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Homicide Unit

NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Jim Haner and Peter Hermann and Jim Haner,SUN STAFF | December 9, 1999
Baltimore police abolished a much-criticized six-year policy of rotating officers through different assignments, saying yesterday that it crippled the department's effort to investigate homicides and bring killers to justice.Top department commanders said the "rotation" policy was directly responsible for a plummeting homicide arrest rate, which dropped from 70 percent five years ago to below 40 percent today, and an exodus of experienced detectives.The change is one of a series of moves announced yesterday, some of which are linked to Sunday's mass killings of five women in a rowhouse.
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NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | August 31, 2010
In August 2008, a group of friends were walking through the Inner Harbor early in the morning when they heard a scream and a splash. When they turned around, 22-year-old Ankush Gupta was gone. No one saw what happened, nor could the harbor's network of security cameras provide an account. With no evidence of trauma to the body, the only conclusive information investigators had about the Montgomery County man's death was that he had drowned. On Tuesday, city homicide detectives arrested a 20-year-old Curtis Bay man who confessed to pushing Gupta into the water.
NEWS
August 14, 2014
City police officials have replaced the department's homicide chief in the wake of a string of unsolved murders this summer that shattered what had been a period of relative calm. Maj. Stanley Brandford will take over the homicide unit from Maj. Dennis Smith, who had been running homicide along with the shooting and robbery divisions since April. Putting the unit under separate command is probably the right move given the outsized role homicides play in shaping perceptions of Baltimore.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | April 8, 2014
The call to the county homicide detective came in the middle of the night. A man had been gunned down at a bus stop on Eastern Boulevard in Essex. Found on the scene, the victim's cellphone held a message from someone named Ashley. It read simply, "You dead. " Like most homicide victims in Baltimore County, Robert Holiday knew his killer. Witnesses willingly spoke to investigators and testified in court. The result: three convictions in a year and a life sentence for Holiday's former girlfriend, Laquesha "Ashley" Lewis.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | March 28, 2013
Though they aren't trumpeting it, the Baltimore Police Department's homicide unit has made several recent arrests in killings dating back to last year.  Police spokespeople said they did not know the motives behind the crimes. The arrests are a boost to a unit whose work was questioned just last week at a hearing at City Hall. As of today, the homicide unit's clearance rate is 53 percent.  -The oldest case involves the killing of Justin Marasa, a 22-year-old from Kenya found shot in a vehicle April 8, 2012 in the 1400 block of Holbrook St. Police said William Hunt, 29, has been indicted on murder charges in the killing.  -Garrick Powell Jr., 20, of Gwynn Oak, has been charged with the killing of 21-year-old John Planters, who was found in a grassy lot in the 2200 block of Annapolis Road on Oct. 25, 2012.
NEWS
By Joe Nawrozki and Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF | March 19, 2004
Retired from the Baltimore Police Department's storied homicide unit, Jay C. Landsman Sr. is enjoying phase two of his law enforcement career as a corporal in the Baltimore County police force. He is quick with a smile, still a prince of the wisecrack. Jay C. Landsman Jr. is a second-generation homicide detective, and he is also a corporal in the county Police Department. He is a no-nonsense law enforcement professional, with a military-style haircut and ramrod-straight carriage. The elder Landsman says he is proud that he inspired the Richard Belzer character, sarcastic joker Detective John Munch, on television's Homicide: Life on the Street.
NEWS
By Jamie Stiehm and Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF | August 31, 1998
Their silence was atypical.So, Mary K. Edmondson went to the Reservoir Hill home to seek out the daughter and granddaughter she had not heard from for days. She climbed the brick rowhouse's steps to their apartment and used the landlord's key to let herself in.She found what she dreaded she might: her daughter and grandchild bound and stabbed to death.They were the second pair of women slain in the neighborhood in five weeks this summer, leaving residents -- especially women -- wary.Some consider the four killings an unfortunate fluke, but others wonder if the deaths are a sign that the battle their community is waging against violent crime is being lost.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | August 13, 2014
Baltimore police officials have replaced the commander of the homicide unit as two high-profile cases remain unsolved amid a recent spate of violence that saw a killing a day. Maj. Dennis Smith, asked in April to oversee both homicide and the shooting and robbery units, has been removed from the homicide post, police confirmed. A former homicide commander, Maj. Stanley Brandford, has been pulled from his current assignment running the city's Eastern District and will temporarily oversee the unit again, officials said.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | October 15, 2011
After conducting a nationwide search for a new leader for his vaunted but scuffling homicide unit, Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III instead looked inward to a trusted commander who hadn't even applied for the job. Bealefeld chose Lt. Col. Garnell Green, and in an interview the commissioner said Green would have his support to make changes he deems necessary. "I want progress," Bealefeld said. "At the end of the day, I don't have time for excuses. The mayor and the people of the city should expect that the homicide clearance rate improves.
NEWS
By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | February 23, 2014
One man was killed and another was injured in two separate shootings in Baltimore Sunday night, police said. Police found a man lying in the street with a gunshot wound to his head in the 5100 block of Cordelia Ave. in the Langston Hughes neighborhood just after 8 p.m. The department's homicide unit was dispatched to investigate, and the man was later pronounced dead at an area hospital, police said. The killing was the city's 35th homicide and its 28th shooting death of the year.
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