sister Mellissa says in a letter to murdermap:

The worst thing is the murderer is walking free right now due to the justice system. It is a disgrace and the pain my family are still going through is never going to leave us, because it is like the justice system has given up on the whole case, when really someone from outside the case should look over everything properly because my sister is too special to get forgotten about.

My sister’s case is listed as unsolved. So what does that mean that she murdered herself and set herself on fire? Please if anything at all could be re-looked in to or could be done please we will be so grateful or please let me know if I could do anything by myself to get my sister’s case open again. I need help I can’t forget what has happened and I will never give up on my sister’s memory.

Mellissa still remembers the day that she was told about her sister’s death.

On the 19th November 2009 at 4am in the morning I got a knock on my address, I answered the door it was a police constable standing there he asked if I was Mellissa Correa and could he come in I said yes his first words was could I sit down I went no tell me what’s wrong please, he’ said I’m so sorry there has been a fire at your sister’s address and the children and the male are out safe but I’m sorry your sister was inside and has been pronounced dead, my heart felt like it crushed I fell to the floor and lost my breath crying, the first words I cried out to the officer was no it isn’t true my sister has never smoked or had candles lit at night, never, I said there’s something seriously
wrong here I tell you. That afternoon the police came and informed us that my sister was murdered the family were distraught even more.

Mellissa also accuses the police for a ‘lack of effort and commitment’ during their investigation. She adds:

Hopefully my sister’s case will get looked at carefully and thoroughly like it should have been in the first place.

Anyone with new information should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.