In this world, personal values ​​-whether he is an experienced old detective, conservative journalists, and cold and violent street boys -have become increasingly irrelevant.

Wen | David Simon

Editor’s note:

Baltimore is one of the cities with the highest crime rate in the United States. On average, two people died every three days. The city police station has become the center of the vortex of political, corruption, and good and evil. David Simon is the first reporter who has been allowed to track the Baltimore Police Police Squad in history. In 1988, he deeply investigated the police station as an internship police station. He wrote the book “Fierce Year” in documentary, and realized the criminal phenomenon of American society and the law enforcement behavior of the police. The book and other works of Simon were later adapted into the American drama “Fire”, “Critical Case: Street Life”, etc., and was known as the masterpiece of the golden age of the American drama. The latest Chinese version of “Fierce Year” is recently launched by Shanghai Translation Publishing House. The following content is taken from the book.


This book originated from a Christmas Eve 20 years ago. That night, I spent time with Roger Nolan, Ruscari, Donald Kim Kaide, and Bill Lanji. I observed the panic incidents in the murder team, ready to write a small topic, reporting how those who were suspected of murder spent Christmas Eve. Perhaps it is because of a perverted psychology. I personally like the story of the Christmas Eve killing case, and I am quite upright and think that some readers of the Balt Motor Sun have the same interest as me.

So, I took a bottle of wine to the municipal bureau, passed through the guard room, and came to the murder team. A street shooting case occurred that night, a death case of drug excessive drugs, and a weapon killing case. With the advent of the day, the detectives were busy with the work at hand, and festive music came from the TV. I sat down with them, and Calney opened the bottle.

The sound of the elevator door opened outside the door, and Kim Kaide returned. He just handled the shooting case -the killer’s marksmanship was not allowed. The bullet was shot into the victim’s thigh. The victim is currently being rescued: he should be able to live to the New Year.

“I think most people should get up now. They will go under the Christmas tree and find the gifts given to them by Santa Claus. Tie, wallet, or something,” Kim Kaide said. “But this poor dog Hybrid, his Christmas gift turned out to be a bullet. “

We all laughed. Then -I always remember that moment — Bill Langshi said, “There are so many things we do here. If anyone can write our stories over the past year, fuck, it must be a good book.”

Two years later, Bill Langshi -willing God would bless him -died of heart disease, and my personal situation was not good. Although my belongings were profitable, they made trouble because of the arrears of medical insurance benefits and unions. Reporters have begun to protest the parade -in the next few decades, this protest parade will become quite common. I hate the boss of the newspaper. Suddenly, there was an idea in my mind: What would happen if I stayed and left for a while? I can neither unemployment, nor can I temporarily say goodbye to the news editor room.

At this time, I remembered Langshi’s words. I immediately wrote a letter to Balt’s Police Officer Edward J. Dirman, and asked him if he could make a year of reports for his detectives.

Yes, he wrote back and told me.

To this day, I still don’t know why he agreed to me. The sheriff responsible for the murder team rejected my idea, and the second leader did not agree. They consulted the opinions of the murder team’s detectives, and most of the alarms felt that it was unreliable to follow a reporter to track the report. Fortunately, the police station is a place to strictly enforce the order of superiors. It is not a democratic land no matter what aspects are judged.

I have never asked Dilman. Before the publication of this book -in fact, he died before I was inspected. “You want to know why he let you come in?” Later, Ricci Jalvi once said to me, “There is a tumor in the guy’s head. Do you still need other explanations?”

maybe. However, many years later, Dick Lanham, the commander of the Crime Investigation Department, told me that Dirman might have his reason. In the process of discussing whether I allowed me to come to report, Dirman once said that in his police career, the few years of the murder team’s detective was the most pleasant and cherished memories. I would like to believe that this is why he allowed me to come to report, although what Jalvi said it also made sense.

So I came to the murder team in January 1988. My position is an unnecessary “internship police”, and my colleague is the 19th alarms and police prosecutors under Dario -they are all men.



There are rules between us. I can’t tell the newspaper what I hear; I have to obey the orders of the detective or police prison; I cannot use their real name without being allowed; when the manuscript is completed, it must also accept the police The review of the legal department of the bureau -this is not to review whether there are sensitive content in the book, but to ensure that the information I disclosed will not affect the handling of the case. In the end, concerns in this area are proven to be unnecessary.

