Homicides in Chicago, 1965-1995 (ICPSR 6399)

Principal Investigator(s): Block, Carolyn Rebecca, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority; Block, Richard L., Loyola University-Chicago; Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority


These datasets contain information on every homicide in the murder analysis files of the Chicago Police Department for the years 1965-1995. For the victim-level file, Part 1, data are provided on the relationship of victim to offender, whether the victim or offender had previously committed a violent or nonviolent offense, time of occurrence and place of homicide, type of weapon used, cause and motivation for the incident, whether the incident involved drugs, alcohol, gangs, child abuse, or a domestic relationship, if or how the offender was identified, and information on the death of the offender(s). Demographic variables such as the age, sex, and race of each victim and offender are also provided. The victim-level file contains one record for each victim. Information for up to five offenders is included on each victim record. The same offender information is duplicated depending on the number of victims. For example, if a sole offender is responsible for five victims, the file contains five victim records with the offender's information repeated on each record. Part 2, Offender-Level Data, is provided to allow the creation of offender rates and risk analysis that could not be accurately prepared using the victim-level file due to the repeating of the offender information on each victim record. Offender variables were reorganized during the creation of the offender file so that each known offender is associated with a single record. A majority of the variables in the offender-level file are replicas of variables in the victim-level file. The offender records contain demographic information about the offender, demographic and relationship information about the offender's first victim (or sole victim if there was only one), and information about the homicide incident. Information pertaining to the homicide incident such as location, weapon, or drug use are the same as in the victim-level file. In cases where the offender data were completely missing in the victim-level data, no offender records were generated in the offender-level file. The offender-level data do not contain information about the victims in these cases. Geographic variables in both files include the census tract, community area, police district, and police area.

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

    A downloadable version of data for this study is available however, certain identifying information in the downloadable version may have been masked or edited to protect respondent privacy. Additional data not included in the downloadable version are available in a restricted version of this data collection. For more information about the differences between the downloadable data and the restricted data for this study, please refer to the codebook notes section of the PDF codebook. Users interested in obtaining restricted data must complete and sign a Restricted Data Use Agreement, describe the research project and data protection plan, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

    Any public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


DS1:  Victim-Level Data - Download All Files (80.65 MB)
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ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
Analyze Online:
DS2:  Offender-Level Data - Download All Files (59.122 MB)
SAS    SPSS    Stata    ASCII   
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
Analyze Online:

Study Description


Block, Carolyn Rebecca, Richard L. Block, and Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. Homicides in Chicago, 1965-1995. ICPSR06399-v5. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2005-07-06. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06399.v5

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06399.v5

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice
  • Ford Foundation
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics (3960D)
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Mental Health (1R01M27575)
  • Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
  • Joyce Foundation

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    criminal histories, demographic characteristics, homicide, murder, offenders, police departments, relationships, victims, weapons

Smallest Geographic Unit:    city, census tract, community area, police beat, police district

Geographic Coverage:    Chicago, Illinois, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1965--1995

Date of Collection:   

  • 1968--1996

Unit of Observation:    individuals

Universe:    All homicides in the murder analysis files of the Chicago Police Department from 1965 through 1995.

Data Type(s):    event/transaction data

Data Collection Notes:

HOMICIDES IN CHICAGO, 1965-1981 (ICPSR 8941) is no longer available. Users interested in the data from ICPSR 8941 should obtain ICPSR 6399 instead.


Data Source:

Chicago Police Department records

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   1995-01-11

Version History:

  • 2005-07-06 For both Parts 1 and 2 day of death and day of injury were blanked and victim and offender ages were recoded to age categories for reasons of confidentiality. Files containing these data are now available only through the Restricted Access Archive.
  • 1998-10-15 Part 2, Offender-Level Data, has been added, and the documentation and data definition statements were augmented to include the offender-level data. In addition, a small number of corrections were made to the victim-level file (Part 1).
  • 1997-12-12 The data, documentation, and data definition statements were augmented to include the year 1995.

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