You’re More Likely to Be Murdered In Eureka, Than Los Angeles


L.A. is reported to have over 450 criminal street gangs with a combined membership of over 45,000 individuals. Per capita, as of 2012, there was 7.8 murders per 100,000 residents (last year the murder rate went down).

Eureka has a population of about 27,000 people. With 3 murders so far this year, our per capita rate of murder is 11.1 murders per 100,000 residents. That is over a 40% higher rate of murder in Eureka as compared with L.A.!

The most recent case on Harris and the murder of Father Freed have a common thread…a broken mental health system. Both of the suspects had been in and out of the justice system, were mentally ill, and were still allowed to walk the streets without much (if any) supervision.

Chief Mills and other law enforcement heads have tried spin the story of Father Freed’s murder as a result of bad jail policies. The fact is that cops, the Probation Department and the Department of Health and Human Services haven’t been adequately dealing with the huge number of severely mentally ill criminals in Humboldt. Whether it’s EPD not taking a mentally ill person to Sempervirens, or Probation not recommending mandatory mental health treatment as a condition of probation, the end result is that dangerous/unstable people are walking the streets of Eureka with no accountability.

The citizens of Eureka should be outraged with the lack of response regarding these glaring issues. Hopefully, it won’t continue to take horrendous murders and assaults for the decision makers to start trying to tackle the problem of severely dangerous mentally ill criminals in Humboldt. Instead of pointing fingers, leaders like Chief Mills should take a hard look at what their departments can do to help make this community safer.

Examiner staff also wonders about the policy change Chief Mills implemented regarding press releases. He stated that he wanted to create a “positive” image of Eureka:

That sentiment leaves us with a big question mark above our heads. With 3 murders in the first 3 months of the year, it stands to reason that there may be more tragedy. If we have 2-3 more murders, that would put us in the top 25 cities for per capita homocide. Above 3 murders, and we will jump into the top ten worst cities per capita for being killed (along with the likes of Oakland, Flint, Detroit, etc.).

Is keeping the public uninformed on how dangerous their city is a good idea? We’ll leave that up to you to decide. But one things for certain, Mills sentiment seems to resemble polishing a turd.


35 thoughts on “You’re More Likely to Be Murdered In Eureka, Than Los Angeles

  1. Statistical drama! How exciting…


  2. why does this blog keep picking on Eureka This is a nice town with good people if you don’t like it get out


  3. If Eureka has three murders In 3 months and the trend continues, there will be 12 murders this year, per 27,000 residents. That is a murder rate of 44.1 per 100,000 per year.

    The TE Staff is a bit math challenged this morning (you are 1/4 right) but….

    If that is true then that is higher than LAs all time highest murder rate of 34 per 100000 in 1980.



  4. Whats with the police hushing up news on home invasions? I hear about them from neighbors. I never see any news about them. It seems like it’s really out of hand in this berg


  5. eurekanative is kind of an example of what Chief Mills seems to be going for: If you don’t talk about it… it goes away.

    In one regard Chief Mills is right… the daily publishing of police reports does help to heighten the impression that everything is going to hell. If you don’t hear about the home invasions, robberies, burglaries, beatings, muggings and other social happenings across town from you; you won’t know about them and you won’t be stressed by them.

    Anyway, Mr. Jones: If you don’t know about the home invasions you’ll be happier. See? The City of Eureka loves you and doesn’t want you to be unhappy. Look! A shiny thing!

    So, if you believe that only an informed citizenry can possibly grasp and solve the problems of society… Well then you are WRONG (according to eurekanative and Chief Mills).

    You see? Once again the Tuluwat Examiner is on the wrong side of an issue. Bad Tuluwat Examiner! Bad! Go to you room! No X-Box for an hour! Bad!

    I’ll leave it to the Math Mavens to sort out just precisely how statistically screwed we are.