One case followed a case, one rotation and then rotating. Under the cautious eyes of the detectives, I madly record their words, the details of the case, the personal information of the criminal, and my personal impression. I read all the dossiers in the previous year, and I also paid special attention to the dossier in H -the big case I was chased when I was a journalist: the shooting in the Volun residential area; The case; the Barx Dell fire in Murphy’s residential area in 1982; the massacre in Harlem Park in 1983. It is hard to believe that I can walk into the administrative office with a mandatory manner, and pick up a dose of dose to read it. It is difficult for me to believe that I have not been driven away from the scene of the crime and the interrogation room. It is difficult for me to believe that the executives of the police station did not change the idea to sweep me out.

With the longer and longer time of the warnings, they all let go of their alertness. At the beginning, some of them were still very cautious. As soon as I saw me coming, I would change my side tone. However, gradually, they no longer performed in front of me, and they turned back to their original themselves.

I learned to drink. I have lost my credit card several times because of drinking. These detectives always persuade me to drink, toast one by one, saying that I still have many places to learn. Once, we drank until the Macedestle Bar closed. I walked out and walked out with Donald Walden. At that time, Walden -he allowed me to go to handle the case with him, but always looked down on me a bit — suddenly yelling at me: “Okay, Simon. Fuck, what do you want to see? Fuck, you What else can we show you? “

I didn’t answer. My desk is full of notes, which are all chaotic details recorded -even I don’t even know what to do with them, and I even feel scared. The original idea was that I had a day of rest for one day every week, and it turned out that it was completely impossible. At that time, my marriage was about to be finished, but I had to work every day. If the detectives go to the bar to drink after get off work, I must accompany it.

I usually have two rounds of class. I will come to the murder team at 4 pm and wait until dawn. Sometimes, I will follow the night shift to drink. We will drink until dawn. When I got home, I fell asleep and slept until it was dark. I am magically found that if you are drunk somewhere and drink a drink the next morning, then you will feel much better.

I remember one morning in February. I was still drunk, and I did not go to the murder team on time on time. Then I received a call from Walden. He said that they found the body of a minor girl in the reservoir mountain road. Ten minutes later, I came to the scene of the crime and saw the hollowed body of Latonia Valencus -this case became a clue that runs through the book.

I started to follow up this case and began to understand all aspects. Pellerini, a new police detective recently. Ajelton, a lonely person in the murder team, deputy of the alarm in this case. Walden, the soul of the murder team. I started talking less and listening more; I started to learn silently and try not to destroy the delicate atmosphere in the office.

After a period of time, because I came into contact with almost all cases, I always didn’t leave the office, so I became the “consultation desk” of the murder team:

“Where is Ballo?”

“He went to the court.

“Is Kevin with him?”

“No, he went to drink.”

“with whom?”

“Rick James and Linda. And Jalvi.”

“Who was responsible for the case of Peisen Street yesterday?”

“Ijilton. He went home after he went to forensic doctor. He came back at 6 o’clock.”

But in most cases, I am just their jokes, a little guy who is in his twenties. “You are a mouse who is only thrown into the cat’s nest,” Terry McLlaney said, “Fortunately, we are not interested in you.”

Donald Sterest Herch took me to the corpse checkroom, while looking at me with fear of looking at the corpse and laughing. Dave Brown took me to the restaurant opposite Payne Street, while eating the disgusting sausage and eggs, describing the dead body, to consider my endurance. Ricci Jalvi asked me to interrogate with him. When the interrogation was over, he suddenly turned to ask me if I had any questions. I asked the question to be like a reporter, and he laughed. And if I fell asleep during the night shift, I would see them sneak a photo of my Pokel when I woke up.

Half a year later, McLlani wrote a job evaluation for me -all the new police officers of Baltimore hated this set. “Prank experts,” he wrote in it. “Although the work task of Simon, the internship police is still unclear, he pays attention to personal hygiene and cares about our work. However, we have not done it for his sexual power for the time being learn.”

Every time I go home, I sleep on Xi Mengsi in the bedroom. This is no longer a home, and most of the furniture inside is left by my ex -wife. I spend more time in front of the computer than sleeping. I will organize all the messy notes, write them into a stream of conscious text, and try to archive different cases, characters, and events.

The case of Ronia Valenz has not broken. I’m terrible -this is not because there is a murderer outside the city, nor because I think the murderer is too innocent. I have a lot of my mind, and I do n’t know how to write it. I do n’t have time to think about this problem from a moral perspective. I am afraid because the Valenz case is the clue of the whole book. It does not break it. It means that this book has no orgasm, and the end will be open, nothing, and flawed.

I started to drink wine. Until that summer, the “sympathy” alarm bought a lot of wine with my credit card, which made me unable to afford it anymore. I don’t want to face reality -writing this book -so it took two weeks to take a recorder to interview the alarm. Those who were originally talked to the alarm were cautious, and they found that if they said something wrong, they might be killed by me.

