Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Blackberry: Detroit’s Murder Bar—Demesha Hunt, Renisha Landers, and Now, Claudia Benson Last Seen Alive There

Detroit PD’s Rate for Solving Murders Inspires Little Confidence
By Nicholas Stix

Reporter Bill Gallagher says, “A Detroit Police Department spokesperson says there have been 19 reported murders so far this year. Half of them have been solved.”

Since an odd number of murders has been committed, the DPD can’t have solved half of them. It has either solved less than (nine, for a solve rate of 47.4 percent), or more than half (10, for a solve rate of 52.6 percent).

That’s already a lousy solve rate, but I’m skeptical that it’s even that high.

Back on Thursday, August 18, the DPD put out a press release that was dutifully repeated, unchallenged, by local media outlets, according to which the Department had “solved” four out of six gun homicides that had been committed during the 24 hour period between 6 a.m. on the previous Friday, and 6 a.m. on the following day (“Detroit: No-Name Clearances of No-Name Murders”). The report listed no names of victims or arrestees. Without providing such basic information that can be checked against lists of homicides, a police department might as well issue press releases saying that it rained manna from heaven last night, for all the credibility they’ll have.


[Previously, at WEJB/NSU:

“Detroit: No-Name Clearances of No-Name Murders”;

“Detroit: New Crime Stats Fail Smell Test; How Could Crime Go Down 7% Overall Last Quarter, While Homicides Went Up 31%?”;

“Are White Gangs Making It Impossible to Drive City Buses in Detroit? Inquiring Minds Want to Know”;

“Detroit: Buses are So Dangerous and Unreliable That Disabled Mom of 6 Traded Her House for a Minivan”;

“Detroit: Three Men in Their 20s Allegedly Kidnapped and Gang-Raped Girl, 13, for at Least Three Days”;

“Mysterious, Anonymous Detroit News Story About Arrest of Triple Shooting Suspect, Nasir Banks”;

“Happy New Year, Detroit-Style: Club Manager was Killed, Trying to Break Up a Fight; FREEP Writer Knows Facts, but Refuses to Report Them”; and

“Detroit: Serial Killer is Murdering Prostitutes Who Advertised Online in Pairs, and Stuffing Them in Car Trunks.”]


College Student Murdered Outside Blackberry Bar in Detroit:
Reported by Bill Gallagher
Transcribed by Amy Lange
Updated Tuesday, 17 January 2012, 7:44 p.m. EST
Published Tuesday, 17 January 2012, 5:49 p.m. EST

DETROIT (WJBK) -- 21-year-old Claudia Benson was shot and fatally wounded outside the Blackberry Bar and Grill on Grand River early Saturday morning. [N.S.: At what time was the murder committed?]

The killer took the purse of the Oakland County Community College student as she approached the club.

Police want to talk to a man seen on a surveillance camera in a party store right after the murder.

"Right now, we're calling this a person of interest. He's an individual that was seen in the area within probably 30 seconds to maybe 90 seconds from the time that the incident occurred," said Inspector Dwane Blackmon with Detroit Police Homicide.

The Blackberry was where two women were last known to be before they were murdered. The bodies of cousins 24-year-old Demesha Hunt and 23-year-old Renisha Landers were found in the trunk of a Chrysler 300 on Promenade in Detroit in December.

There is no information at this time linking the murders.

After shooting and killing Claudia Benson and taking her purse, the man grabbed another woman's purse and took off on foot. Police believe robbery was the motive.

"We have not ruled out any other motives, but at this point the initial motive appears to be robbery," Blackmon explained.

A Detroit Police Department spokesperson says there have been 19 reported murders so far this year. Half of them have been solved.

Police are looking for any tips or information about the person of interest and the murder.

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