Jill Leovy hinted in this month's profile of her in Los Angeles that she would stop writing the Times' homicide blog in the new year. It's one of the most-read LAT blogs, but it's draining to fulfill her vow to report something on every homicide in Los Angeles County. Now, in a post added on New Year's Eve, Leovy discloses her numbers are off by maybe 10% and she beats herself up for overlooking some 100 or so homicides — missed for very understandable reasons, it seems.
The Homicide Report endeavored to cover every homicide in Los Angeles County in 2007. It has failed to do so....Anyone tempted to use this list or the accompanying map for statistical purposes, please be aware this is not a comprehensive catalog of 2007 homicides.
The relentless demands of this beat have at times exceeded the abilities of this reporter, and names have gone missing because [Homicide Report] is guilty of lapses in vigilance. Apologies to loved ones of those victims whose names were omitted; HR is trying to add them all.
She says that Times reporter Jack Leonard will write subsequent posts. A follow-up New Year's Eve post that may have been written by Leovy says, "The Times aims to maintain the tone, conventions, and style of this report, although the reporting job will change hands after January and entries may be scaled back due [sic] somewhat." Reader comments at the blog are very appreciative of Leovy's efforts and understand that it could be too much for one reporter. If Leovy is dropping off the blog — and if the goal will no longer be 100% coverage — I wonder if they should even continue it, given that today's numbers will show murder in L.A. is at a historic low level.
* Leovy clarifies: Via email, she says Leonard contributed some year-end posts on child deaths but won't be her replacement. "We are still working out what will happen with the Homicide Report. I am still on it for a few weeks, and Ruben Vives will be doing some work on it."
Photo: Ted Soqui / Los Angeles magazine