  6. It’s a conspiracy! The CIA is sending in undercover assassins disguised as behaviorally challenged or homefree young men to create an appearance of a hostile environment so people will move away; Next the corporations (RJ Reynolds, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Monsanto) can come in and buy up all of the cheap land and water to grow marijuana and GM agriculture and minimum-wage slave-labor manufacturing and then ship products form our deep-water port! Humboldt Bay will be an international hub in 20 years, watch! It is starting now! It is all done by the federal government for global posturing! There will be a 623.7% increase in murder and violent crime this year, MARK MY WORDS…


  7. I live in what is considered a “safe” part of town. I have been in the same house for 22 years. Here is a list of what I’ve had happen.
    1. garage broken into, $11,000 in tools, personal items taken.
    2. Truck stolen, recovered two weeks later $ 14,000 in repairs.
    3. Police chase car of gang through neighborhood, found a 45 cal. in the bushes in the morning after.
    4. Guy running down the street with a gun after shooting a neighbors house, swat team came but couldn’t find him.
    5. Meth dealer moves in down the street, took months to get the police to react and make arrests.

    At my retail store, of 22 years
    1. five plate glass windows broken at night by stones, brick, gun fire. $600 ea.
    2. shop lifting all the time.
    3. night break in. Safe taken, cash drawer money and money waiting for deposit.
    4. Smash and grab, silver ring tray from case.
    5. Employee purse taken from back room.

    This is just a partial list. So if you think it is safe to live and work in Eureka, think again. THE GOOD AND HONEST PEOPLE OF EUREKA HAVE BEEN VERY SUPPORTIVE OF MY BUSINESS AND MY THANKS TO THEM. But there is a very large criminal element here and people need to wake up to it and keep the pressure on officials to tackle the real problems all Eurekans face.

    Liked by 1 person


    Hard to argue with that — since I never go to LA, the chances of me getting murdered in LA have got to be pretty low.

    On a more serious note, you can’t really reach any meaningful conclusions about the likelihood of being murdered in a city the size of Eureka, based on 3 murders in 3 months. 3 months is only a snapshot, not nearly enough data to extrapolate from in a meaningful way. The smaller the time-frame, and the more rare the event the less meaningful any extrapolation is, because there’s a greater chance that extrapolated numbers are going to jump around wildly.

    The easiest way to demonstrate this problem is to take it to the extreme — let’s say you tried to calculate the “likelihood” of being murdered in Eureka every day. So on the very first day of the year, there was a homicide. So we’ve got our first bit of data, now let’s get to extrapolating — if there was one homicide today “and that trend continues” then we’ll have 365 homicide by the end of the year, which yields an extrapolated annual homicide rate of 1,350 homicides per 100,000 residents. Oh my God, we’re the most dangerous place ON THE PLANET! The next day, no murders, and your extrapolated annual homicide rate for the next 364 days is 0 homicides. Now we’re the safest place on the planet. Did the “likelihood” of a person being murdered in Eureka really change that dramatically between one day and the next? Of course not. And the same problem exists if you use a time frame of one week, or one month, or three months — the problem lessens as the time frame grows longer and the numbers grow larger, but with something as rare as murder, and with population numbers as small as Eureka, even the annual homicide rates can jump around a lot based on one or two more homicides, or one or two less, even though there may be no real trend going on. An average over a few years is a lot more meaningful.

    And when dealing with municipal crime rates then there’s also the issue of jurisdiction. If a murder happens on one side of Harrison, it will be counted toward the City of Eureka’s homicide rate, but if it happens on the other side of the street, it will not be counted as part of the City’s homicide rate. When the numbers are so small, one homicide being just inside or just outside City Limits can swing the extrapolated numbers wildly, but the actual risk to area residents will be the same no matter which side of the street it was.

    All that being said, if Eureka really did end up with 12 homicides this year, that would be quite a spike, since the entire county (including Eureka and the other cities) averaged about 7.3 homicides per year from 2009-2011, which works out to about 5.4 homicides per 100,000 county residents.*

    *See Table 15:


  9. Thanks anon you are correct. The small sample size renders the conclusion pretty useless. I would be very surprised if the murder rate actually reaches the level of Los Angeles in 1980.

    However there are statistical tools designed to measure the probability of rare events. The Poisson Distribution for one. It might not be that unusual to have 3 murders in three months, as long as there are corresponding murder free periods,

    So we don’t need to just throw up our hands. Statistics can tell us something.

    Properly applied, the Poisson could tell us how likely it is to have 3 murders in 3 months in Eureka. If the chances are very small, then there might be a trend. Or not.


