"The End of Murder"

In the LA Weekly, David Zahniser reports on homicide in Los Angeles, and officials' efforts to make the city safer. Zahniser profiles several who were killed in LA in 2006, including 17-year-old Chris Castellanos:

The slaying of Chris Castellanos was the first truly horrific murder of 2006, the type of killing that sends a chill through any parent waiting for a child to come home from the market or the movies or the mall. It happened at 10 a.m. on a busy boulevard. Witnesses were plentiful — one in a parking lot, another in a car. Castellanos had one dollar and two quarters and, prosecutors say, died because he didn’t give them up ...

The death of Castellanos, who had written about going to college and possibly becoming a doctor, earned no mention in the Los Angeles Times. NBC Channel 4 aired the standard helicopter shot of the crime scene and news of Torres’ arrest. But then, there would always be another homicide in Los Angeles — 477 more in 2006, to be exact. And quietly, the effects of the January 3 killing metastasized, spreading poison far beyond the corner of Whittier and Boyle.