Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets
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From the creator of HBO's The Wire, the classic book about homicide investigation that became the basis for the hit television show
The scene is Baltimore. Twice every three days another citizen is shot, stabbed, or bludgeoned to death. At the center of this hurricane of crime is the city's homicide unit, a small brotherhood of hard men who fight for whatever justice is possible in a deadly world.
David Simon was the first reporter ever to gain unlimited access to a homicide unit, and this electrifying book tells the true story of a year on the violent streets of an American city. The narrative follows Donald Worden, a veteran investigator; Harry Edgerton, a black detective in a mostly white unit; and Tom Pellegrini, an earnest rookie who takes on the year's most difficult case, the brutal rape and murder of an eleven-year-old girl.
Originally published fifteen years ago, Homicide became the basis for the acclaimed television show of the same name. This new edition―which includes a new introduction, an afterword, and photographs―revives this classic, riveting tale about the men who work on the dark side of the American experience.
to see the explanation of rights as a routine part of the process—simply a piece of station house furniture, if not a civilizing influence on police work itself. In an era when beatings and physical intimidation were common tools of an interrogation, the Escobedo and Miranda decisions were sent down by the nation’s highest court to ensure that criminal confessions and statements were purely voluntary. The resulting Miranda warning was “a protective device to dispel the compelling atmosphere of
in the autopsy room and watches another postmortem of another murdered child. This time, however, Edgerton is the primary detective. In fact, he’s the only detective. And this time, he tells himself, it’s all going to end differently. But if the Andrea Perry case is now the exclusive property of the homicide unit’s consummate loner, it is also a contradiction in terms: behold, the one-man red ball. The Andrea Perry murder has all the earmarks of a major case—a dead child, a brutal rape and
smile and a look that suggested regret. “Thanks, Sarge.” Landsman shrugged and smiled. “You know,” said Pellegrini, “I’d still be talking to them if you hadn’t done that.” “Fuck it, Tom, you’d have done the same thing eventually,” Landsman told him. “You were getting there.” But Pellegrini said nothing, uncertain. Then and now, Landsman teaches a truth that is a contradiction, an unnerving counterweight to Pellegrini’s methodical pursuit of empirical answers. Landsman’s lesson says that
eighty-one-year-old man, stabbed forty or fifty times in a brutal housebreaking. On a dresser in a back bedroom is the bent-blade murder weapon, caked with dried blood. So preposterous is it that anyone would disturb such a glaring evidentiary item that McAllister will think it unnecessary to warn against doing so. This crime of omission ensures that a young officer, fresh to the street, will wander into the bedroom, pick up the knife by its hilt and carry it into the kitchen. “I found this in
into the room, yanks the kid off the door and drags him into the front hall. Ceruti and a Central District uniform step back to watch the show. Brown brings his face so close that there is nothing else in the kid’s universe, nothing else to think about but one aggravated, 6-foot-2, 220-pound police detective. “What do you have to say to me now?” Brown asks. “I didn’t say nothin’.” “Say it now.” “Man, I didn’t …” Brown’s face creases into a sardonic smile as he wordlessly drags the kid back