Death in Oslo
A ranking of murder rates among European capitals shows a surprise new entrant in 2011 – the Norwegian capital Oslo, where the rate jumped to 15 per 100,000, beating Moscow, Amsterdam, and Vilnius to the top. The cause, of course, was the brutal killing of 77 people by Anders Behring Breivik, whose trial came to an end on 24 August 2012.
Still, disheartened Norwegians should take comfort in the fact that it could be far worse. In cities such as Cape Town and San Salvador, the rate reaches as high as 46 and 59 per 100,000, respectively. And even these rates pale in comparison to Europe’s own bloody history. In sixteenth-century Stockholm, as many as 70 people per 100,000 were murdered in a given year, according to data compiled by Swiss sociologist Manuel Eisner.
The prize for medieval violence, however, goes to fourteenth century Oxford, where in one year in the 1340s, the rate reached 110 per 100,000. Relative to population, that is about one Breivik massacre every month.