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Have you heard the story of Cathrine and Curtis Jones? These are the youngest convicted killers in Florida history. They are the brother and sister duo who shot and killed their fathers girlfriend in 1999 at their Port St. John’s home.

At the time they were only 12 and 13.Curtis and Catherine were the youngest people in the U.S. to be charged as adults for first-degree murder.

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What Happened?

Catherine Jones told her brother about how a male relative was pleasing himself why he watched her shower. Soon after, Cathrine began to plan the murder of her father, the male relative and their fathers girlfriend. Her brother Curtis offered to help.

The two decided to target Sonya Speights who was their fathers girlfriend because they felt she allowed the sexual abuse to continue. After shooting and striking her 4 times, the kids initially reported it as an accident. They then fled and hid out in a wooded area.

Police caught up with them and they became the two youngest people in the history of the United States to be charged as adults with first-degree murder. The brother and sister were facing life sentences but took a plea deal and they were each sentenced to 18 years in prison with life long probation.

Where Are They Now?

They were both released from prison in 2015. The brother Curtis has yet to speak to the press, but his sister Cathrine has opened up to the media. Cathrine has now dedicated her life to mentorship and advocacy. When asked about what she did and why she did it she tells us quote:

“There’s no justification for taking someone else’s life, In my 13-year-old mind, I could have gave you a bunch of reasons of how I felt desperate, I felt hopeless, I felt trapped and angry and bitter for everything that happened to me. But nothing justifies what I did, and I wouldn’t even try to.”

When asked if she was sorry for what she did she goes on to say, “Absolutely. If I could go back to January 6, 1999, and trade places, I would without hesitation. But the life that I live now is my eternal apology that hopefully, that somehow, someway, the scales get balanced, and I can do more good than I did harm.”

I personally feel the system failed these two. According to confidential documents by an attorney working to get the children clemency several years ago, the Department of Children and Families said there were indications of abuse but did nothing. This happens way to often and Im sick of it! If they would have stepped in, this would have not been the outcome.

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Which Florida City Made The List With Highest Murder Rates In U.S.

There’s lots to love about the Sunshine State, but we’re also notorious for the craziest crimes. One Florida city even ranked in the top 15 for highest murder rates in America. It’s not really a list we love to see Florida on, but we can’t say we’re not surprised with all the insane stuff that happens here.

Our friends at ranked the top 30 cities in the country with the highest murder rates per 1,000 residents. They condensed their research by including cities with 25,000 or more people. They collected their data by the number of murders reported to the FBI to have occurred in each city, and the population of each city. The city population data comes straight from the US Bureau of the Census at the time of each analysis. For instance, the 2022 list population uses 2020 population figures. The 2021 list uses 2019 figures, and so forth.

There were 14 new cities making the list this year. “The newcomer on this list with the highest murder rate is Saginaw, MI. The number of murders in Saginaw more than doubled from the previous year.” Thankfully (and surprisingly) only one Florida city was ranked in the research.

Here’s the top 15 cities with the highest murder rate. Click here to see the full list. 


  • #1. St. Louis, Missouri

    • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .87
    • 13.4X U.S. Average
    • No. of Murders: 263
  • #2. Petersburg, Virginia

    • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .72
    • 11.0X U.S. Average
    • No. of Murders:  24
  • #3. Flint, Michigan

    • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .58
    • 8.9X U.S. Average
    • No. of Murders:  47
  • #4. Saginaw, Michigan

    • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .57
    • 8.7X U.S. Average
    • No. of Murders:  25
  • #5. Pine Bluff, Arkansas

    • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .56
    • 8.6X U.S. Average
    • No. of Murders:  23
  • #6. New Orleans, Louisiana

    • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .52
    • 8.1X U.S. Average
    • No. of Murders:  201
  • #7. Detroit, Michigan

    • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .52
    • 7.9X U.S. Average
    • No. of Murders:  330
  • #8. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

    • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .46
    • 7.1X U.S. Average
    • No. of Murders:  23
  • #9. Memphis, Tennessee

    • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .46
    • 7.0X U.S. Average
    • No. of Murders:  289
  • #10. Wilmington, Delaware

    • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .45
    • 6.9X U.S. Average
    • No. of Murders:  32
  • #11. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

    • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .45
    • 6.9X U.S. Average
    • No. of Murders:  102
  • #12. Trenton, New Jersey

    • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .44
    • 6.8X U.S. Average
    • No. of Murders:  40
  • #13. Cleveland, Ohio

    • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .43
    • 6.6X U.S. Average
    • No. of Murders:  160
  • #14. Riviera Beach, Florida

    • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .43
    • 6.5X U.S. Average
    • No. of Murders:  16
  • #15. Alexandria, Louisiana

    • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .42
    • 6.5X U.S. Average
    • No. of Murders:  19

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