List of Birmingham homicides in 1969
This is a List of Birmingham homicides in 1969. It includes homicide cases occuring within the city limits during the calendar year. Note that not all homicides are ultimately ruled to be murder in courts of law.
Birmingham reported 92 homicide cases to the FBI in 1969.
- May 3: Azell Harris, 26, a Birmingham police officer, was killed in a shootout after he confronted a group of men burglarizing the cargo yard at Mercury Freight Lines in Smithfield, where he was employed as an off-duty security guard. Samuel Brown, Irving Crawford and Gloria Jean Cannon were arrested and charged. Brown, the shooter, was convicted and sentenced to death by electrocution.
- May 23: Karl Richerzhagen, 43, was stabbed to death on the 300 block of Carline Avenue in Pratt City. Jerry Lee Lane, a 17-year-old, was arrested and charged with murder.
- July 13: Kenneth Spencer, 26, a Birmingham police officer, was killed during an altercation at Harris Park pool in Ensley Highlands. Homer Slaughter was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. He briefly escaped in 1974 but was recaptured quickly.
- July 19, Marvin Butler, 19, was killed, reportedly by a street gang, in Collegeville.
Butler's murder in Collegeville highlighted a pronounced lack of communication between residents and police. In May 1970 the Birmingham Police Department launched the "Collegeville Pilot Project", headed by Captain B. R. Myers, to increase patrols and citizen interaction in the neighborhood. Police investigated not just criminal activity, but also assisted in addressing public nuisances such as missing street signs and unlicensed pig-raising. Due to insufficient funding, the program was curtailed before the Spring of 1971.
- "With pilot project, Collegeville makes beginning at cleaning up streets, crime" (March 9, 1971) The Birmingham News - via Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections
- Birmingham News reports accessed at the microfilm room of the Birmingham Public Library