Aijelton received another murder of another minor girl and detected it. Without telling him, I secretly met with the mother of the little girl who died. Later, the mother became one of the protagonists of my next book “The Corner”. The first time I saw Ella Thomson was in the house in Fiat Street. She opened the door for me, and her expression was distorted by pain. Four years later, I happened to meet her again. It was the entertainment center in Vincent Street. At that time, I was about to write another book, a book that even the strongest detective could not bear to read.


In the year I reported in the murder team, I never felt that I was one of them. I think this is not important. My dress is exactly the same as them. At the crime scene, in court, I will do it according to their instructions. I have to say, I like to stay with them. In the four years before, I have been reporting Baltimore’s homicide, but the space and angle I have is extremely limited -that is just a piece of “dried tofu” in the urban version. I can only make the tragedy of human beings -most of them are victims of black skin or brown skin -condensed into a boring little paragraph:

Yesterday, a twenty -two -year -old Siberman was shot and murdered at the four forks in front of his door. This may be a case of suspected drug trafficking. Police said they were temporarily unknown to the murderer’s motivation and found no suspects.

Antowan Thompson, who lives at 1400 in Strick Street, was found by a patrol police receiving alarm …

Suddenly, I entered a world that could not be contacted or even forgotten by most reporters. This is not a murder of the news incident that day, nor is it a moral tragedy originated from ancient Greece. That summer, when the corpse came from the heat wave, the higher the base, and I suddenly felt that I was standing in a workshop that produced death. This is a dead water line. In this declining old American industrial zone, everything has stopped growing up, but death is still endless, but “heartbreak” is still being produced in large quantities. I told myself, maybe, what really surreal is our life itself.

In December of that year, they last asked the “fishing man” to talk. He insisted. Ratonia Valenz’s revenge is still not reported. However, at that time, I suddenly understood that nothingness and ambiguity were the correct way to end the book. I gave John Stelin -my editor in New York -made a phone call and told him that I think this ending is better.

“This is the truth,” I said, “This is the way world operation, or the way it stops running.”

He agreed to my opinion. In fact, he foreseeed this earlier than me. He had long told me that I should start writing, but I couldn’t write it. I stared at the computer for a few weeks. I don’t know how to write the first sentence of the fucking book. So I ran to the Macedestle Special Bar to drink depressed. When I arrived, McLlaney had finished eight cans of beer and was enjoying it with the ninth can. I told him my dilemma, he looked at me with interest, “Aren’t you a writer? You should be good at writing.”

Of course, I am indeed a writer, but I have never written such a big book.

“I know what you should write.”

Tell me quickly.

“You shouldn’t write those cases. Those murders. I mean that the murder should be just the background of this story. Well, maybe I am talking nonsense.”

But I am still listening carefully.

“You should write us. We guys. You should write what we are, how do we scold each other, what are we when we are angry, what are we joking, and what happened in the office. “

I nodded, as if I understood this truth from the beginning.

“I saw you also not taking notes when we were joking with each other. When we peeed, we kept taking notes. We said a yellow joke, you remember it. By the way, everything you do is recorded. If you do n’t write us all, fuck, I can’t spare you. “


He laughed. He was laughing at me and laughed with me -I never determined it as at that moment.


Since the early 1990s, the struggle between police and drug dealers has become more cruel and indifferent. Five years after I finished writing “The Fierce Year”, Kaka was the ace product in the Balt Motor drug trafficking market, and the entire city was changed by it. Prior to this, there were only about a dozen drug trafficking points in Baltimore, but now there are hundreds of hundreds. Related to this is that the number of murders has also risen successively, from about 240 at the time to more than 300. The case of breaking the case declined, and the senior management of the police station became nervous. In the end, nervous became panic.

Since the local Donald Bolmel has left the Police Police Station, the police station has gradually become mediocre; in the war against cocaine, they paid their prices for their mediocrity. Bermel was in office in 1981. At that time, he was already a semi -retired state, and there were few drug trafficking points in Baltimore at the time. the legend of. Ten years later, both drug dealers and drugs have undergone tremendous changes. In order to win the war, the police station must have a strong leader. As a result, the Balt Mo Police Station ushered in the first foreign director since 1966, and the government authorized him to spare no effort to clear the drug trafficking point.

He obeyed the government’s order, but used the worst way. Thomas Fraser -he was San Jose -to his toes to the Baltimore Police Station, and almost destroyed the entire Balt Motor Case Team with his own power.

First of all, Fraser completely ignored the two hierarchical structures that existed in the US Police Department. The first hierarchical structure is the command system. The ranking is its primary reference standard: when the police are listening to the police, the police obey the command of the sheriff. This level of structure has its necessity.

