Murder Rate Jinx Strikes Again

You can't help but cringe when you see a headline like the one that appeared in the Sun-Sentinel last week -- "Broward County Homicide Rate Is Slowing." That was last Monday, when through the year's first quarter the county had seen only 17 murders, compared to an average of 21 over the same period in previous years. Not a big difference, but I suppose that it's newsworthy only because one would expect recent economic pressures to create a boost in violent crime.

Exactly one week later, the county's seen two absolutely gruesome crimes. On Saturday, a 16-year-old with good grades and ambition for a music career was shot dead while coming from a Boyd Anderson High School talent show in Lauderdale Lakes. WSVN has a heart-breaking interview with the boy's mother.

Then there's today's attack on a 21-year-old Miami woman, allegedly by Alan Dixon, a 28-year-old from Orlando who has a long rap sheet and a bullet-scarred torso with which to intimidate witnesses. That ploy worked, judging by the fact witnesses gave interviews from the neck down to CBS4. The victim, Samantha O'Neil, was found in a State Route 84 motel and rushed to the hospital. Witness reports suggest that she was severely beaten and that she feared for her life. Authorities have yet to release a report on O'Neil's condition.

A SWAT team thought they had Dixon trapped in a hotel room, but he's on the loose.

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