According to Jill Leovy’s Homicide Report, only 39% of the homicides in Los Angeles County this year have been solved. However, LAPD’s Newton homicide unit in South Central L.A. has been solving more than half of it murders, and “has such a high clearance rate that its numbers distort the overall average.”
Without Newton, the clearance rate of the sample would drop to about 34%.
To put this another way, outside of Newton, about two out of three murderers in the countywide sample have gotten away with it, so far anyway.
The LAPD considers cases to be “cleared” (solved) when an arrest has been made. The Homicide Report is determining its rate by “the number of cases in which a suspect has been charged versus the number of criminal homicide cases investigated by a given homicide unit.”
[source: “How Many Murders Are Solved?”, The Homicide Report]