Well, the 2005 body count in SF is now up to 92, after a man was found strangled to death in a SoMA hotel, making this the worst year in SF for murders in ten years. In response, Chief of Police Heather Fong held a press conference the other day to address people's concerns.

Chief Fong seemed somewhat defensive, at one point blaming the uptick in murders over the last three months on the nice weather we've been having. "If it’s always nice out, people start drinking, there are arguments and violence ensues," she said. See, it's the Bush Administration's fault for not adopting the Kyoto Protocol!

Fong did note that black-on-black gang violence is down 35% this year, but murders in the Western Addition and the Mission are up sharply from last year (The Western Addition had 20 this year and 6 last, and the Mission had 13 as opposed to 4). Aren't at least some of the crimes in those areas considered gang-related too? And you know, what about those Nortenos and Surenos -- what's going on with the Latino gangs? And intriguingly, our city controller's calculated that for each murder, the city loses about $38,000 (in police and medical expenses). No wonder no one can afford a house these days.

The Ex also has a connect-the-dots map of all the murders this year in SF. (.pdf only, but worth the download wait.) Our only quibble -- we thought the first murder of the year took place at Fisherman's Wharf: where's that one?

totally and completely fascinating