The original and perhaps best known instance of Homicide Watch, Homicide Watch DC, is shutting down. I have a whole lot of thoughts, feelings, and opinions here, but founder Laura Amico has a wonderful summary I can't beat:
The question I’m most often asked about Homicide Watch DC is what difference it has made. I’m asked if homicides have declined, or prosecutions improved. I’m asked if justice is being better served.
The truth is that I don’t know.
Homicide Watch DC is defined by the space that it has created for all of us to gather. I hope that however you’ve come to this site — whether you’ve had a member of your family killed, or a member of your family charged in a homicide, whether you’ve taught victims or suspects, prosecuted or defended them, or lived next door to them — that you’ve had a place to come to learn, to share, to build connections and to understand.
Our success, for me, is measured by ourselves. By the families that comfort one another online. By the friends who live far away and each day visit Homicide Watch to see if there is news about a case. I measure it in the suspects’ families, unable to talk about what they’re experiencing with their neighbors and friends, turning to the Homicide Watch community where others understand. By the teachers, co-workers, neighbors who stay in touch with one another, a network of memory. By the courtroom clerks, defense attorneys, prosecutors, detectives, US marshals, victim and witness advocates, judges and all others.