  10. Isosceles is probably technically right about the statistics being too small.
    It’s still 3 murders.
    I am not going to be sticking my head in the sand like dip shit green bat wants. I have been following this bats comments for awhile on this site and the bat is always defending the powers that be and trying to divert attention away from the points being made by others. Bat you have distinct attack that gives you away. You debate, you lose, then attack and ridicule when you don’t get traction with what your selling.
    My house is up for sale. A decade in Eureka is 10 years too long for my family. We moved to what was supposed to be the safe part of town. what a joke, break-ins, druggies, gang graffiti, vandalism, crazy people wandering the streets. No thanks!


  11. I have lived in big cities. Eureka is no where near as violent as a big city.

    Its anecdotal but I believe it to be true based on my life experience.


  12. I too have lived in big cities. Never have I seen a higher concentration of derelicts, crank/heroin addicts, and mentally ill folks in one place. Just drive down 4th, 5th and Broadway. It’s almost laughable that our Chamber of Commerce signs almost always have passed out drunks or heroin users “on the nod” laying beneath them. Ha! The Chamber of Commerce is almost directly across the street from a county run parolee halfway house (actually more of a converted hotel).

    Isosceles, you must live in a posh Cutten or Lumbar Hills neighborhood. I live on the west side of Eureka, and have been a victim of crime every year I have lived here. Burglarized in both home and vehicle, random booms (gunshots every other week close by where I sleep), home invasions nearby, and random cranked out people trespassing or knocking on my door late at night. In fact, if I could afford to move I would. Anecdotal or not, you’re just plain wrong.


  13. The murder rate is a stat that is hard to relate to. Not enough to make us perceive the personal danger. However, the other crime stats here have relevance to most of us. Many of us have been the target of crime in Eureka, and more than once for most of us. We should be thankful that the lesser criminals are not murders too. However that is about all I feel thankful for, when it comes to local crime. If you don’t see it, you are blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other.


  14. “Isosceles is probably technically right about the statistics being too small.
    It’s still 3 murders….

    …I am not going to be sticking my head in the sand like dip shit green bat wants”

    Huh? You seem to be confused. I’m not encouraging anyone to stick their head in the sand. Sorry to hear you don’t feel safe in your neighborhood to the point where you feel the need to leave. That truly sucks.


  15. Well what they didn’t mention is that the state has been giving fresh out of prison convicts a one way bus ticket here for many years. Mostly because our social system gives out the most assistance. And why would they need assistance we might ask? Because once you’re convicted, its a life of minimum wage. Which most people know is nearly impossible to make living on. Not to mention the fact that a lot of these people had preexisting mental conditions in the first place. I think if were going to believe the hysteria then we need to start asking the right questions.


  16. What ever the right question is, Eureka has a very big crime problem that demands some REAL attention. Start by beefing up the police force to it’s recommended level. A short staffed force will never get the problems at least to a manageable level.And how about a city council that actually UNDERSTANDS THE PROBLEM, and is willing to adjust city spending to reflect their concern.


  17. I have had my front door kicked in and all my electronics, jewelry, tools, and other valuables stolen three times now in Arcata. I happen to have found out that the people who are responsible for this live in Eureka and go around targeting houses to rob. The authorities know who these people are, however they tell me that “their hands are tied” and “there’s nothing they can do about it”. Meanwhile, I am constantly seeing articles about small time marijuana busts resulting in average non-violent people getting caught up in the system that seems to be incapable of keeping the real criminals (those who comit crimes where there are victims) off the streets. I am completely fed up with the worthless police and legal system in this area, it seems rigged.


  18. Humboldt State University is loaded with rich kids that steal each others stuff all the time according to their police reports. They are not older derelicts from Eureka or Arcata proper.

    As for Eureka, it is a city of 60,000, not 28,000, when you include the attached communities of Myrtle Town, Cutten, Pine Hill and even Humboldt Hill. Eureka is their downtown too, where they find poverty-wage employment, overpriced shopping, inadequate social and mental health services, and little entertainment, unless you count all the liquor stores.

    The crime statistics are still poor, and much can be done, except from leadership focused on the needs of their development industry contributors, not improvements to the quality of life that attracts capital investment.


