After covering every homicide in the District for more than four years, Homicide Watch D.C. will close January 1, 2015.
Chris and I launched Homicide Watch D.C. in September 2010 when we were D.C. residents. I ran the site, mostly out of D.C. Superior Court, for more than two years while I lived in D.C. For another two years, Chris and I have run the site from Boston.
While Homicide Watch D.C. has continued as a high-quality local news site, thanks in large part to our crew of very talented interns, the reality is that local news should be directed by people who live in the community. Without any local owners, we have decided that it is no longer feasible to continue publishing.
This means that homicides that are committed after December 31 will not be covered on Homicide Watch D.C. We won’t add new arrests to the database. We will regularly check the case status of cases that remain open at the end of this year, and we will update the database with relevant dismissals, acquittals, guilty pleas and convictions. We will also continue to moderate comments.
In a few weeks we will begin publishing our final Year in Review series. It will, as always, be full of feature stories, guest columns, and a data-driven look back on 2014. But after December 31 we will not have reporters at the courthouse and we will no longer be covering hearings or trials.
We hope that the closure will not be permanent, that a local news organization, university, non-profit, or other group — maybe you — might want to bring the site back.
We hope so, because the value of Homicide Watch D.C. is the same as it was in 2010. Because the value of Homicide Watch D.C. is the same as Homicide Watch Chicago, Trenton, Boston. Because I know — from your comments, your letters, your courtroom conversations, and your support of the launch of our apprenticeship program two years ago — that this is a community that cares.
It has been an honor and a privilege to share in your caring.