In 2019, the Alabama murders rate was 12.9, according to state statistics, meaning that there are almost 13 homicides per 100,000 residents. Sadly, murders in Alabama by year seem to rise, with no end in sight, especially in certain areas. In 2016, there were around 30 murders in Montgomery, Alabama, alone. In 2019, there were 39 murders in Montgomery County, Alabama. As of April 1, there were around 19 reported murders in Alabama in 2021.
Unsolved Alabama Murders
According to Project: Cold Case, from 1980 to 2019 there were 20,003 homicides in Alabama alone, leaving 7,893 unsolved murders in Alabama. Some currently unsolved Alabama murders, better known as Alabama cold cases, as posted on the Attorney General’s website, include the 2011 murder of Sherri Terese Smith, the 2007 murder of Kimberly Compton Whitton and the kidnapping of her daughter, Haleigh Culwell Whitton, the 2001 murder of Shannon Nicole Paulk, and the 1999 murder of Gennice Shoma Thrash, among many others. These Alabama unsolved murders and kidnappings date back to the 1970s, leaving their families little hope for current media attention.
In 2019, new hope was brought to two families dealing with unsolved murders in Alabama with the help of DNA and genetic genealogy. Nearly 20 years after the murders of Tracie Hawlett and J.B. Beasley, law enforcement was able to link Coley McCraney to their murders using DNA evidence collected at the crime scene. This is just one of many Alabama cold cases solved and Alabama murders solved in the last few years with this form of evidence and technology.
If you’re a fan of the long-running series Unsolved Mysteries, you might notice that Alabama has been the focus of multiple episodes since its release in 1987. One of the biggest unsolved murders in Alabama, which remains unsolved today and is featured in Unsolved Mysteries, is the missing person case of Sherry Lynn Marler, who disappeared in 1984. In recent news, there was a rise in the reward for the 1991 murder of Elizabeth Spence, who is one of the many unsolved murders Montgomery, Alabama.
More than 200,000 unsolved cases have gone cold since 1980, and murder clearance rates continue to drop. With equity for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other underserved victims not prioritized in the true crime community—together we can do better.
Famous Alabama Murders
Some of the most famous Alabama murders over the years include the 2005 murder of Charles Newman, who was killed on Halloween night by Andrew Lackey, later named the “Halloween Killer;” the 1941 Gibson Family Murders; and the 2001 unsolved murder of Shannon Paulk. Other famous murders in Alabama include mass murders, including the 2009 Geneva County Massacre and the 1963 Baptist Church Bombing.
As for notorious Alabama criminals, some of the most famous include Nancy Hazel Doss, also known as the “Black Widow” killer, who killed up to 11 family members; Bobby Frank Cherry, a Ku Klux Klan member who was convicted of four counts of murder after the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 2002; and Joseph Dewey Akin, who was a doctor suspected of killing over 100 people during his 10-year career in medicine. These individuals are also known to have committed some of the most infamous Alabama murders.
If you’re interested in learning more about the horrific history of all murders in Alabama, you can find lists just by searching “list of murders in Alabama” or “list of Alabama murders.” If you’re interested in learning more about famous murders, a simple search of “Alabama famous murders” will find you the results you’re looking for.
Homicide Rate in Alabama
The homicide rate in Alabama, as of 2017, was 12.9, meaning that there are almost 13 homicides per 100,000 individuals living in Alabama. Alabama’s murders rate is the second highest in the United States, just behind Louisiana, whose homicide rate is 14.4 homicides per 100,000 residents. Knowing this, you might find yourself wondering, “Why is Alabama’s crime rate so high?”
The violent crime rate in Alabama has decreased from 5.2 incidents per 1,000 in 2020, to 5.1 per 1,000 in 2021. The violent crime rate in Montgomery, Alabama, remains statistically higher than the national violent crime rate in most categories. These categories include assault, murder, rape, and robbery. Although the crime statistics for how many murders in Alabama 2021 or how many murders in Montgomery, Alabama, 2021 have not been released, we can imagine a general homicide rate based on the statistics from 2020. According to the CDC, the homicide rate in Alabama as of 2020 was around 12.8 per 100,000 residents. So, to answer how many homicides in Alabama 2019 by looking at the state of Alabama’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR), there were 430 homicides in 2019 alone. To answer how many homicides in Montgomery, Alabama, 2021, we must look at the same report, which is from 2019. This report shows that there were around 43 homicides in 2019 alone in Montgomery County, Alabama.
Montgomery County Murders
In 2019, there were 43 Montgomery County murders alone. If you’re interested in learning more about these murders, such as the Montgomery County murders trial, Montgomery County murders evidence, or the Montgomery County murders crime scene photos, you can search all of these to find not only statistics regarding the crime rate and homicide rate in Montgomery County, Alabama, but also information regarding different cases.