Los Angeles Homicides, 1830-2003 (ICPSR 3680)

Published: Aug 22, 2012

Principal Investigator(s):
Eric H. Monkkonen, University of California-Los Angeles. Departments of History and Policy Studies


Version V2

There has been little research on United States homicide rates from a long-term perspective, primarily because there has been no consistent data series on a particular place preceding the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), which began its first full year in 1931. To fill this research gap, this project created a data series that spans two centuries on homicides per capita for the city of Los Angeles. The goal was to create a site-specific, individual-based data series that could be used to examine major social shifts related to homicide, such as mass immigration, urban growth, war, demographic changes, and changes in laws. The basic approach to the data collection was to obtain the best possible estimate of annual counts and the most complete information on individual homicides. Data were derived from multiple sources, including Los Angeles court records, as well as annual reports of the coroner and daily newspapers. Part 1 (Annual Homicides and Related Data) variables include Los Angeles County annual counts of homicides, counts of female victims, method of killing such as drowning, suffocating, or strangling, and the homicide rate. Part 2 (Individual Homicide Data) variables include the date and place of the murder, the age, sex, race, and place of birth of the offender and victim, type of weapon used, and source of data.

Monkkonen, Eric H. Los Angeles Homicides, 1830-2003. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2012-08-22. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03680.v2

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National Science Foundation (SES0111725)

National Consortium on Violence Research

University of California-Los Angeles. Academic Senate

United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics

Access to these data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

1830 -- 2003

1995 -- 2003

(1) A detailed list of the sources used to create the data files can be found in the appendix to the codebook. (2) Data were collected from a number of archival sources including, but not limited to, the sources listed.

All homicides in Los Angeles between 1830 and 2003.

Los Angeles County court records

annual coroners' reports

daily newspapers

administrative records data



2012-08-22 A Restricted Data Use Agreement form was added to the documentation files that can be downloaded from the study home page.

2005-08-04 ICPSR created new data files, setup files, and codebook because the principal investigator added more data to the collection.


  • The 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.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

NACJD logo

This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.