Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

St. Louis Is the Murder Capital of Missouri

Posted By on Thu, Mar 17, 2016 at 6:30 AM

  • SHUTTERSTOCK/Sherry V Smith
When it comes to murder in Missouri, there's no area more dangerous than greater St. Louis. 

That's the conclusion of the website RoadSnacks, which crunched the numbers for 2014 and found that St. Louis and its suburbs far surpass the Kansas City area in homicide. 

St. Louis notched the highest spot on the list, and two suburbs, Wellston and Northwoods, also made the top five. Our big-city neighbor to the west wasn't even close: Kansas City was No. 5, and its metro area scored its only other spot on the list at No. 10, which went to the suburb of Grandview. The bootheel, it turns out, is much more dangerous.

A bit about the methodology: The study looked at both the total number of murders in any given city and the number as adjusted for population. According to the authors, "We felt as if a small place with 2,500 people and two murders makes it a lot more dangerous than a city of 25,000 people with one murder." 

For anyone who wants to argue that the city/county split artificially inflated St. Louis' homicide totals, keep in mind it could have been even worse. The study surveys a time before the homicide rate spiked, in 2015. Expect an equally grim conclusion for 2015.

See also: In 2015, St. Louis Is Heading to Its Highest Murder Rate in Decades. How Can We Stop the Bloodshed?

While St. Louis had the highest number of murders, and finished highest overall in the study's methodology, honors for the highest murder rate per capita went to Wellston. With a population of just 2,337, the north-county suburb still recorded the fourth highest total of murders in the state. Chances of being murdered in Wellston, according to RoadSnacks? One in 389. In St. Louis, it's just one in 2,003.

Here are the top 10 cities for murder in Missouri, per RoadSnacks.

1. St. Louis
2. Wellston
3. Northwoods
4. Charleston
5. Pacific
6. Kansas City
7. Doniphan
8. Kennett
9. Willow Springs
10. Grandview

Stay safe out there.

See also: St. Louis Has the Highest Murder Rate in the Nation

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation