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The Fallen

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It seems strange to call it a sign of progress. Richmond recorded only 32 homicides in 2008, according to police officials, the lowest murder rate in 37 years. It's a miraculous achievement in a town that once earned the distinction of Murder City, a place where 160 people were slain in 1994, where drugs and violence ran rampant.

A year ago, few could possibly fathom that the homicide rate could drop lower than 55, the total count for 2007. The numbers were a launch pad for the rising career of former Police Chief Rodney Monroe, who left to become chief in Charlotte, N.C., in May. That the bloodshed continues to dwindle is a sign of hope and progress, indeed.

Of course, that hardly any consolation to the families and loved ones who were lost to violence in 2008. No matter how far we've come, they stand as a reminder of how far we still have to go.

ANGELA SQUIRE, 33, Jan. 8

LUKE COCKEY, 24, Jan. 24

LOUIS SCROGGINS, 34, Jan. 30

JAMES PATILLO, 37, Feb. 4

WILLIE MARTIN, 35, Feb. 11

CLEMSON WILLIAMS, 45, Feb. 16

ANTHONY OWENS, 28, Feb. 23

JAMES WOOLFOLK, 39, March 6

MARILYN DANTZLER, 51, March 15

KEITH GREENE, 35, March 18

ELLA ROBINSON, 79, March 21

TYLER BINSTED, 19, March 27

FREDERICK WRIGHT, 65, April 2

THOMAS PLUMMER, 33, April 9

DONALD THOMAS, 31, April 15

ERICK YOUNGER, 19, April 16

DEMENTRIUS WILLIAMS, 51, April 19

ARNETTE KING, 59, April 27

MICHAEL TAYLOR, 45, June 8

DESHUN TAYLOR, 14, June 11

JAMES FOUST, 52, June 14

DORAL PATE, 37, June 21

JAVON DELEO, 1, July 24

LAMOAN HART, 20, Sept. 26

NATHANIEL MAYO, 52, Oct. 3

WILLIE MAYO, 55, Oct. 3

VIRGINIA WORSHAM, 83, Oct. 4

ERICA WILLIAMS, 21, Oct. 11

FREDDIE SPARROW, 47, Oct. 22

JAMAL HOLLAND, 19, Nov. 1

MARIJUANA THOMPSON, 31, Nov. 6

SHEROD COUSER, 28, Nov. 9

Source: Richmond Police Department

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