New York Murder Mystery: The True Story Behind the Crime Crash of the 1990s

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 28%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $17.06
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 36%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $17.06   
  • New (4) from $21.81   
  • Used (5) from $17.06   


In 1990, New Yorkers were being murdered at a record clip of over 2,200 a year. By the end of the decade, the body count had plunged by more than two-thirds. The number of robberies, car thefts, and other street crimes reported to the police also plummeted. Although this unprecedented and unexpected crime crash was categorized in the media and political circles as "astonishing" and even a "miracle," no blue ribbon commission was set up to investigate its causes. Instead, elected officials, pundits, criminal justice professionals, and academics speculated and debated about the factors behind the mysteriously shrinking crime rate." "Using data about patterns, trends, and statistical associations over the past two decades, Andrew Karmen's research uncovers the real reasons that brought about the crash. Providing both a local and a national context for New York's plunging crime rate, Karmen tests - and debunks - the many self-serving explanations for the decline. Is there clear and convincing evidence to support widely held beliefs and the most insistent claims for credit? Are there important underlying developments in the City and across the country that have been overlooked?
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

In the 1990s, New Yorkers were being murdered at a rate of over 2,200 a year. By the end of the decade, the body count had plunged by more than two-thirds. Using data about patterns, trends, and statistical associations over the past two decades, the author's research uncovers the reasons behind the "crime crash." Providing both a local and national context for the city's plunging crime rate, Karmen (sociology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York) debunks the many self-serving explanations for the decline. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher
“Systematically debunks popularly accepted reasons for the crime crash by wedding closely analyzed statistical data with common sense and historical precedent. . . . After reading this book, one thing becomes certain: today's New York isn't what it used to be.”

“New York Murder Mystery is long overdue. It provides a well-written, illuminating analysis of an issue often subject to self-serving and simplistic sound-bites. Guided by Karmen’s thoughtful and thorough presentation, we come to understand all the factors contributing to the last decade's crime drop. We learn to credit not only new police tactics, demographics declines, and a prosperous economy but also the many thousands of youth who practiced wisdom and discipline in avoiding the self-defeating behavior patterns of their older friends and relatives.”
-Robert Gangi,Executive Director, The Correctional Association

“Karmen has written a book that anyone interested in the New York City crime story should read. Nobody has written about the NYC drop in crime more comprehensively or more even-handedly. This book assesses a complicated story with an air of confidence and produces a convincing analysis. Those who think they already know the story are bound to be surprised by what they read here, and those who want to draw policy conclusions for New York's experience will find Karmen’s reliable analysis helps them avoid some of the pitfalls in the cyclical fads of criminal justice reform.”
-Todd R. Clear,President of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences

“With this elegant sweep, the author has parted the curtain to reveal a gaseous windbag behind the bombast attending the miraculous claims of today's wizards. Bravo.”
-Tony Bouza, Law Enforcement News

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814748046
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Karmen is Professor of Sociology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York and author of Crime Victims: An Introduction to Victimology.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
1 The 1990s Crime Crash in New York
2 Deconstructing Murders
3 NYPD or Not NYPD: That Is the Question
4 Behind Bars?
5 The Drug-Crime Connection
6 It’s the Economy, Stupid! Or Is It? Did the Boom Cause the Crash?
7 Where Have All the Criminals Gone? Did Favorable Demographic Trends Facilitate the Crash?
8 Lessons from the New York Experience

Name Index
Subject Index
About the Author

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)