  19. i was an arcata resident for nearly 9 years and i worked at a business on s. broadway a few years ago and literally every day had to tell the same group of 10 or so different mentally ill and/or homeless people to stop gathering in the parking lot to drink, sell drugs and ask for money from customers. the cops would occasionally come to chase them off but they were back the next day. i found human waste, syringes, and burnt up spoons on a regular basis on the property. the business was forced to use it’s own money to build a fence along the area where people gathered and all this accomplished was to move them out to the sidewalk next to the fire hydrant.
    these drug users acted with indifference to the law, knowing that they are called for trespassing so often that they hardly take it seriously. they even sounded a bit annoyed when we would actually contact them for assistance. “are you sure you can’t get them to leave on your own? are they actually impacting the business itself?”
    it’s a shame. eureka has the potential to be an appealing and quaint little town but poverty and drugs are so visibly rampant it’s no wonder it earned the nickname “eutweaka.”


    • Perhaps your business could install security cameras that film and record the activities? Cameras may also be a deterrent to these activities.


  20. Watchman, Anonymous, Anonymous and Anonymous:

    You all bring up a very good point: Where are the priorities? It’s not just a Eureka problem as these folks go where the “hunting is good” so to speak (all of us being the deer in the spotlight).

    I would like to see a Measure O where the funds are totally (not somewhat) spent on police and fire services in Eureka.

    I would like to see a county BOS who will look at more things than who gets to feed at the trough; like how do we improve Mental Health and Drug services so that those that are ready for help can actually get that help. We need a method of handling homeless where those who want help get help and those who don’t are managed.

    I would like to see a policing change where victim-less crimes (such as pot possession and production) are placed behind the priority of violent and property crimes. I’m tired of Law Enforcement going after the “Low Hanging Fruit” of marijuana arrests where the need is definitely elsewhere.

    These “would like to see’s” won’t solve all of the problems but I’ll take whatever progress we can get.


  21. What I was saying above is that the numbers don’t prove anything one way or another. But to say that you are more likely to get murdered in Eureka based on 3 murders is faulty. That’s all. I agree with the premise that the Eureka City Councils priorities are completely whack. I don’t agree with the premise that you are more likely to get murdered here until more facts are in.

    There is a big difference between violent crime and petty theft. Most of what is being described in this thread is petty theft. When you have something stolen from you its a pisser (yes its happened to me here too) but its not like getting shot dead on the street in an act of random violence. This is what happens in BIG cities.

    What is crazy is to have a small police department continually running 10 percent understaffed while you are spending a million dollars a years on a fucking Zoo.

    When you elect people based upon a sitcom election campaign like the Brady Bunch, you can expect comedy in government. And you’ve got it here in Eureka.


  22. “I too have lived in big cities. Never have I seen a higher concentration of derelicts, crank/heroin addicts, and mentally ill folks in one place.”

    I moved here from Stockton, CA…….. We have it good here …… Yes there are murders and crime….. but there are also a lot more people thinking about how to change that …. I dare anyone of you to spend a year in Stockton…..see all the derelicts …….the gangsters ….. the crack heads robbing you in broad daylight……. Hang out on Wilson way and then come back and tell me how bad it is here……I am sure this comment won’t go over very well but we DO have it good here ……and we should all raise up and work on changing what we don’t like……..


  23. I’ve lived in both places over 20 years and they haven’t got me yet. Fear is the real killer. If all the good people banded together and refused to be victims the “bad guys” wouldn’t stand a chance! Rise up Eureka!


  24. Wow now that’s a real distinction being able to compare favorably to Stockton!
    Stockton ranks as the ten most dangerous city in the whole country!

    10. Stockton, California
    Population: 292,047
    Violent Crime Per 1,000: 13.8
    2010 Murders: 49
    Median Income: $45,730 (8.9% below national average)
    Unemployment Rate: 18.4% (9.4% above national average)

    With a jobless rate of 18.4%, up from 18.1% a year ago, Stockton, California has one of the worst unemployment problems in the country. The huge percentage of unemployed residents may have contributed to horrible crime rates in the city, which is located 40 miles east of Oakland and San Francisco.
    Stockton was rated one of the most miserable cities to live in the country by Forbes in March, 2010. Violent crime was one of the chief measurements for its ranking. Of the 267 cities with populations over 100,000, Stockton has the 27th highest number of murders per 1,000 people and the 12th most aggravated assaults per 1,000. Last year, recognizing the crime problems in the city, the state temporarily diverted hundreds of California Highway Patrol officers to aid the city’s overwhelmed police department. (AP Photo/Bob Galbraith) More From 24/7 Wall St.:

    I feel so much better about Eureka now! it isn’t as bad as Stockton!


