Murders this Week: 5; Murders this Year: 34

This is the last Murder Ink column I will write for

City Paper


. I've been writing the column as a freelancer since leaving the paper in 2010, but going forward, the column will be written by current staff. When I created Murder Ink in 2004, nearly 300 people were being murdered in Baltimore City every year, losing their lives to violence so commonplace that their deaths weren't consistently covered in the media. Over the last eight and a half years, Murder Ink has chronicled 2,106 homicides and proved that Baltimoreans really do care about the people murdered on the streets of their city. I saw this concern in the researchers, community activists, journalists, victims' families, and readers who contacted me. I saw it in the music and art projects inspired by the column and in the people who sat for hours listening to Single Carrot Theatre's annual Murder Ink reading. Writing Murder Ink has often been heartbreaking. There are victims I will never forget-some because of the horror of their deaths and some because of the tragically mundane events that sparked them. Still, I am saddened to leave it behind. Making sure every homicide in Baltimore is marked is a mission that I continue to believe in. It's been an honor to report on this difficult issue for

City Paper

's readers.

The two people murdered on Feb. 24 in the 1700 block of Montpelier Street have been identified. They were Maurice Barfield, a 33-year-old African-American man, and Shantese Evans, a 26-year-old African-American woman.

Alysia Strickland, the woman found dead in a car in the 2000 block of North Monroe Street on Feb. 22, was Caucasian, not African-American as previously reported. We regret the error.

Saturday, March 2

4:52 A.M.

A Caucasian man was found lying in the 1100 block of Barclay Street, a block east of the MidTown-Belvedere neighborhood. He had been shot repeatedly in the back and died at a local hospital at 7:26 A.M. Police are waiting until they have notified the man's family of his death to release his name.

7:24 A.M.

Later that morning, Thabiti Wheeler, a 33-year-old African-American man, was discovered in the driver's seat of a car in the back alley of the 300 block of East 22nd Street. He had been shot and was dead.

9 P.M.

That night, an as-yet-unidentified man was shot in the head and body in the 1800 block of Presbury Street in Sandtown-Winchester. He died at a city hospital less than an hour later.

Sunday, March 3

5:12 P.M.


Twain Robinson, a 36-year-old African-American man, was stabbed several times in the abdomen inside a home in the 3100 block of Milford Avenue. When police arrived on the scene, a woman was giving Robinson chest compressions. Robinson was taken to an area hospital but died on arrival. A bloody knife was found in the home. Police believe a male stabbed Robinson and then fled.

6:35 P.M.

A little over an hour later, James Servance, a 32-year-old African-American man, was shot repeatedly in the head in the 1900 block of Walbrook Avenue around the corner from where Alysia Strickland and Taewon Tuck were killed last week. Servance died at 7:12 P.M. at a city hospital. Mondawmin is now tied with Sandtown-Winchester and Penrose/Fayette Street Outreach as the most murderous neighborhoods in the city, with three homicides each.