The city I used to live in, St. Louis, ranked #2 among the most dangerous cities in America. The list was compiled by Elisha Fieldstadt for a CBS News Report in 2020. I knew when I lived there that St. Louis had a reputation as a risky city, but I was the victim of a crime only once in all the time I lived there. Ruth and I had a new car and parked in Forest Park to attend a nearby performance. Our car was broken into and someone tried to remove the radio I had installed. The perp did a lot of damage to the dashboard and broke the driver’s side window to gain access. Being naive at the time, I told Ruth not to touch anything because the police, whom we went in search of, would want to dust for fingerprints. The officer told me to report the crime to my insurance company, but that was it. There was no crime report and no investigation. The policeman did say, however, that the city was “out of control”.
St. Louis was not #1. Detroit was. The online statistics for this city noted 1,965 criminal incidents per 100,000 resident compared with 1,927 per 100,000 for St. Louis. Memphis, TN, a city not all that far from my birth city, ranked #3 with 1,901 incidents. Memphis was a bit of a surprise, but #4 was no surprise. Baltimore, MD had 1,859 crime incidents per 100,000 residents. #5 was a total surprise. Springfield, MO, a booming city with a population of about 170,000 that I thought had a mild crime rate, was in that position. Ruth has a relative living there. The report indicated 1,519 incidents per 100,000 residents in Springfield, so her relative can expect to be the victim of maybe 2 break-ins or the like while living there. He and his family have experienced no crimes that I know about.
Also on the list of more than 50 cities were several we have been to recently without incident. New Orleans, where we were told to avoid the French Quarter after dark by more than one person, was #15. Houston, a city in Texas that we visit almost every year, was #19. Houston traffic is awful but not criminal. Spread-out Lubbock, TX was on the list at #24. Chicago, sad to say, makes most such lists and was #31. I was relieved when my brother, who now lives in scary and listed Oakland, CA, finished his studies at the University of Chicago and moved. Columbia, SC, a city we went to the year before last and really enjoyed, was #48. West Palm Beach, FL, where our son-in-law’s parents live and Ruth & I experienced our only hurricane, was #49 with 726 incidents per 100,000 residents. Rochester, NY, a city that we visited last year where we found lots to do, was in last place on CBS’s list.
When Ruth saw the above, she said it was a downer and that people need some good news and a joyous holiday. With the news of a vaccine that is very effective against COVID and should be available soon, we’re half way there. In the meantime watch a Christmas show or check out the triumphant Queen’s Gambit on Netflix. Or consider giving someone a Rhodochrosite gift. This rose-red manganese carbonate mineral is used in some beautiful gemstones.