  25. There are always two narratives about “Crime in Eureka.”

    The first is the fear based drumbeat of crime crime crime in Eureka! Tweakers! Home Invasions! Murder and mayhem on the streets! Psychos stalking though our neighborhoods! This narrative is for the local shrubs.

    The second narrative is for the tourists and the “outside investors”. Welcome to Eureka! We have lots of safe things for you to do here. Come to our Zoo! Come to our Walmart! Come to our extremely safe and tastefully cool Victorian seaport compleat with horse and carriage!!!! We’ve got a fucking BevMo now! We need a fucking Olive Garden and we’re good to go!

    Which is it?


  26. It doesn’t matter really today whether there is a crime wave in Eureka or not.

    What is demonstrable is that the EPD is understaffed at the lower echelon levels by statewide standards.

    They promised you that Measure O would fix this problem that has existed now for years. It did not fix the problem.

    It is now obvious that Chief Mills has the same problem that Neilsen did. A chronically understaffed EPD with a city council seemingly helpless to do anything about it.


  27. Isosceles there IS a continuing crime wave in Eureka.
    Chief Garr Neilsen got us as close to fully staffed as we’ve been in 40 years.
    It would have been fully staffed if City Manager Tyson wasn’t sabotaging his every move.
    Measure O hasn’t fixed the problem because it’s been squandered by the Brady bunch.
    You say helpless, I say this was their agenda all along, when they ran they told us they would cut police and fire before the Zoo.
    I lay this disaster right where it belongs at the feet of this City Council and Mayor


  28. Cut the problem at the root. Elect a new city council. I am with you. Who are we running against Brady?


  29. Whoever wrote this is so dumb. A few murders and everyone is tripping balls. Its making eureka sounds like such a bad place to stay. Lets jus say that the cops aren’t doing their jobs well.


  30. One of the reason Eureka has not incorporated its outlying areas of 35,000 additional residents is because the development industry that controls local politics would suddenly be exposed for the costs of over-development.

    With a realistic population of 60,000+, suddenly, it would be clear that Eureka would fall disastrously behind most other cities in its expenditures on public services, safety, infrastructure, schools, etc.

    Our media is not known for informing residents about uncomfortable public realities.


  31. Now there’s an idea. Annex Cutten and those other areas that are part of Greater Eureka. Time for them to pay their fair share of fire, police and city infrastructure that they enjoy at a discount now. They are getting somewhat of a free ride on the backs of us Eurekans as things stand.

    How would the Brady Bunch feel bout that?


  32. Born and Lived in Eureka 24 years, there was to much pot most of my life then 10 years ago i saw the other drugs making there way in and i Left thank god.
    Theres a high # of mentally ill that ask for bus tickets to humbolt from there centers all over the USA saying theres jobs there(so they send them so they dont have to bother with them any more) I have seen this. I can’t say why but i think it would have somthing to do with drugs and wellfair
    and the system can’t keep up.


  33. That seems to be the way to go these days, Just promote the possitive. Which puts the citizens in a state of safeness, when there actually in danger.How unsafe is that (very) politicians should not have the power to do such a thing. Personally if someone told me that if i turn that corner i will be hit in the head with a stick. I will not turn that corner ( someone has made me aware of whats going on around that corner) Now me not knowing that this could be a possibility could harm me.I would be less aware because I am in a false state of safeness. So I will take my happy ass around that corner,and get hit in the head. I say to the Media!! Speak Up!! Speak Out!!. Report what is going on,If there is positive report it, If there is negitive report it.


  34. I live on the far outskirts of Ferndale and in the last year we have seen a substantial rise in breakins thefts and the like. I myself stopped a male in his early 20s from breaking into my dads shop. Luckily I was in the kitchen which has a clear view of the shop door that he was trying to kick in. The way I stopped him was with a pistol that I carry around the house. All I had to do was point it at him and say get out of here. No point in calling police since he would have been long gone before the police arrived. Wanna stop would be robbers, thrives and murderers? Buy a gun and train with it and then get your concealed license so you can carry in public. You don’t have to kill someone but you need to be ready and train for if you have to. Usually just pointing it at someone makes them give up. I’d rather be judged by twelve then carried by six. Better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it.


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