New Orleans U.S. murder capital again

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans is once again the U.S. murder capital after briefly losing the title.

Fresh FBI statistics show that with 64 killings per 100,000 people in 2008, New Orleans had the highest per capita murder rate in the United States, well ahead of second-place St. Louis, which had 47 murders per 100,000 people.

Baton Rouge, which gained population after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, came in No. 7 with 30 murders per 100,000.

The FBI’s report bases its per capita number on a New Orleans population of 281,440 for July 1, 2008. The Greater New Orleans Community Data Center put the city’s population for the first half of 2008 at 324,357. But even using the higher estimate, the city recorded 55 murders per 100,000 to still lead the nation.