Homicide: life on the tweet - the murder map of London

There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it I have now surpassed. My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone, in fact I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape, but even after admitting this there is no catharsis, my punishment continues to elude me and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself; no new knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession has meant nothing.

- Patrick Bateman, American Psycho

This is not an exercise designed to enlighten.

We've been contacted by a few readers about the online London murder map, which promises to be the definitive guide to homicide in the capital.

It comes with this nauseating cod-sociological blurb:

We hope to provide greater insight into this most destructive of human acts.

Free from Government bureaucracy or political agendas, the site goes beyond bare statistics to provide the stories behind crime figures.

Murder Map is an ever evolving project, whose scope stretches into the future as well as the past, and the database will constantly be updated with new cases, so the picture it creates is as complete as possible.

What truths this picture will reveal, or what conclusions can be drawn from it, is up to the users of the site.

Murder Map is intended to be a forum for ideas about criminal justice and social policy as well as a valuable resource for anyone interested in tackling the dangers faced by Londoners today.

Basically, it seems mainly to have been built for the sort of person who buys part work magazines that build week-by-week to give you unparalleled insight in to the mind of a serial killer. But still, it exists. And the level of interest it's produced on Twitter is strong. And we are weak.

Not sure what, if anything, it tells us about our patch, except that it's not as bad as some, but worse than others.