Sunday, October 21, 2012

Returning to the scene of the crime book

After visiting BALTIMORE and watching the first season of "THE WIRE," I thought it would be fun to re-read the book that started television's fascination with Charm City crime -- "HOMICIDE: A YEAR ON THE KILLING STREETS" by DAVID SIMON.
The future creator of "The Wire" and other shows, Simon was a Baltimore Sun reporter who spent a year with homicide detectives from the Baltimore Police Department.
The result was this 1991 book, which would become a benchmark for crime non-fiction works.
Readers learn about the frustrations of disturbed crime scenes, witnesses who won't talk and murders that stubbornly remain unsolved.
One of the major cases detailed in the book is the sexual assault and murder of a girl named Latonya Kim Wallace, in Baltimore's Reservoir Hill neighborhood.
Jill and I unwittingly passed within a couple blocks of where her body was found. We were exiting a freeway and turning a corner. Two blocks to the west is where detectives were scouring for clues during the course of the book's narrative.
I first read Simon's book back in the 1990s and it shows -- I've had to tape the book's cover back together to hold it without the pages scattering.
Re-reading it after so long also allows for the occasional surprise, as I had remembered few details.
If you have never read "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets," I recommend it. Just get yourself a new copy.


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