In an unusual advisory, the Anchorage Police Department on Tuesday warned residents of the city not to travel alone at night in "isolated areas," days after an as-yet-unsolved double homicide occurred in a park along a popular trail.
In the statement, police asked citizens "to be cautious" late at night, "especially if they are in isolated areas like our parks, bike trails or unoccupied streets."
"If you do plan to be out late at night, make sure you travel with several friends and not alone," the statement said.
Police did not offer a specific reason why people should not travel late at night alone, other than saying that "criminal activity often increases late at night." The caution came after a wave of homicides in the city, including several unsolved killings. The FBI confirmed Tuesday that they were assisting APD in investigating some of those cases.
I am not going to lie to you, there has always been an element of danger in this city even back when I was a kid.
For a relatively small population in the state we have had far more than our fair share of serial killers:
No state in the country has a higher rate of serial murders than Alaska. As was the case in most other states, serial killers in Alaska claimed more victims in the 1980s than in any other decade. Robert Hansen, perhaps the most prolific serial killer in the state’s history, was sentenced to 461 years of prison in 1984 after confessing to the particularly gruesome murders 17 women. More than half of the 51 serial murders that occurred in Alaska took place between 1980 and 1990. Not only does Alaska have a higher incidence of serial killings than any other state, it also has the highest violent crime rate in the country.
And of course the majority of them lived in or around Anchorage.
We also have an extreme number of regular homicides, rapes, and assaults, many of them related to alcohol abuse.
This year alone we have already had over twenty murders, with four months left to go.
Yes the state is gorgeous, but it can also be deadly. And despite what you might hear the grizzly bears are NOT the most dangerous predators.
When you grow up here you quickly learn the rules. When and where you will be the most safe, where you should avoid going alone, and at what times of the night the city becomes the least safe.
Now I would not suggest that tourists need to stay away completely.
Most of the city is quite safe and right now breathtakingly beautiful.
However if I were a tourist I would ask about any dangerous places to avoid (Fairview, Mountain View, and Spenard, for a start.) and at what times it is best to avoid going on walks along the bike paths or in the parks.
Now you know why I tell people that this is the best place in the world to live, IF you can survive.