However, the police station also has another hierarchical structure with its necessity. The primary reference standard is the professional level of employees. It exists in the technical work of the police station, and the more experienced police officers, the more experienced police officers are respected.

And this is exactly the standard for measuring an detective.

It is incredible that as soon as Freeezel arrived in Baltimore, it announced that in order to allow the police station to regain vitality, he decided to adopt a rotation system. A policeman cannot stay in the same post for more than three years.

You know, to cultivate a murder team’s inspection -in fact, the same is true of investigators and technicians of other departments -allowing him to be able to use case breaking skills at least three years. The rotation system greatly destroyed the professionalism of the members of the murder team. However, Fraser appeared to say that, in terms of his personal experience, each policeman would feel bored and tedious after doing the same position for three years, and longed for new challenges.

The implementation of this system left many excellent detectives to leave the police station. Some of them went to the FBI, and some went to work in the surrounding county police station.

The level of agglomerations of the murder team is inevitable. Some detectives are geniuses, some detectives are qualified, and some detectives are completely inaction. At that time, the reason why the murderer was in the best is because each team had a person like Walden, Charles, Davis, and Jalvi. They are core and souls, and they will protect colleagues weaker than them. Thirty detectives, six warnings -this configuration ensures that no one will order, newcomers can partner with veterans, and the problem can be resolved at any time.

A few years later, Balt’s murder team’s case breaking rate dropped to less than 50 %, and the final conviction was half poor. What’s more sad is that, like any business unit, once the experts leave here, they will never come back again.

In the world I am, the same thing is also staged. The best journalists in the “Sun” resigned. They went to the New York Times and the Washington Post and other newspapers -like the alarm, they were driven away by the system’s arrogant attitude towards them.

Strick, Udon, Elvarez, Zoles, Litwin, Thompson, Lipman, Hyman -they are the best reporters of the Sun, but they are first marginalized Then they were bought out of the contract; they were abandoned and finally took over from those who were only 24 years old in those years -these young people were mediocre, let alone challenge the management. I don’t know why such a big move. In the end, the “Sun” management fired good reporters as many as it recruited. When the management from this Philadelphia left this newspaper, they left the “rich achievements” that won the Pulitzer award three times within twelve years -however, in the twelve years before they came here, the “Sun” The morning newspaper has won three Pulitzer awards like the Evening News.

Once, I drank with Jalvi. Talking about me, I realized the symbolic meaning of our situation: In the United States in the post -modern, no matter which unit you serve or provide you -police station, newspaper, political party, church, Enron (Ranran, Enron (Ranran (church, Enron (Ranran, Enron (Ranran (church, peaceful (peaceful church, Enron (Ranran, and peace (Enron (peaceful party, peace, and peace (Enron, and Ranran (. ENRON) and Worldcom -In the end, you will be betrayed.

The more I think, the more I feel like an ancient Greek philosopher. Isn’t this what Eskoros and Sorfuklerus wrote? The difference is that today’s gods are not Olympos, but those groups and companies. In any case, in this world, personal values ​​-whether he is an experienced old detective, conservative journalists, cold and violent street boys, or the third -generation dock workers, and the sneak Eastern European sex workers -have already More and more irrelevant.

After witnessing the changes in the Sun and the murderer, I started writing a script for a new TV series of HBO: that is the “Fire”. Anyway, it takes up my next time.

Many reporters believe that they should keep a distance from the investigation objects and write with an analysis, objective, and professional spirit. Many reporters are committed to reporting scandals and tragedies in the world. They believe that there is no enough attitude towards human nature and sympathy. Of course, their work accurately describes the reported events, and it has its meaning -but even if they are reported in real events, their revealing of the truth is not more than any other form of narrative. Essence

Many years ago, I read an interview with Richard Ben Cramer. Interviewed his colleagues raised quite sharp questions. This problem is about one -at least in the news editor -taboo love. He asked Cramer if he liked his book on the price -this book about the presidential election politics was completely a masterpiece -the presidential candidate who followed the report.

“Like them?” Cramer replied, “No, I love them.”

yes. If he doesn’t love them, how could he write this 900 -pages from their perspective? If a reporter followed and investigated some people for a few years, he recorded the most wonderful and tragic moments of these people’s lives, how could he be indifferent to them? How could he not judge their personality, dignity, and life value?

I must admit that I love the detectives in my pen.

“Homicide”: Ayear on the Killing Streets, [Midea] David Simon, Shanghai Translation Press, translator: Xu Zhanxiong, 2021-4, ISBN: 97875327866199


Title Photo by Jack Finnigan on UNSPLASH