Crime

Phoenix Police Count 125 Murders in 2013, Two Fewer Than Last Year

Phoenix police counted 125 murders in 2013, two fewer than last year.

The preliminary figure released today at the request of New Times shows the city hasn't had the large reductions seen last year in many other major U.S. cities. New York City, for example, experienced 20 percent fewer homicides last year over the year before.

On the half-full side, at least Phoenix isn't seeing an upward trend, like the crime-plagued city of Baltimore, Maryland.

Phoenix logged 127 murders in 2012, slightly up over the two previous years, but substantially below the 167 of 2008.

The total was bumped up by several multiple-body slayings, including:

* Christina Wilson, 42, and her daughter, Vanessa, 14. Shot to death by Christina's boyfriend, who later killed himself.

* 20-year-old Alexis Garcia and 17-year-old Fabian Valenzuela, shot to death. Two men charged with the murders.

* Kristen Furgeri, 17, and Jose Villa, 25, shot to death while sleeping. Shooter killed himself near Tucson two months later.

* Carol Sanders, 51, Audrey Sanders, 14, and Tom Fitzpatrick, 49. Sanders' husband, the shooter, killed himself.

Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.